Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Marathon Post

Sometimes it seems as though I have just posted something and then I look at all of the new pictures I have taken and realize how far behind I am. Everything seems to be in order these days. My kids are healthy and happy and as a mother, that is all I can ask for. Lets see...things that are new... Jesse's mom took all of her daughters on a much needed ladies' retreat. We met 2 of Jesse's aunts, his Grandma, and some of the girl cousins in Midway. We stayed up there for 2 nights and I was completely rejuvenated. I bawled my eyes out for the first 20 minutes driving there but after listening to whatever I wanted in the car, I was okay for the next few hours. I only had one meltdown the whole time I was there which is really good for me. Jesse did an amazing job watching the kids. He is such a good dad- I am sure the kids didn't miss me one bit. We ate out, went shopping, went to a movie, did some crafts, and played some pretty ridiculous games- it took some of us all we could do not to pee our pants. Thank you so much Becky for everything.
Later in the month, we took the babes to Disney On Ice. Both Grandma Kris and Grandma Becky met us there. They have all these fun little displays everywhere which sucker you in to buy these extremely overpriced gadgets. Of course, your kids just have to have these gizmos. After seeing how cute and excited Finn was I think the whole thing was worth every penny.
My little Lark is now 6 months old. We decided to pierce her ears and I have to say I think it is the cutest thing ever. Here are her stats: she is 16 pounds-14 ounces and is in the 50% for weight, length and head circumference. W e couldn't be happier. She is such a good baby. She can sit up all by herself. She shakes her head no (she obviously has no clue why she is shaking it, but mom thinks she is brilliant!). Finn gets her to laugh on a daily basis and my heart just melts watching them together. Other than that, we are just plugging along at the daily grind. I think my kids are the cutest things ever so I apologize for all the pictures I had a hard time narrowing it down.
Part II: It has been a week since I started this post and feel like I am already behind again so I thought that I would add a few more things. It truly is a marathon post. Jesse's brother Nate and his family came to Ogden for a little getaway. We were able to meet them at the Treeehouse Museum, went to dinner, and then we took a dip in the pool at their hotel. It was so nice to see them and spend some time together. Finn loves his cousins.
We had a wonderful Easter. We went to Jesse's parents on Saturday for the annual Easter egg contest and then to my mom's house on Sunday for dinner. Happy Easter everybody.
This is a little random, but I got this idea from my sweet friend Mandi. I asked Finn a bunch of questions and here are his answers. But first, a little praise to my friend Mandi- thank you so much for being such a great friend. I love that we can just pick up the phone and talk for hours (if our kids would let us) about the same silly shows we watch and whatever else we can come up with. Thank you for finding me the sweetest necklace with my kids' names on it. For the rest of you, it is from "The Vintage Pearl" if you want to check it out! I love it. I have now bought my mom one and my sister in-law just bought one. Anyway Mandi, you are the best. Thanks.

Finn's Interview:

How old are you? 3 years old.
What is your name? Finn Spencer
Who is your favorite friend? Dax
Where is your favorite place to go? Grandma Becky's house. (Sorry mom!)
Where is your favorite place to go other than Grandma's house? Dinosaur Park and Treehouse Museum.
What is your favorite book? Ba-Ba Bedtime.
What is your favorite puzzle to do? Sponge Bob
What is your Favorite movie? Night at the Museum 2 and Cars. (This changes daily)
Who are some of your other friends? Mario, Toad, Spiderman and Tarzan.
What is your favorite animal? Elephant
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be big like Tarzan.
Favorite color? Black... like Tarzan's hair. (It is always red on other days)
What is your favorite food? Lucky Charms and cheese and rice. (quesadilla)
What is your favorite game to play? Super Mario Brothers Wii.

This was such a cute idea. I loved doing it. Thanks again Mandi.

Me and my cute babes.

Finn loves his little sister.

The crazy ladies weekend trip.

We went and saw the movie "When in Rome" - very cute.

Me, Teeny, Jodi, and Jesse's cousin Christie.

At a delicious dinner in Park City.

Disney on Ice with the Grandmas.

We sat on the front row and it was amazing!

Lark had enough!!!

Lark sitting up all by herself.

The Easter egg hunt at Grandma Becky's.

All the cousins.

Finn showing off his egg that he and daddy made.

Finn showing what the Easter bunny brought him.

The jelly bean hunt.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Many of you know that I was lucky enough to go to Haiti three weeks after the earthquake on a medical mission. I've been a little hesitant to post anything about this trip but Lindy and many friends insist, so here goes: I was actually planning on going during this same time before the earthquake hit with a group called International Aid Serving Kids. When the "event" (this is what the Haitians call it) happened, I didn't think we would be going because the group wasn't exactly organized for disaster relief. We had an awesome native Haitian as a leader and through connections he had in Haiti, we were able to get into the country and set up a clinic at Leogane, a city near the epicenter of the quake. Needless to say, it was a great experience. There is way too many stories to be told on a blog but I thought a few pictures could tell part of the story. First off, the destruction is incredible. Pictures really don't do it justice. It is a country full of rubble and chaos. Miles and miles of fallen buildings, people living in the streets, piles of garbage, tent cities and shanty-towns. When you are standing in the middle of a street and everything around you is destructed, your mind goes numb. Honestly, I don't think my brain can comprehend it.

