Poor Air Quality...

Well, Carla got to enjoy about a day and a half of fourth grade... But the fires are so bad here in Montana that the air quality has made it dangerous for her to go to school, or anywhere for that matter.  I was able to get her work from her three teachers and we have been working on it from home. Bobby and I got the HEPA air filter up and running and I have also been using DoTerra's "Breathe and Melissa" all day and night, close to Carla.  After the two days at school, her phlegm was really bad, and dark green. Of course, the school doesn't have air conditioning, so they had the windows open, which was a killer for my sweet girl.  At this point in time, she is doing much better. But with the forecast showing temperatures in the 80s and 90s, with zero percent chance of rain, I'm not sure when she will be able to return to school.  Maybe after the snow falls... :(

But, we are making the best of our time at home! I have been enjoying "teaching" Carla, and I am continually in awe of her big brains and funny personality.

Last Saturday, we went to the mall because Carla needed tennis shoes and new gym shoes. (This was before we figured out that the air quality was only getting worse and that we needed to keep her home). Carla was dying to get some "cat ears."  I wasn't sure we'd be able to find them, but figured there was no harm in looking. We found these cute little guys at Hot Topic.  She was thrilled.  Here she is, with her arm up like a cat.  She's such a silly.

 Bobby started school again!  Only three semesters left and he will be on to Graduate school!  I, of course, had to pester him with the must take "first day of school" photo!  Isn't he a cutie!
 On Wednesday I had an appointment to get my hair done.  I decided to ditch the blond and go back to something closer to my natural color. It's still pretty weird when I look at myself in the mirror, but I like it, and it will be less maintenance.  So, that's a good thing!

Last night the air quality was so bad that it actually turned all the sky orange.  In all of my life, I can honestly say, I have never seen anything like this!

This was taken around 6:30 last night.  I was not using any kind of filter, and actually, the orange sky seemed even more orange in person.  Our poor state is burning up!  

Prayers for rain, and a little more federal aid would be nice too!  

Love, Jen



First day of 4th Grade!!

We had fun watching the eclipse on Monday! We had planned on driving to Wyoming for the big event, but then decided that with school starting on Tuesday, and with all of the reports of heavy traffic, that we would just stay home and take it in from Cascade.  I had thought that we would be at 93% totality, but in all actuality, it was 89.9%.  Even though it wasn't 100%, it was still pretty cool, and we were happy to save ourselves 20 or so hours of driving.  And, because we stayed home we were able to attend the "Back to School night" at the school.

Checking out her glasses.

Say cheese!

It's hard to get your picture taken when you can't see anything but the sun. 
Tuesday morning we were up bright and early to get Carla ready for the 4th grade!  I made her breakfast, gave her pills, she did her coughing and puffing treatments and we got her hair all brushed out for the big day. She picked out this super cute dress to wear and after a dozen or more pictures, we were on our way :). 

August 22, 2017, first day of 4th Grade.
 August 22nd was also a day to celebrate my Dad and Sue!  19 years married and going strong!  I am so happy that they have each other and that we have them both in our lives.  We are truly blessed.

Today the smoke is pretty thick outside, so when I brought Carla home for lunch, we decided that she was going to stay home for the rest of the day.  They open the windows in the school because of the heat, so all the smoke just comes right on in. We have to be so careful with her lungs.  Praying our state stops burning soon!

Love, Jen


Biopsy Results

Last Sunday, the 30th, we started making our way to Seattle for Carla's Wednesday heart Cath and biopsy. On our trip Carla finally lost a tooth that had been loose for a while and she was so excited to be rid of it!  

After losing her tooth.
Even though we split up the trip, it was still a very long day, and we were ready to be to our hotel in Spokane.
Taking selfies on the road...
 We had a lot of fun swimming at the hotel in Spokane and started making our way to Seattle Monday morning. The road construction added about an hour to our trip, but we finally made it and were able to relax for the evening at Bev's house. On Tuesday we had decided that we were going to do a little bit of school shopping and Sushi at a place in Renton that we found on Yelp. Carla wanted to do sushi, so we did sushi.  She didn't like it as much as when we make it at home (ours at home had a tempura shrimp in the middle, and no avocado, so that is what she was expecting). But, I give her kudos for trying something new.  Here is a picture of took of her and her Daddy at lunch.
I love this picture of these two.
 After lunch we met up with Bev to do some shopping.  Bev wanted to buy Carla some clothes for school.  She is such a sweetheart.
Trying on clothes... she is getting so big!
 After shopping Bev wanted to take Carla for ice cream.  It was so extremely hot outside that this cone was dripping like a sinner in church.  She enjoyed it though...

