I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

September 26, 2008

Blessings

The last couple of weeks have been very challenging and have really forced me to submit myself to constant prayer, fasting, and faith. I am grateful for what I have learned and am tremendously grateful for the blessings we have received. I came accross this quote out of the Ensign recently. It is so applicable to our family right now and has given me much comfort. I wanted to share it.
"Living the gospel does not mean the storms of life will pass us by, but we will be better prepared to face them with serenity and peace. 'Search diligently, pray always, and be believing,' the Lord admonished, 'and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly.'"
I want to share some of the things that have "worked together for (my) good".
1. Mason had a successful surgery
On Tuesday Sept. 23rd, Mason had his surgery to remove the rods that were placed in his leg back in January. I cannot tell you the relief I feel to have this over. I really struggled over the past month as Alan and I were trying to make the decision about whether or not to leave the rods in. Our surgeon didn't reccommend either way what to do, he stated there are pros and cons either way and ultimately, it was up to us. I HATED that answer...couldn't he just tell us what to do?! After my own research, talking with other medical professionals, and lots of prayer, I still couldn't decide what was the right answer. I even had nightmares that Mason wouldn't come out of the anesthesia. Literally, I was terrified. But after more and more prayer, we decided that taking the rods out would be the best for the future. Now, I had to have faith. I had to believe that Heavenly Father would protect Mason. I had to know that our prayers were heard and have faith that whatever the outcome, it was God's plan. Although so, so challenging, this was a very faith growing experience for me.

Mason was quite proud of his yellow socks and "cool" pajamas he got to wear at the hospital.


Before Mason went in for the surgery, they gave him some Versed, a medicine that makes you very relaxed and sleepy. It worked wonderously for Mason! Watch the video and see!


video

Here are the two rods that came out of his leg. They extended from his knee all the way up to the top of his thigh

Mason is now, one week later, still recovering and doing very well. He is hesitant to bend his knee, but he can walk and gets around very well. Our discharge instructions were NO impact activities for 8 weeks. In other words, no riding his bike, playing on the playground at the park, climbing, running, or jumping on the trampoline. Now, for most people the months of October and November wouldn't be such a big deal to keep a 4 year old inside, but we've been hibernating the last couple of months and now it is finally cooling down to where the kids CAN play outside! So we'll see how this goes!

Here is the story from the beginning of why we even were having this surgery in the first place...

On January 28th, the kids were all playing outside in the backyard. I was fixing dinner but had the glass door open and was watching what they were doing. Mason and Jalen kept climbing on the 3 foot Little Tykes playhouse we have. After Mason jumped off of it, I had a feeling to get him down. I went outside and helped him off the playhouse and told him if he did it again, he would have a time-out. He climbed up again and jumped off. After Mason's time-out, he went back outside and started playing. Before I knew it, he had climbed up and jumped off again. Now he was lying on the grass crying that his leg hurt. Because it wasn't a very high jump, I thought he must have landed on his ankle wrong. However, he was complaining that his thigh hurt and he wouldn't walk on it. I brought him inside and looked at his leg. His thigh was a little swollen, but I knew there was no way he could have broken his femur bone by such a small jump. I layed him on the couch and turned on cartoons. He wasn't crying or complaining so I continued making dinner and thought maybe it was a sprained muscle. After a few minutes, I checked on him again and realized his leg was really swelling up and he was sweating, clammy, and pale. This made me nervous. I couldn't imagine this being a broken femur, but I knew something was wrong. I quickly took Mason to the hospital. He never complained unless he was being moved, he even fell asleep in the car on the way. The paramedics suspected immediately that it was broken and later that was confirmed with an x-ray, showing a spiral fracture of the femur. It was a huge blessing no major arteries or veins were punctured. We were taken by ambulance to Phoenix Children's Hospital where we waited for the decision between surgery with rods or a body cast. (I can't imagine how we would have survived a body cast!) Mason had surgery the next day and we spent a couple more days in the hospital as he recovered.

During this time, it was my friends from the ward that saved my family from utter chaos and despair. We wouldn't have made it without them. I only made two phone calls, one to Shelby to see if she would watch Jalen and Madelyn while I rushed Mason to the hospital and another to Becka (I had to cancel having dinner brought to them). From that point on, the Ashtons, Biancamanos, Lundts, and Turners took care of everything. They made sure Madelyn and Jalen were taken care of, stayed late in our home during the surgery, brought meals, and met many other needs. They were (and still are) amazing! Words can't express my gratitude to them.

