National Adoption Month

It is no secret that I am a birth mom. This is something I am not ashamed of. However I have dedicated this blog to our adventures has a family. Since my adoption journey began before Tavis, I am sharing those thoughts on a separate blog. This month is National Adoption Month and I am taking part in an Adoption photo a day challenge. There are some days where more just needs to be said and so I am also blogging it too.

For anyone who has not seen my facebook and instagram photos, you can follow the blog here.


Harlie Arianna's First Birthday

My Beautiful Sunshine is one year old! I feel so blessed to say that. Most of you know that our dear Sunshine was born with a hole in her heart. She is 1 of 100 babies born with a CHD. 1 in 5 of those sweet babies don't make it to their first birthday. Harlie had a moderate to large muscular VSD (hole in her heart). It being muscular increased our chances of it healing on it's own, and it did. We got the fantastic news when she was 8 months old. All of that makes her birthday just that much more special.

Happy Birthday Harlie!!



Another Surgery

So while we were in Ashton we finally got the results of Tavis' most recent CT scan and the results were worse than we thought it wasn't just one stone in his right kidney but several, and more still in his left side. So once we got back we scheduled him for his next surgery. So a few days later Tavis had surgery and this time it was a lot more extensive taking just over 2 hours and using dye. When the Surgeon came out to update me I found out they went in both ureters and kidneys and removed a total of 7 stones, equaling 12 stones in 2 months. We sat in recovery a little longer than last time, cause Tavis was having a hard time keeping any fluids or solids down.

He is finally starting to feel on the mend and we will find out what the next step from here is has they had mentioned the possibility of him seeing a Nephrologist (kidney disease specialist).

Here are some pics of his stones.
The first two (5 and 3mm) Tavis passed on his own just before vaca.
The last one is the largest (4mm) that the surgeon removed


Ashton, Idaho (pic heavy)

We just got back from an amazing 5 day weekend in Ashton, ID visiting Tav's Grandma and Aunts. It was such a beautiful and fun weekend. We drove up on Thursday and arrived just in time for dinner. His aunts treated us to Big Jud's Burgers! These burgers were ridiculously huge! I could barely eat 1/4 of it.
(picture found on google, I forgot to take a pic)

Saturday we went in to Rexburg to check out the Airshow, but first we had to make a stop at Madison Memorial Hospital. Poor Peyton started coughing really bad once we got to Idaho, and Saturday she was practically barking. The emergency room had the absolute coolest rooms for kids. Then we found out poor Peyton had Croup.

Following that fun little adventure we met up with the rest of the family at the airshow. This was all of our first time at an airshow and it was one of the coolest things we had ever seen. They also had a really cool military and aviation museum to check out. Peyton only freaked out at the sounds of the bi-planes but otherwise she loved them too.

On Sunday (father's day) while Harlie was napping we took Peyton who was already sounding much better to the little local park nearby. It was so cool to see some of the old school metal playground equipment still in use. Peyton loved the huge slide and little merry go round. It was such a pleasant change to what we have here in Provo. I'm not going to lie I kind of enjoyed how much more peaceful and quiet it was up there and not so busy. I didn't have to worry so much about Peyton playing in the yard or at the park.

After lunch and once Harlie woke up, Tavis, Myself and the girls, along with Tav's dad and two Aunts went to Mesa Falls. I had never seen anything like this. It was a huge waterfall and just so green everywhere I loved it. It was very different from the waterfall I grew up with (Bridal Veil). By the end of our hike another storm was rolling in so we finished up just in time and headed back to Grandma's.

Before we got back to Grandma's, Tav's Aunt Jan who works with the Forest service up there pulled over on the drive down to show us one of the craziest and grosses things ever. I guess they are dealing with a caterpillar infestation that is eating all their aspen tree leaves. (the first pics are of the egg sacks, and the others are of some along the barriers and view point sign)

Once we got back home, we were surprised to see more of the Albertson grand kids at Grandma's, so we chatted with them a bit before the took off back to Utah (they were passing through). After dinner Tavis and his brothers Tylan and Tanner did the Ghost Pepper challenge (the video won't upload cause it's too big), then we played some board games and such before calling it a night.

On our way out of town the next day we stopped at the other local diner "Frostop". They had some amazing food and atmosphere, just a small town diner feel.

We were glad to be heading back home, it was a great weekend but we were ready to be in our own beds again. We also had to get back and get Tavis scheduled for another surgery but that is for another post. All in all even with the poor weather and Peyton getting sick we had a ton of fun. Hope to do it again sometime. 


Sickness, hospitals, and some good news

Oh my gosh so May has kinda not been our month in the Chestnut-Albertson house.

Beginning on May 1st with Tavis needing to go to the urgent care once I got home from work because he was having some pain in his lower abdomen. We were told he probably had a kidney stone and to give it some time. So after a pain shot. We went home. He felt a little better the next two days, then on May 4th, it got REALLY bad. And we ended up in the ER for about 8 hours. We finally found out it wasn't just one kidney stone trying to work it's way out but 3 stones all of them about 5mm in the left ureter. So after some more pain medication we went home.

The next day we had 5th annual Cinco de Mayo Party with a few friends, which I am thankful for cause it relieved some of the stress I was beginning to feel.

May 6th we had our 6 month follow up at Primary Children's Hospital for Harlie's heart. This was exactly what we needed. We found out that we are extremely blessed and Harlie's heart healed all on it's own. :)

On our way home from Primary's
The next day we had Tavis' follow up appointment with a Urologist to figure out what we were going to do. The chances of him being able to pass them on his own were very slim so we got him scheduled for surgery the next day.
So on May 8th, Tavis had his very first surgery ever. The first stone was lodged and could not move at all, so they used a laser to break it up. Then moved the other two back to the kidney where they used Lithotripsy (sound waves to break them up). It was an overall quick procedure and the first few hours and next day after were the worst of the healing pain.
Waiting to go back
On the 10th I got my first break and went to a Birth Parent Celebration in honor of Birth Mothers day. I went with one of my dearest friends Ashley Mitchell, and it was such a wonderful little event. After 7 years this was the first time I actually celebrated Birth Mothers day. I remember my first one, even though I didn't know about it that year. My nephew Parker took me to my senior prom. So it was interesting to look at how my life and my adoption journey has changed since then.
Birth Mother's day 2007 (5 months old)

Birth Mother's day 2014 (7 years old)

The next day was Mother's day and has Tavis was still recovering from surgery we had a generally relaxing day at home. I had already gotten my gifts (Zumba for the xbox and a new phone that I was in desperate need of cause mine was on it's last breath) a few days earlier from Tavis and the girls. Then we went to Tav's moms with the rest of his family for cake and celebration.
Harlie with her cousin Maggie (4 weeks apart)
The following week was mostly healing for Tavis and taking care of a teething baby. Then on Wednesday, Tavis' needed emergency tooth extraction, which mostly sucked cause he was still recovering from surgery the week before, and we don't have dental. Then he started getting pain in his right flank and lower abdomen again. We had been told that he had (besides the other 3) another 5mm stone in his right kidney and it seemed it was now trying to work it's way out too. So instead of getting better he got worse. Then on Sunday I started getting what I thought was a sinus infection (which has now turned into bronchitis) and then finally my poor grumpy baby got her first teeth. Yep both bottom front teeth popped out with in 24 hours of each other.

Which basically brings us around to today and this week where we have been waiting to get some new images of Tav's kidney stone, as well as me getting everyone sick so basically everyone is coughing. Tavis and I are both having pains (unrelated).

It has been a long and exhausting month for us, lets hope this is not a sign of the coming summer.