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Brain Dump.

I’ve had so much on my mind lately and so many things I’ve wanted to write about. I was maybe going to do a post about each one, but who knows when I’ll find the time to write again.  So bear with me as I just dump all my thoughts into one long blog post…

First, Nate:

Almost a month ago Nate had another surgery done.  From his big surgery a year and a half ago he had a lot of scar tissue that was causing him lots of grief.  His sinus in his forehead was competely blocked off from scar tissue and wasn’t able to drain.  And the worst was his jaw.  Since that surgery he hasn’t been able to open it more than 12mm (that’s barely over a centimeter, guys) so you can imagine eating was always hard.  So on June 13th we got to Huntsman at 6:00am and I waited as they operated on him for about 5 hours.  Everything went great and they were able to open his mouth from 12 mm to 30 mm! The next week we stayed at his parents house as he recovered.  about 5 days later he was feeling good enough that we made the trek home. The day we left, however, he started to talk kinda weird and he noticed that some of the stitches inside of his mouth pulled out (they got to his jaw from the inside of his mouth). He didn’t think too much about it though.  In the next few days though he started to be in more and more pain and could barely eat or drink anything.  All of his stitches pulled out and left him with a gaping hole (over the size of a dime) in his mouth.  Everything he ate and drank went straight into the hole and almost crippled him in pain.  We met with an ENT up here and he said that it was all infected and got him on some meds.  Later that week we drove down to SLC again and met with Dr Hunt.  He basically said that the stitches pulled out because he doesn’t have enough tissue on that side of his mouth (as a result from his big surgery he had) and that there really wasn’t anything they could do about it.  Well, they could graft some more skin in to close the hole, but that surgery would be terrible.  He told Nate that the hole ‘might’ close on it’s own but it might take up to a MONTH.  So he renewed his pain meds and sent us on our way.  Definitely not what we wanted to hear.  Nate, however, has been a champ through it all.  For better or worse, all these surgeries and things he has to deal with have become somewhat normal for me.  It’s better because Nate hates to be seen as “the one with cancer.” Everyone means well but you can imagine that getting special treatment or constant pity can grow old.  So I tried my best to just take it all in stride and treat him normally.  It’s worse though because sometimes I don’t give all of it its gravity it deserves.  We were getting ready for bed the other night and the weight of it all hit me hard.  My bed time routine consists of brushing my teeth, taking a vitamin, peeing, and jumping in bed.  His routine consists of taking a few different meds, irrigating his nose, picking his nose with his special nose pickers (I will spare you the details, but let’s just say you would be amazed what he ‘extracts’), rinsing his mouth for a couple minuets with a mouthwash that, with the hole in his mouth, makes him literally bend over in pain, using a mouth numbing cream, doing jaw exercises for like 15 mins, and then all the ‘normal’ things like brushing teeth etc. As I watched him do his lengthy routine I felt so bad for him.  I know things could be MUCH worse (like, he almost died) but it’s still rough watching him go through life.  Watching him cram food in his mouth. Watching him eat a hamburger one layer at a time (not anymore though!). Doing all these mini procedures each day just to maintain a lifestyle that most of us never even think about.  As it hit me hard how rough things are for him, I also was reminded how aware God still is of him (and all of us).  When Nate was at his lowest after this past surgery a guy from our ward stopped in unexpectedly just to see how Nate was doing.  This man wasn’t someone we were super close to or anything and had only heard through the grapevine that Nate had had surgery.  But there he was sitting in our chair chatting with Nate and letting him know he was thinking of him.  Nate and I were both pretty amazed and it was a big testament that God is very aware of every detail in our lives.  We are always remembered.

first time eating a hamburger as it should be eaten in almost 2 years!

sorry…little gross…but that’s how it was with stitches (this is the left side of his mouth. He still doesn’t have teeth on the top side)
what it’s like now…
He uses every single thing before bed…

Second, Me:

