Sunday, December 20, 2009

Naomi trims the tree...

Naomi has read books that mention trimming the tree.

Apparently I didn't emphasize enough that they were
actually decorating the tree, not cutting bits off with scissors.

Notice some little needles on the table? Naomi used the nail scissors to do a little trimming. Luckily, the damage isn't noticeable, and this isn't our main tree anymore. Tread carefully (and explain fully!) if Naomi offers to help you trim your tree!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So easily entertained...

ANYTHING can be entertaining when small children are involved. A couple weeks ago, the excitement around our house was that the van battery died. Naomi was flabbergasted to find out that cars use batteries, just like her toys!

These pictures are from when we jump started the van. (We ended up having to get a new battery even though we let it charge, but at least it delayed it a few days.) It was all an adventure to the kids!

Naomi opted to watch from the garage step where she could see both vehicles and the cables. (I took this picture from the driver's seat while the hood was up.)

Gabe's perch of choice was the front passenger seat in the van (which he thought was super cool, since normally it's off-limits!). Here's his cheesy grin at all the fun we're having...

And here's the view of what he was seeing (the car with it's hood up).

While knowing the battery had died was less than thrilling,
we had a great time giving it some more juice!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thanksgiving with the Fieldings!

For the Thanksgiving holiday, we trekked up to Idaho to spend time with Val's family. We had a terrific time! We didn't pull out the camera until pretty much the last day there, so we didn't get pictures with everybody.

I was very excited about this first picture! The munchkins are our kids, of course, and the tall ones are (left) Jared, Jordan and Julisa. They are my nieces and nephews, so they are Naomi's and Gabe's cousins. Despite the age difference, my kids thought they were the COOLEST EVER cousins! (That could be due to Jordan, Jared and Julisa being incredibly nice about playing with them and throwing them balls over...and over...and over...)

Here we have Julisa and Aunt Julie (Val's sister) reading a book to Naomi. Naomi has somebody reading her a book whenever possible, so she was thrilled to find a few more people around who would read to her! In payment, Julie requested kisses periodically. I think I'll start that system, too!

Another reason why Gabe loved Julisa...this was very late (thus the pajamas), and Gabe was nuts. He was very unsteady and giggly, and he kept spinning circles, looking at Julisa and shrieking with laughter. While, as his parent, it was funny to watch, I'm not sure Julisa knew what to think about that crazy kid! She was a good sport and stayed by him, though!

Here are the Adele's in the family. My mom's great-aunt was named Adele, and each of the girls in this picture have the middle name Adele:
(Left to right) Julisa Adele, Constance Adele, Valerie Adele, Naomi Adele

Gabe most definitely does NOT have the middle name Adele;
he just wanted to get in on the fun picture-taking!

Our trip was absolutely fabulous (despite Matt catching a cold and spending a couple days sequestered in the room).

It was also exhausting! For our return flight, we left Julie's house at 5:30 AM and caught a flight out of Salt Lake. We met up with Edward in Denver and enjoyed spending some more time with him. Then we flew to Tucson. Matt had a cold, the kids were cranky, and I was motion sick. We were THRILLED to get off that plane.

This picture shows Gabe's thoughts on long travel days. This was on the shuttle from the airport to the parking lot.

And this one was taken in our car on the drive home.

We were happy to be home, but we were even happier to have been able to make that trip and spend Thanksgiving with such wonderful people!

What a terrific time we had! And nobody was seriously injured...
that always equates to a successful family event, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Naomi's first soccer practice!

Naomi started her illustrious (well, soon to be illustrious) soccer career yesterday with a 45 minute soccer practice. I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to check with the other moms to see who might have documented that monumental practice.

Here are some youtube clips from a friend (thanks, Jess!). Naomi is in the pink shirt with black pants.

Warming up with Coach Gray

Ball handling skills

She was THRILLED that we purchased her very own shin guards and soccer socks. She will be taking her shin guards to preschool for show and tell today. Hopefully nobody notices the corner where there are teeth marks (Gabe got his hands on them for a minute).


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Our first taste of Christmas!