Yum yum!

Carla with Grandma Bev.
Wednesday, we didn't have to check in at the hospital until 2:00.  This was not the best time of day to begin a 4 hour procedure that is followed by 4 hours of lying flat... but we just do what we are told.
Waiting for the docs...
 After the heart Cath and biopsy, Carla was having a difficult time recovering. I she drank too much water too fast, was having a hard time coming off the anesthesia and couldn't hold her oxygen level in the 90s.  She ended up throwing up, opening her wound and bleeding everywhere. Poor baby. After the bleeding wound, they had to re-dress it and restart the 4 hour laying flat time. By this time it was 8:00 at night and they wanted us out of recovery (because it's 300 dollars every 15 minutes) so they decided it would be best to admit us. It was good that she was admitted, because she needed quite a little oxygen assistance through the night because her lungs were "wet".  She had gotten 800 ccs of water during the procedure that her lungs were apparently retaining. It was an extremely tiring day and I am so glad that I brought all of Carla's meds (in the bottle) and that we could give her her home meds while the hospital figured out what they were doing. Checking into the hospital after 5:00 is always very difficult.
Carla, happy that they found her a bed on the floor. 
 Thursday morning, Carla's appetite was back and she decided to try out the new Seattle Children's in-patient food.  It was a million times better than it used to be. She tried out pancakes and French toast.  Of course, Carla didn't eat all of that, but she wanted a variety, just in case it was not edible. We were pleasantly surprised at how yummy it actually was!
Happy with her food. 
 We were able to get out of the hospital Thursday evening, but decided, instead of heading to my cousin's wedding in Portland on Friday, that it would be better to just go home. We were completely spent and ready to get home. Plus, we didn't think it would be a good idea to have her be over exerted or around a bunch of people.  Friday morning we got packed up and headed towards home...
I found a really nice Best Western Plus by the Spokane airport. We were super happy to be settled for the night.
 On Saturday we were up bright and early with a fire alarm at the hotel... It turned out to be a good thing, because we were all ready to hit the road about an hour earlier than we had planned.  We got home around 4:00 on Saturday, made a simple dinner, did some unpacking, relaxed and then slept like babies in our own beds!

Sunday morning, Cody came out for breakfast and helped us put together the pool! We decided that it would be a really good form of exercise for Carla (because she loves to swim but hates all other exercise) as well as for the rest of us.  It was a LONG day of putting the pool together, but we have been LOVING IT ever since!! So worth it!
Bobby figuring out the filtration system...
On Monday, Carla and I were able to meet up with my bestie and her daughter for lunch at the Suki Cafe in Helena.  It was really yummy, great company, and not nearly enough time together. But still great to see Morgan and Jenny.
Carla and Morgan
 Before we left the house, Carla advised me that I was wearing entirely too much eye makeup and that I looked like I had black eyes...  Clearly this child does not see me in eyeliner very often...
I'm pretty sure I don't look like a street walker... 
Today Carla went to the salon and cut off about 6 inches of hair!  She is thrilled with how it looks and feels.  :)

Before and After...

School starts in less than 2 weeks now... I am dreading sending her back to the germs, but know that it is important for her to be social and to get an education... Why does it have to be so hard and give me so much anxiety???


We are so incredibly happy and blessed.

Love, Jen


Getting ready for another trip...

On Sunday we will take off for Seattle again.  Carla's biopsy is scheduled as the 2nd case on Wednesday, the 2nd.  But, Bobby has Sundays and Mondays off, so we are going to leave Sunday, spend the night in Spokane (because we are too old to drive all the way to Seattle in a day) and then make our way to Seattle on Monday. Carla loves to swim, so we always make sure to stay at a hotel with a pool.  I found a pretty cheap hotel at Hotels.com, so hopefully it will be a good one.  On Tuesday, we hope to do some school clothes shopping for Carla.  Wednesday, we will do labs before the heart Cath/biopsy and then Thursday is my birthday.  Yay!  I will be 42... where does the time go? We don't have any real "plans" but do intend to enjoy the day.  Friday, is my cousin's wedding in Portland, so we will head down there and wish them the best. Saturday, we will meet some dear old friends for brunch and then start making our way towards home.  We like to make medical trips feel like vacations, because it helps us and Carla to not dread the checkups so much. People are always telling us how well adjusted she is, and I think this is one of the many reasons why.