I don’t know why I always feel so compelled to write about my emotions ha.  I most of the time do it begrudgingly.  However every time I sit to write I feel as if I need to just ‘be real’ and let you in on the good, bad, and ugly.  People tend to share the good and happy times of their lives, and rightfully so! Those are the things we want to share because they bring us joy.  But it can always lead to a false notion that everyone lives are so amazing.  And then when we don’t feel super great, or life brings us trials we feel so alone. No one talks about how they struggle.  I think, though, if we all were more open about the hard times, the ugly times, the sad times, everyone would actually be a lot happier as a result.  When hard times hit, others would know that they aren’t alone….that they aren’t crazy…that hard times happen to everyone.  Instead I find that when hard times hit, on top of the trial people feel so alone because they don’t feel like anyone else struggles.  I guess that’s why I overshare…I want everyone to realize that everyone struggles.  And maybe by sharing some of my struggles someone can relate and feel not as alone.  Because although most stuggles can’t be fixed right away, loneliness is something that can.
So, anyway…. real life:
I have overshared how I struggled with post-partum anxiety/depression after Ames.  I am happy to report that this time around things have been much better! I do really well most of the time.  I started taking Zoloft (depression/anxiety med) 2 days after I had Corra and I think that helped with the huge hormonal swings.  I took it for about 6 weeks then just felt like I didn’t need it anymore and have felt just fine with being off it these past 3 weeks. And although I am doing much much better this time around, I still do have my struggles.  I my PPD isn’t really depression as much as it is anxiety.  And that anxiety makes me have insomnia.  Which, as you can imagine, insomnia with a newborn means very, very little sleep haha.  I was actually sleeping really good, but with Nate’s surgery coming up and a lot going on I got really stressed out and had a really, really hard week.  Very little sleep and I just felt so…yuck (for lack of a way to describe it).  During that time I decided to stop nursing Corra.  I already had to supplement after every feeding (I never produced enough milk to keep her satisfied) and it was just stressing me out doing both.  In a lot of ways it’s nice not having to worry about nursing, but lately it has been making me feel guilty.  All I really want in life is to do the very best for my kids, husband, family, & friends.  And lately I feel bad about not nursing my sweet babe.  I feel like I was maybe a little selfish.  I know I could have done more to up my supply (but I HATE pumping) and I know I could have just sucked it up and nursed her through the stressful times.  I know that she still healthy and etc etc with formula but the thing that makes me feel guilty is that I might not have tried my very hardest. I dunno. It does relive a lot of stress from me not nursing, but at the same time, I miss it.  In a perfect world I would have a good milk supply, never have to pump, and just nurse exclusively. Because I actually do enjoy snuggling my babies and nursing.  But I don’t have a great supply, it stresses me out big time having to worry about producing enough, and as mentioned above, I have a hard time sleeping occasionally and now I can take a sleeping pill when needed and not have to worry about it being passed over to Corra.  And on top of it all, I have actually GAINED weight since having the babe…I weigh more than I every have besides actually being pregnant. And, just, blah. No one likes feeling chub chub.

Anyway, I honestly don’t know if I made the right decision to stop nursing.  I don’t know why I have to deal with some anxiety and can’t sleep sometimes.  I don’t know why having babies is harder on me than some. But I do know this; I know that every time I have a bad day or a sleepless night, these words pop into my head: “Everything is going to be okay.  I will not let you fail.” I know without a doubt that I will never be given more than I can handle and that even though I might be pushed right to my edge, God is always there, concerned with every detail, and will never let me fail.

Third, Ames:

My “big guy” has been on one lately…on a good one 🙂 He has Nate and I cracking up on the daily with all the funny stuff he says! He is still super smart too and can already logic his way out of doing stuff. For example: we were at his cousin’s soccer game and during half time we told him and his best buddy/cousin “Boo Boo” to go out on the field to run around and kick the ball.  Boo Boo took off but Ames stayed put.  When we asked him why he wouldn’t go out, he very seriously said, “I can’t. I don’t have a number on my shirt!” I mean, you can’t argue with that. He not only noticed that the players all had numbers on their uniforms but noticed that they were the only ones playing on the field.  And although he is harder sometimes too (aka he was in timeout from 6:00 till he fell asleep that night for not swallowing ONE bite of food…) he really is just the greatest.  His latest thing he loves to do is go on my runs with me.  A couple times a week as I’m getting ready to run he announces that he wants to go too and puts his “fast shoes”on.  And although it makes getting on my run a lot longer, I love it.  He usually does amazing and runs the whole .3 around the block.  However this past week as we were running he tripped.  Now, this kid trips all the time and usually is back up on his feet and running again in no time.  But this time, he got up and didn’t want to run.  It wasn’t that the fall was particually bad or anything, he was just done running and just wanted me to hold him the rest of the way.  At first, I tried to tell him he was my ‘tough guy’ and that he could keep running, but then, I realized that it was okay that he didn’t want to be tough.  It was okay that he just wanted to be held and carried the rest of the way.  As I went out on my own run after that I was thinking how much Ames teaches me through his example.  He teaches me to be happy almost all of the time.  He teaches me to think and use logic.  He teaches me to be honest even when we have done something wrong (he always admits his faults). He teaches me that it’s okay to cry when I’m sad.  And he teaches me that it’s good to be tough most of the time, but every once in a while it’s okay to throw up the white flag, jump into your Momma’s arms and be carried.  There is a reason that little kids are generally so happy. And I know that we can argue that it’s so easy for them to be happy when they have so little to worry about. But I don’t think they necessarily have less stress…just different stress.  We stress about finances, they stress about having to eat their veggies.  We stress about politics, they stress about going to the bathroom in the big boy potty.  To us, their stresses seem so simple, but to a 2 year old, these stresses are just as real as any stress that we have in our grown up lives.  But 2 year olds are much more resilient to stress than us and I think it’s because of things that I mentioned about…they cry when they are sad, they aren’t ashamed to be carried, they are honest, and through it all they stay happy.  So while many people try and emulate people in magazines or peers, Imma be over here trying my best to be 2 again 😉