Gabe and Naomi were thrilled to open the first present of the Christmas season...Christmas pillowcases from Aunt Julie!


Then they tried them out...

And they loved them! Thanks, Aunt Julie!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Zoo with Grandma & Grandpa Jones

We always love a trip to the zoo, especially with Grandma & Grandpa. And since it was late October, the kids could actually touch the turtle shell statue!

The whole place was decorated for the Halloween festivities.

...sharing a ride on the peacock statue...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

UmpLumpa Dance

I took this video at the Halloween party, and promised (threatened) to put it on youtube. Instead I'll put it on this blog. It's a bit more discreet. Kind of.

Halloween party

Finally getting around to posting halloween pics. This set is from a party at our friends the Slivka's. We played games, ate food, and admired all the great costumes. Check out the other costumes at a friends site.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Jones visit Tucson!

We are always thrilled to have Grandma and Grandpa Jones visit us! We begged them to stay longer, but farm duties called them home at the end of a very short week.

They showed up on Friday mid-day, and within 5 minutes of walking in the door, Naomi threw up all over me. Dad pulled Gabe-distraction duty while Mom catered to Naomi's needs (translation: read books) while I cleaned up. We tucked Naomi in bed, had dinner, and then the parents came to my soccer game. We played less than stellar, but parents never mind that sort of thing. :) They'd never seen me play soccer before, so that was fun.

With Naomi being sick, our activities were somewhat limited early on. After a couple days, Naomi felt well enough to drag about, so we walked around the block to see some Halloween decorations.

We played at a park...

...played in the backyard...

...ate terrific dutch oven food (thanks, Dad!)...

...played lots of Settlers of Catan...

...visited the zoo and Old Tucson (pics coming in another post soon)...

...and had a terrific time overall...

Please come back!!

Tweezer play

I'm not actually trying to leave ridiculously long periods of time between each post. In case you've wondered.

As I was looking through pictures to decide what to post, these ones caught my eye. They're so simple...Naomi playing with tweezers. I think I like them so much because they show a child's curiosity about how the world works. To me, tweezers are pretty boring. To Naomi, they offer a world of possibility! (Think Little Mermaid coming up with crazy uses for human implements: the possibilities are endless!)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Halloween preview

Today we dug out our Halloween decorations. Or rather, that's what I thought were in those boxes. One box was partially filled with Halloween decorations, and the rest of it contained costumes/props. The second box...all costumes/props. Not even good costumes/props! So much for decking out our house in Halloween decor.

HOWEVER, Naomi and Gabe were excited by the ladybug costume, and they took turns sporting it around the house. Here you see young Gabriel in all his ladybug glory.

As a ladybug, he:

played Hide and Seek in the curtains

chased balls

and did some giggling.

He also set a record for the fastest moving ladybug ever!

That was when I announced we would be having ice cream in the kitchen.

Not your average Sunday at the Merrell's!

This last weekend was General Conference for the LDS church. That means we don't have regular church, and 4 sessions of talks from church leaders are broadcast on t.v. We all enjoyed the slow feel to the day!

We have a few family traditions, and one is having coffee cake for General Conference. Mmmmmm....

Our conference-watching activities documented:

lounging in pajamas and eating

Reading (and later, coloring)

Playing games with our faces

Sporting darling green stripe-y pj's
(and pointing to the t.v. in case Mommy forgot to watch conference)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Gabe

Lest you think I neglect my second child (due to lack of posts about him), here is an update on our own sweet Gabriel! Let me start by saying he loves his daddy! Regardless of what Gabe is doing, he will drop everything and toddle as fast as possible to the front door when I announce, "Daddy's home!".

He is 17 months and is saying a few words:

go (I'll say "Ready, Set..." and he'll spit out a g sound for "Go" almost every time!)
ball (one of his very first words, and his absolute favorite toy of all time)
tick-tock (when he sees a clock)
sounds for a snake, a duck, and a dog

He's currently milking the uh-oh for all he can, since it makes me laugh every time. He does use it correctly sometimes, like when some food has fallen off the side of his tray. (He may or may not have purposely thrown it off the side of his tray!) This morning I was building a tower of blocks, specifically for the purpose of him to knock it over. He toddled over, demolished it, looked at me and said, "Uh-oh" if I didn't see him raze it on purpose.