After we get home from our trip, Carla has an appointment to cut a significant amount of hair off.  We dyed it in May and that required bleaching, which is always hard on the hair. It's just hard to manage at this point, so a little bit shorter will be a lot less painful in general... even though her hair is gorgeous when it is all fixed and curled.  Problem is that she hates spending time on it, but then again doesn't want it to be short.  So, we shall see what we settle on, I thought it was absolutely adorable in a short bob. But she's not having any of that!

That's about all I have to report.  Thank you for the good thoughts and prayers.

Love, Jen



Our July started out with Carla being sick :(  She had a bacteria in her lungs and it hit her hard on the 3rd and 4th of July.  Luckily, after sleeping almost all day (and 3 antibiotic treatments) she was well enough to enjoy fireworks!!!  

The 3rd of July, feeling sick, but looking very grown up...

The 4th of July... Carla literally slept all day.
After sleeping all day, Carla woke up around 9:00 p.m., ready to enjoy some fireworks.  We were so incredibly thankful that she felt well enough to enjoy the holiday!

Lighting fireworks with Daddy.

So excited!

Snuggling up Papa.

Super excited!
On July 7th we went to Helena to visit with my Dad and Sue and take a few pictures, here are a couple of pictures from the day.
Carla, on Mount Helena

Our little Wright Family (minus one) on Mount Helena.
Later that evening, we flew out with Cody to celebrate his 24th birthday in Vegas!  Not a lot of kids want to go to Vegas with their folks, but Cody is not an ordinary guy.  So, we flew out for a weekend adventure.
On our flight.

Headed to Vegas!
We spent the 8th walking about a thousand miles, had a delicious dinner, went to see a Chris Angel show and finally to Fremont Street to zip line.  It was a fabulous day!
Celebrating Cody's birthday :)

Our buddy, Barry, who lives in Vegas, with Tom and Mandy. 

Dinner selfies with my love!

Enjoying Fremont street, with our photo bomber, Tom.

Loving this life together.

"The Kids" We are so blessed that they think we are cool enough to hang out with.

Cody and I, getting ready to buy zipline tickets... We had to purchase for the next day, because we wanted to go on the high line and it was all booked up for the night.
On Cody's birthday, we went back to Fremont Street so that we could go zip lining.  It was fabulous and Bobby took a couple of pictures for us.  Cody and I are on the right...

While we were on Fremont Street we found this Pikachu for Carla ... He then proceeded to "do Vegas". :)


And levitating...  He learned that from Chris Angel
As fun as Vegas was, it is always THE BEST to get back home to this little Nukum.
Being super weird nerds together :)

She is so silly...

And Beautiful ...

Before bed the other night, Bobby decided to serenade us.  The dog was impressed :)
On Sunday, the 16th, we took Carla to her very first live theatre production.  We saw Tarzan, the musical, at the Grand Street Theatre in Helena.  It was absolutely fabulous, but watching her experience it was even cooler.  She clapped vigorously, laughed out loud and cried during the sad moments. She absolutely loved it!  

Last Thursday, the 20th, Carla woke up crying with a fever.  We took her to the doctor, did x-rays and labs and came to the conclusion that her left lung was infected.  Most likely we didn't kick the bacteria the first time around and after a 10 days it was back.  We have started her on a different antibiotic and will do a 20 day course, instead of 10. Hopefully that will do the trick.

Next Wednesday Carla has another biopsy in Seattle.  I am confident that it will be good news, because she has had lower heart rates and higher oxygen saturations lately.  I'm sure the stent in February made her heart healthier.  

I cannot believe that the summer is more than half over, and that Carla will start school again on the 22nd of August :(. I wish the summer could last forever.  We will get one last adventure in before school starts though, we are going to Casper, WY to witness the solar eclipse.  It's going to be super cool!  

Love, Jen