Over the next 8 weeks, Mason had a splint on his leg from his upper thigh down to his ankle. He wasn't allowed to put any weight on it. This could have been devastating for a little 3 year old, but Mason was extremely patient and positive. He never complained about having to be pushed in a wheelchair at church or when we went out; having to miss out with friends; having to be carried from one room to another; or having to miss school for over 2 months. He became very adaptable to the situation, learing to scoot around on his bum and even mastered going up and down the stairs. He was such a trooper!
Here is Mason enjoying the park, even with a broken leg!


Mason felt very special because he got to eat his meals while sitting on the recliner chair in the living room, and not having to sit up to the table.
Mason even spent his 1st real birthday (Leap Year Baby!) with a splint. But as you can see, he didn't miss out on the fun!
We are so grateful that the second and hopefully last surgery is behind us and that Mason is healthy and happy!
2. Heavenly Father provides a way
For the last year and a half, I have worked as a "pool nurse", meaning I help fill in for other nurses when they need it. This position has worked out very well for our family, providing a little extra income, allowing me to keep up on my skills without being a "working mom" and letting me pick and choose days when I do want to work (no holidays, weekends, nights or times when I have other things planned). It's been a fabulous job. However, there is one drawback, I am not guaranteed hours. Usually this has not be an issue until recently. A couple of weeks ago, I was only needed one day for the month of October. I wasn't too worried until Alan quit his job. With his new career change, he will be studying until November and probably not making any money until December or January. We were contemplating what to do, whether I should look for a different job and give up this awesome position I have and absolutely love, or live off of our savings. Then last week when I went in to work, my supervisor said that the doctors were insisting on having a nurse in every procedure that we prep patients for. This is something that we hadn't done before and so we would need an extra nurse for every day. My supervisor told me I could sign up for as many days as I wanted. Alan and I decided that I could work 3-4 days a week during October and November while he would be at home studying.



This new schedule and arrangement that we have is definately very challenging. I am physically exhausted from running on my feet all day. I come home to hungry children, a sink full of dishes, unmade beds, laundry that still needs to be folded from days before, and homework to be done. I know that I can't expect Alan to do all of this because every spare second he has, needs to be spent studying. At times I have felt frustrated with the situation and wanted to blame Alan for putting us here, despite knowing it's wrong to feel this way. I truly believe it was the right thing for him to leave his job; putting it off any longer would only procrastinate the inevitable. After a few days of these bad feelings, I received a strong sense of comfort and a clear impression of this: "I always said I wanted to get my education so that "IF" something ever happened, I would have something to fall back on. That "IF" is now." I know these thoughts and feelings were from God.




It is so much easier to work together with Alan as a team, to push forward despite the challenges, and to know that this has to be done with this new perspective and insight. The need for another nurse was definately an answer to our prayers and a huge blessing. Heavenly Father does know of our individual needs and provides a way for us to make things work.

3. There really are good and honest people in the world

A few days ago after work, I ran to the grocery store to pick up two items I needed for dinner. I left the kids home with Alan to make the trip less chaotic and faster since it was already 5:00. I got home, quickly made dinner with three children at my feet all vying for attention. Madelyn needed help with her homework, Mason's coloring pencils were not newly sharpened, and Jalen just wanted to "help" mommy. I barely survived the rest of the evening, being completely exhaused from the new schedule we've got going on. But the children were all in bed by 7:45 and I was just going to start laundry. Then I got a phone call. It was Albertsons, asking me if I had lost my purse. I had not even realized that I did not come home with it. I only had a few items and no children with me, so I can't blame it on too many distractions or groceries I was concerned about. All I could think was, "Oh, my gosh!" Everything was in my purse, wallet with cash and cards, cell phone, and even my camera with lots of pictures that I hadn't saved onto my computer yet. I found out that a lady had returned my purse (with everything still there) after finding it out in the parking lot sitting in a grocery cart. I felt overwhelmed and so grateful for the honesty and integrity of this person. Also, I can't help but acknowledge Heavenly Father watching out for me. A stolen purse would have been so devastating to us right now. It is a tremendous blessing knowing there really are good people out there who are honest and will return a loaded purse!

A Creepy, Crawling Campout

A few weeks ago we went to Camp Verde in northern Arizona for our ward campout. We were thrilled to get in one last camping trip for the year. We absolutely LOVE our ward and the close friendships that we have with many ward members. It makes it much easier to live so far away from all our family when we can rely on our ward family for help and enjoy good times together.
Some of the highlights included making smores around the campfire with gigantic pink and white marshmellows; waking up at 4:30 a.m. to the 200 ROTC neighbors counting off their exercies; enjoying the surprises of the many creepy, crawling bugs, spiders and animals of the trip. Here are a few.....