Gabriel is our sweet mellow little guy. As mad as he can get, he will always giggle when you tickle him in his neck roll. He will always quiet down for a song and grin at me when I am singing, dancing, or making faces to entertain him. He's also a terrific eater - that kid can pack away twice as much as Naomi!

Crossing his ankles is something Gabriel has done since he was an infant. I love it - it just seems so peaceful and content! It's not as common now, and it always makes me smile when I see him doing it. Mostly it happens in his carseat and in the high chair.

That's just a tidbit about our spunky little for more posts to come on the daredevil side of his personality!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Naomi visits the hand specialist

We talked a lot this week about what would happen at the next doctor visit. If Naomi was prepared, she might not scream so much, right?? She was pretty nervous, but Matt took off the top layer of wrap (the purple one) and put a new one on. Naomi was thrilled to have a clean one, PLUS it helped her see that not everything we're going to do to her thumb will hurt.

Naomi knew they would be taking the white gauze off as well as the splint (which she refers to as the spoon). It still scared her quite a bit. This picture shows the gauze before they removed it.

Here we are, mid-gauze-removal. Unfortunately, the gauze had basically been integrated into the wound, so they had to do some tugging and scraping to get it off. It hurt Naomi just as much as it sounds like it would hurt.

They also poured water over the gauze-and-thumb-connection to help get the gauze off.

Front view: the doctor said the nail bed is intact and looks terrific. Obviously there is no nail now, but it's all set up for the nail to grow back in.

Top view: sorry for the blurriness. I didn't want to hold up the rewrapping of the thumb too much. The dark line on top is where the stitches started. It looked like a big puckered ridge, although I couldn't see the back since I was busy trying to calm Naomi down a bit.

The ends of the stitches were poking up, and Naomi laughed afterwards when I told her I thought they looked like hairs. So now she thinks she has a hairy thumb.

The worst part was when they had to get the gauze off her thumb - that couldn't be done gently, and it started up some fresh bleeding. That was the only part of the visit where Naomi screamed and thrashed, though, and she did really well! She was very excited (translation: the sobbing subsided) to discover the doctor wants to leave the stitches in for one more week. We may take more x-rays at that visit.

As for now, the doctor said that everything looks great. The nail bed is intact, the stitches look good, there was no abnormal swelling or bleeding, no infection and we don't need to do another round of antibiotics. The shape looked terrific to me (remember, the curved part of the bone was shattered, so they weren't sure her thumb would have the normal curvature). And this time they put a non-sticky pad on the thumb before putting on the rest of the wrap, so hopefully we won't have to dig in Naomi's wound next time to get the bandage off!

Matt gave Naomi a priesthood blessing this morning, and Naomi remembered the words from it. After the gauze had been scraped off her thumb, they gave us a few minutes for her to quiet down. I reminded her of the blessing and she calmed down right away. She told me how it was going to be okay and the doctor would be able to help her because that's what Heavenly Father had told her in the blessing. I'm glad she understood enough to be comforted by that!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Naomi's Accident

On Wednesday, August 26th, we went bowling for Brittany's birthday (Brittany is Matt's sister, who was in Tucson at the time). Debbie (Matt's mom), Allyson (Matt's other sister), Brittany, Naomi, Gabriel and I were there.

It was Naomi's first time bowling, and she had an absolute blast at the beginning. I don't particularly like bowling, but it was fun just watching how much Naomi was loving it.

Naomi would carry the ball to the edge of the lane and roll it v-e-r-r-r-r-y s-l-o-o-o-o-w-l-y. We would play around for awhile, turn around, and still see her ball rolling! (Exception: one time her ball stopped and rolled backward...that photo is included below!) Most times she would roll it and then hug whoever was standing next to her very tightly while she jumped and jiggled and giggled. So fun!