note: no pants haha.

Forth, Corra:

Not too much to say about our sweet Corra May, but I since I recapped everyone else I had to say something about her!  She really is a good baby.  She is fussier than Ames was, but I think it’s just cause she is more particular…it’s already stressing Nate out haha.  She sleeps great at night (only wakes up 1 time in a 10-12 hour stretch) but during the day she is more of cat napper.  Sometimes if I can get her on a good schedule during the day she will take 1 or 2 good long naps, but it’s harder to get her to nap long during the day.  She is a very observant little thing and gives smiles that probably will melt anyone.  We blessed her a week ago and it was so fun. All of Nate’s family came up for the weekend and then my family (parents and 2 sisters, missed my 2 bros and sis-in-law) stayed the week after.  We did lots of 4th of July activities soaked in having visitors up here.  Made me happy that everyone would travel for our baby girl. I worried frequently about loving/having a strong bond with Ames when he was little but with her I have always felt so much love and a great bond.  She already fits perfectly in our little family and I don’t know how we lived without her!

2 Months old 🙂 
how Corra watched fireworks 🙂

Fifth, and just cause it’s close to exciting as having Corra here (like, a little too close) WE HAVE A FULL SIZE REFRIGERATOR!!!!!!!

When we moved in the fridge that came with the house was only about 3 feet wide and 4.5 feet tall……tiny.  Our plan was to get all new, matching appliances and it took us a full year to do it! I’m proud that we actually took the time to save up, but sheesh was it annoying living for almost a full year with a tiny fridge.  Now that Corra is here and Nate is done with his season we are back on the home reno train.  We have put a ton of work into our yard (new sprinkler system, LOTS of pruning tress/plants, weeding, planting, etc) and we plan to paint our cabinets and get new hardware, and finish a few little things around in the next couple months.  Then after that we might start round 2 of big projects…stay tuned 🙂

before….

currently. we plan to paint the cabinets and get new counter tops!

Phew. Okay. I think that’s all I have to ‘dump’ upon you right now.

A few spark notes to take away:

-Nate is amazing.
-God is aware of every detail & wants us to be happy & successful.
-We all struggle & we are not alone.
-Ames is hilarious & too good.
-We should all try harder to be like 2 year olds.
-Corra is beautiful & already ‘fits’ so well.
-Big refrigerators make me too happy.

And now, a photo dump:

While we were down in Utah I jumped in a 5k last minute and happened to win (my time was definitely not fast) 🙂
 

Corra at 1 month.

not happy about it.

after my cousins wedding 🙂

my parents with a their grandkids!

Ames was in heaven having all of his cousins here! (more not pictured)

all of the Houles

3 thoughts on “Brain Dump.

  1. Kacee I love how real you are about life, it definitely helps me to know I'm not the only one who struggles. You're so great!! And also, your family is just so sweet and you look beautiful!

  2. Hi Kacee – I really appreciate your blog, and I'm happy to see that Nate is still working through his path to recovery. I was diagnosed with SCC in my sphenoid & ethmoid sinuses last fall, and have had a couple of surgeries and radiation treatment between October & March of this year. Your blog has been very helpful for me, just to find someone else that's been going through this journey.

    Just wanted to say thank you! – Mark in San Francisco – markiel66@hotmail.com

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