This was driving through Port au Prince on our way to Leogane. We actually had to fly into the Dominican Republic and rented buses to drive 10 hours into Leogane. Port au Prince is a total cluster. I have no idea how people live there. Sadly, we Americans would point out a neighborhood of shanty homes and suspect that these were new since the earthquake but our guide pointed out that many were not new, just the extremely poor parts of town now experiencing tremendous growth.

This was everywhere. Lines down, piles of rubble and garbage, people living and selling stuff outside of their fallen homes/buisnesses.

Leogane, Haiti. This used to be a large open air market that is now little shacks and makeshift tents as homes. In Leogane, 80-90% of the buildings fell or are condemned. I spoke to hundreds of people while there and only one person was sleeping in their home. Most had set up shacks or tents outside their homes.

We actually set up clinic at and LDS chapel that had not fallen. There were hundreds living on the church property. This is one of the guys who we hired as security. He took us on a little tour and stopped at his house. This is his car and what remains of his house. He was stuck under the rubble for a couple hours but managed to crawl out on his own. There are no standing walls left of his two story house- the building next to his is condemned.

This is nurse Angie and one of the first kids we saw. He was stuck under the rubble for a few hours as well. A block landed on his right thigh/knee and he had a huge laceration. It was actually healing very well and the kid looked great. We were actually quite suprised at the people who came into our clinic-- not nearly as many infections or trauma as we were expecting. A lot of people with the more serious injuries had seen a doctor already.

This little girl had already been seen and nicely casted by another group of doctors shortly after the quake. We were able to replace her cast and give her this walker. She hadn't been able to get around, other than carried, since the cast was placed. This was just one of the little-big things we were able to do while there.

I just like this kid's hair. Despite the destruction after the quake, the people are the bigger story. Almost everybody lost somebody and their home. Despite this, they were remarkably happy and moving on with life. Many expressed hope. They are truly a beautiful people. The lady in orange was my interpreter. We actually had a generator with working fans but my interpreter was worried that the cool air would make her sick so I ended up sweating off a few pounds on the trip. She was awesome and had no appreciation for space-bubbles.

We had a couple dentists in the group who did some amazing work. Dr. Mike Richards was nice enough to let me yank a tooth on this poor guy. I have a new respect for dentists.

This is one of the little guys living on the church property. He loved the balloons we brought. Turns out, he also loved gum and asked me everyday and almost every hour--" Hey, hey..... whitey....gum?"

After clinic all day, we would go for walks around town to say hi to folks and see some of the damage. The kids in Haiti are incredible. They love their picture taken. This picture goes to show that karate is a universal language of awesomeness. Leogane is like a huge campout because everybody is sleeping outside in the street. They play in the street, sell stuff in the street, eat in the street, and really build their new temporary homes in the street. It is surreal.

This little girl is Wendy with her mom and brother. She was my girlfriend on the trip. She too was living on the church grounds with her mom, dad, and siblings. I almost packed her up and brought her back with me. She would find me each night and we flirted a lot.

Wendy playing doctor. She singlehandedly made it hard for me to leave.

Here is a little guy that had a block crush his right thigh during the quake. He actually had it x-rayed shortly afterword and told it wasn't broken. He came to clinic for decreased eating. I saw him limp into clinic so I took a look under his shorts and found this. It was a terribly infected crush injury. We had an orthopaedic surgeon in our group who had set up camp at a hospital a few miles away. We had this kid go over there and have the infection drained. He will probably do okay but will likely always have an infection in his bone that will occassionally flare and then drain through out his thigh for the rest of his life.

This is in Leogane on one of our walks. One day I went on a walk with a few nurses and supplies in one of the tent cities. People slowly filtered in to be seen. Most of them wanted me to look at their small children, all of whom I saw that day were well for the most part. It was encouraging to see the love that many had for their kids. Sadly, we also had some parents bring their kids to us at clinic and ask that we take them back to America with us.

Another cute little family that I saw in clinic. This woman lost her husband in the earthquake. Her main concern was that her daughter wasn't eating well since the quake (a pretty common thing among the kids-- both for lack of food and too much stress). The serious looking fellow is another interpreter. He is a teacher at an English school that no longer exists.
One last picture of the kids living on the church compound. I would try to go out and play with them each night. They were so fun. (See Wendy?)
I have way more pictures and stories but will save them for another time perhaps. It was surely a huge bite of humble pie and I feel very lucky to have gone over there to help, if only a tiny bit. Shortly after getting home I was wrestling Finn on our carpeted floor and couldn't help to think that I was in a different world. Thanks to Lindy for letting me go!