Logan is holding a little fish she caught with her dad in a little stream by our camping site.
Dustin Waite trying to get the crawfish to let go of his finger....yes, it did hurt!

You can't see it very well, but here is the crawfish that Madelyn surprised me with. Of course I freaked out...running away and screaming like a little baby!




Probably the worst surprise of all, was Saturday morning when Alan and I were cleaning out the tent, getting ready to take it down. First we saw one big spider and of course I was terrified. But then when the second one came crawling out, bigger than the first, I had a big case of the heebie jeebies for the rest of the campout!

Thank goodness it never made it INSIDE our tent!
Here are some fun pictures of the weekend..... Me and my good friend Shelby Turner

BFF's, Logan and Madelyn


Mason "fishing" in the stream


Jalen

I caught Jalen and Brayden reading stories in the tent...so sweet!


Cody Lundt, Ryder Turner, Mason and Preston Waite


Three little monkeys swinging in the tree...Madelyn, Logan and Rylee Willard


Mason and Maggie Mecham


Eating a yummy dutch oven dinner: potatoes, carrots, and chicken with Jeff's biscuits


Always a game to be played....


Dirt and dumptrucks...life can't get any better than this!


Jalen and Brecken Turner sipping sodas

To Nanna

Madelyn recently typed and printed off this letter all by herself. I think it is quite precious...

I love my nanny. My nanny is very swet. You are my best nanny. I even help you weed the gerdin. I even go to the stor. I am glad for you to come to jalens birth perdy. to nanny from maddybug.



Madelyn was so excited about her new achievement....being brave enough to get her ears pierced! She has talked about getting it done for over 6 months now, but really wanted her aunts and Nanna to be with. So we decided that would be a fun thing to do while in Utah for her birthday. However, the entire month of July, Madelyn was too scared to do it. Finally last weekend she was ready. She never winced or whined and is so happy to have it done. Of course she had to make several phone calls to Nanna and a couple of her aunts to share the good news!

September 9, 2008

Month of Milestones

This past month we have hit a few milestones that I wanted to share...

4. I am "Bossy"

I have been told quite frequently this last month that I am very bossy. Now I could argue this point and list many reasons as to why I HAVE to be bossy, but I will only share one experience that illustrates my point:

We were getting ready to leave to some friends house for Sunday dinner. I had prepared a salad with a special dressing that was sitting on the counter. Alan was throwing and kicking a soccer ball (full size) around the house. I asked him to please stop playing ball in the house, to take it outside. He told me to quit being so bossy. (We had already had this conversations a couple of times that day) and kept playing. Right then, he kicked the ball and it went up on the counter, tipped over the salad dressing, it spilt all over the floor, and broke the container it was in. Now it wouldn't be such a big deal, but this salad dressing is one that requires the ingredients to be mixed in the blender and then chilled. So I was quite upset and reminded him that there are reasons I have to "be bossy". This was a good experience because we hit a milestone...Alan finally admited that in most cases, I am bossy because I have to be!

3. Back to School

I've decided I function as a "good mom" much better when we are in a routine and on schedule. Although our summer was a blast, the never ending fun had to end....for my sanity's sake! This year I have two children in school, even though Mason is only in preschool, I still have two mornings to run errands with just Jalen. It truly is a milestone when you can enjoy shopping without the chaos and stress that comes with shopping with more than 1 child! Madelyn is now a first grader...getting more independent and smarter every day. Here are a few Madelyn's Firsts in First Grade:






  • Learned to tie her shoes...she knew she had to. She was prepped all through kindergarten, being told that first graders had to tie their shoes on their own

  • First time with a female teacher...Mrs. Needham who Madelyn absolutely adores. Madelyn spends a lot of time playing school and pretends to be Mrs. Needham, even to the extent of trying to find clothes that look like what Mrs. Needham wore that day

  • Some of her first grade favorites are: friend in her class: Serina; friend at recess: Logan; subject or activity during the day: centers (I'm not quite sure what that entails); and favorite lunch: ham and cheese, strawberries, and oatmeal creme cookie

  • My first email from Mrs. Needham said about Madelyn, "such a charming, adorable, and hard working first grader. I can always count on Maddy! I'm so pleased she's a part of our class!"