Unfortunately, Naomi didn't quite master the step up to the platform where you bowl. Two frames into her second game, she tripped on the step while carrying her 6-lb. bowling ball. She fell and started screaming. I grabbed her and ran to the seats, already seeing a lot of blood on her thumb. After sopping up some blood with baby wipes, I could see a serious gash in her thumb and knew she would need stitches. Actually, Naomi's thumb looked weird enough that I couldn't even tell what had happened, but something looked terribly wrong. The nail looked very odd and I didn't understand how the front AND the back of her thumb were gashed. (Apparently it was from the pressure of the bowling ball, which hit on one side and made the other side explode open, too.) A teacher from a school group at the next lane over brought a first aid kit. When she saw Naomi's wound, though, she said, "Uh...I don't have anything for that!". The teacher put a couple of huge band-aids loosely on Naomi's thumb and I carried Naomi out to the car. Debbie and the others paid and followed us out.

Fast forward to the ER: Naomi was still bleeding, still crying, and in pain. Luckily it wasn't busy and they got us back super fast. The staff gave me a coloring book (Naomi couldn't color, but I could, which distracted her) about having an injury and going to the emergency center. Talking through what we were doing helped out a lot.

I did great all through the registration, the waiting room, and part of triage. The second Matt walked into the triage room, though, I completely lost it. I knew that would scare Naomi, though, so I calmed down as quickly as possible. They moved us over to a regular bed in the ER and we waited for the doctor.

The doctor posed a new problem. He wanted to touch the thumb. Obviously he needed to, but that was not what Naomi wanted! I requested some Tylenol for her, and they brought an x-ray machine to her room. She was panicking too much to get the x-rays, though, so I carried her down to the x-ray room and held her while an x-ray tech forcibly positioned her hand correctly for the x-ray. Although screaming lots beforehand, Naomi was surprised that it didn't hurt and was pleased with herself for getting some pictures of her bones. We headed back to the ER room to see what was next. Later we were told the x-rays showed the end of the tip bone in her thumb had been shattered, and the rest of it was fractured.

What was next was...getting poked by needles to numb the thumb. They swaddled Naomi like a burrito to eliminate too much thrashing and poked while she screamed and howled. Then they waited for it to take effect. The doctor started pulling off her thumbnail (he said it wasn't salvageable since the root had popped out and the whole thing was almost off anyway), and obviously Naomi wasn't numb yet. So he stopped and injected another numbing agent while Naomi screamed, "NO POKE! NO POKE! NO POKE!". It almost makes me cry to remember it.

The second numbing attempt did not work, either, so they did a conscious sedation. I was relieved about that, but that meant putting in an IV. Another poke. At least it was in a different location. She was sitting up, and once they got the medicine in her, we gently laid her down. (That was right after I had suggested she lay down and she said, "I'M NOT TIRED! I'M NOT TIRED!". Then she rolled back slow-motion onto the bed and was out.) Her eyes were open and she made a few sounds and jerky movements, but we were told she wasn't conscious of anything happening and wouldn't remember anything. What a blessing! (As a point of interest, Matt later confirmed that he could tell the medicine was in effect because of her tongue position and how similar it is to what happens with the mice he uses in the lab.)

The doctor removed the thumbnail, clipped some of all the layers of skin, and put in both dissolvable and regular stitches. Since the rounded part of the bone had been shattered, he tried to reshape the thumb to have the normal curvature but made no guarantees. We were also told the thumbnail could possibly not grow back or could come back bumpy or odd in some other way. The shattered pieces of the bone were not taken out since apparently over time they could possibly fuse back together. The nurse put a splint on the thumb and wrapped up the hand in gauze. Then we waited for the medicine to wear off and Naomi to start talking to us. She was so exhausted from all that had happened, though, that she just fell asleep and we waited awhile for her to get some rest before waking her up. She was pretty groggy but slowly became interested in what was on her hand. She wasn't in pain, though, which was such a relief!

Disclaimer: this was an incredibly emotional day for me, and it brought back intense emotions typing it out. I don't have the energy to proof-read and make sure it is coherent. Plus Val wrote this, not Matt, so the terms used are not scientifically correct. :)