Mason is attending a home based preschool with a lady from church, Christy Mecham. The first day, Ms. Christy had a brunch with the moms to get the little ones comfortable and excited for school. The entire time, Mason hid his face in my lap and wouldn't participate in the activities. He was acting so shy and wouldn't even look or talk to anyone. When it was time for him to go upstairs into the classroom without me, Mason hesitated and was so sad. It broke my heart to leave him upset, but I knew I had to do it. When I came back to get him, he was all smiles and asked all day, "When do I get to go back to school?" Obviously Ms. Christy is an awesome teacher and he absolutely adores her. He looks forward to each school day and hasn't hesitated since.

Here are a few preschool happenings:
  • Mason and his friend Ethan are the only boys, with 8 other girls. Mason thinks this is so unfair..."where are all the boys going to school?" he continually asks me.

  • Mason insists on wearing his "sketchers" because that's what big kids wear to school, despite the fact that he hates wearing tennis shoes any other time

  • Ms. Christy gives the kids play time, during which Mason and Ethan like to stuff toys in their pockets and then bury them in the sandbox

  • One day when picking Mason up, Ms. Christy said, "I just love Mason! Can I keep him? He laughs at all my jokes and smiles at me all day!" What a nice compliment!

2. Alan turns 32!

Not that turning 32 is really a milestone year with regards to birthdays, but we are excited for this year...his year of being 32. Alan recently quit his job at The Cad Academy... something that we have mixed feelings about. He spent the last 18 months developing this company from the very start. He worked endlessly and continually sacrificed to get the business up and going...so to leave before the real rewards came was heartbreaking. But we know it was the right thing and the direction we needed to take. The last couple of weeks Alan has had a taste of what life is like from my perspective. One day he said, "Is this really how it is everyday?" My answer was, Yes...EVERY day!" If you can believe this, Alan is anxious to go back to work! Right now he is just trying to decide what direction he wants to take. He is seriously considering entering into the finacial management field...something that he will have to continue to sacrifice and work very hard, but also something that he feels he can control his own future with. Although we are nervous about the future and the unknown that it holds, we are excited that he is embarking on this new adventure. Alan is such a hard worker and very talented in the business world (something of course I would only hear about from co-workers and clients) Despite the challenges, I know he will be successfull in whatever he decides to do. As for this next year...the year Alan is 32, we hope it will be a milestone in his career!






The kids were so excited the morning of Alan's birthday. First thing, we had to make cards and then wake him up to open presents. Because it was fast Sunday I didn't make breakfast and Madelyn was so disappointed. She wanted to surprise her dad with his favorite...waffles with bananas and whipped cream. For sure next year Madelyn!











1. No More DIAPERS!!!




During the first week of school, I discovered that I had a lot of one-on-one time with Jalen. Because he is approaching turning three, the potty-training idea has been on the forefront of my thoughts. I finally decided that no other time will be any better than now to conquer the potty training. The bribes for him were earning a new gun (one just like Nanny has in Utah, which he became very fond of over the summer) and of course candy. They worked like a charm! Within a couple of days he was going potty all on his own. I am thrilled because it has been SIX straight years of having 1 or 2 children in diapers, so this is a huge milestone for me!!
The past few weeks have been very entertaining as Jalen has discovered the facts of going potty. Here are some examples:

* Every time Jalen needs to go potty he yells, "I need to go potty mom! Now! I'm going to pee in my underwear. I am Mom. I'm going to pee in my underwear." At first we new he was recognizing the urgency and wanted me to quickly drop whatever I was doing to help him which was great. But now after 1 month, he continues to yell this...despite what's going on arounds us. It makes me laugh every time.

  • On the first day Jalen kept commenting, "It works Mom! It does! It works!"

  • Other references he likes to make is, "Look Mom! I'm making a bridge! How come you don't make bridges?" and "Where does this come from? Why do we have to get this out of our bodies?"

  • Jalen has decided he likes to be alone when going poop. One day, I left with Alan in charge and came home to find an overflowing toilet with water all over the bathroom floor. Jalen had got carried away flushing toilet paper, creating a huge mess. (Yes, I did let Dad clean it up since he hadn't even noticed what was going on!)

  • My favorite...another time I left Jalen alone in the bathroom at his request. After a couple of minutes I went in to check up on him. He was standing up looking down into the toilet saying, "I can't find the poop." I helped him with his pants and didn't think much of it until I could feel one of his arms wet all the way up to his shoulder! He had gone searching for that poop since he couldn't see it (really it just hadn't happened) We had to have a good visit about germs in the toilet and NO TOUCHING!!