“Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears.” ~Gillian Anderson

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Summer of Cousins

We had lots of visitors this last summer, and I mean lots. There wasn't a weekend or month that went by that something wasn't planned or people weren't staying at our house. It was busy. One of our favorite visitors came all the way from Virginia and stayed for six weeks. My sister and my mom and her three kids braved the drive and drove all the out to Utah to spend their summer with us. We had so much fun with them here. We didn't really have anything huge planned, but I know the kids loved spending time with their cousins, well for the most part, there were a few fights and bites along the way. Most of the time though the kids were in their swimming suits in the backyard playing in the blow up pool or eating popsicle's on the patio. We sure loved having them here and were very sad to see them go!! Hopefully they can do that again in a few years.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Disney Land

So after Owens heart surgery in March, Damon and I started talking about how in the summer we really wanted to do a memorable trip for the kids. We started looking and saw with my parents timeshare that there was a three day opening at Disney Land, we booked it! So right in the beginning of June we made a quick surprise trip to Disney Land, my parents were also able to come so that was great to have extra hands to watch the kids. We didn't tell the girls where we were going until we got there, they thought we were just going to the beach. At first they didn't believe us, and I don't think they started to get really excited until we were taking the bus to the park. Since it was such a quick trip we only did the park for one day, but it was by far the best Disney experience we have ever had. The lines for the rides were short, it didn't seem to crowded and the weather was perfect. Actually the longest we had to wait was 45 minutes and that was to meet Rapunzel, which was Sophie's favorite thing of the whole trip. Doing Disney though is SO much more fun when you have kids! I loved seeing the girls faces, it really made the whole experience magical. I'm so glad we were finally able to go, especially when they still believe in the princesses and fairies.
I love Sophie's face in this, pure excitement riding up to the park!
We are finally here!
Meeting Goofy!
On the Pirates of the Caribean ride, which scared Sophie!
Meeting Tiana

I love this photo of Sophie, she was in awe that she was finally meeting Tangled, as she calls her.
Disney Land is exhausting, out cold waiting to ride Dumbo.
Owen tried really hard to pull that sword out!
Sitting with Grandad waiting for the parade to start.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Owen's Blessing

*Yes I know it has been forever since I blogged, hopefully I can get all caught up!

 On Damon and I's 8th wedding anniversary Owen was blessed. It was a great day! We had lots of family and friends come and celebrate our miracle boy. His blessing was wonderful, it was so perfect for him. I'm so grateful for a worthy husband who carries the Priesthood. My mom made, as usual, lots of yummy food!! We were so glad that the people who came could, we were also pleased that our Temple Sealer and good family friend was able to be here. He has been able to now participate in two out of three children's blessings. We love that!! It was overall a really special day and a great way to celebrate another year married!

Monday, April 15, 2013

One Month

Owen is technically almost two months but I need to show pictures of his first month. His first month of life was much harder than most newborns but he sailed through it like a champ. We are loving having him in our home, he is such a sweetheart and deals pretty well with the thousands of kisses he gets daily from his sisters, and that is no exaggeration!! He has had his post op appointment and they were so pleased with how well everything was looking, yay!! He is quite a good eater and is slowly putting on the pounds. He was also able to get off oxygen at his appointment, so that was a relief, don't want two kids on it.  We are just in awe of this little guy and the strong spirit he brings with him!!
Looking all so cute in his one month onesie.
Olivia LOVES to hold Owen and is a big help with him!
Snuggles with Grandad, I think they are going to be best buds!
Showing off his scar, which is looking SO good!!
Sophie in a rare moment of not smothering him, lol!
Two kids snoozing and one being quite, awe peace!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Owen Robert Bell

*This is an email that my dad wrote and sent to their friends and family.  I thought that this was the best way for me to post about what our sweet angel has gone through so far in his life.
Owen Robert Bell—
My Life so far:
Born 8.08 pm on February 26 ,2013 weighing 8lbs 10oz and 20 inches long in Orem, Utah, much to the delight of parents Damon & Sian, his siblings, Olivia & Sophie, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins, family friends and relatives.

Eyes open and surveying the world unaware of the drama to follow.

His pediatrician (Dr. Edwards from Alpine Pediatrics) noticed a heart murmur and ordered an EKG. The result was that Owen was rushed by ambulance 40 miles up the Interstate to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City where he was immediately placed on a regiment of drugs to stabilize his condition. On Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 Owen underwent a 5 hour open heart, by pass surgery performed by the chief pediatric, thoracic surgeon Dr. Gruber and his wonderful medical team. His surgery went very well. The team had to repair three issues. 1. Replace a portion of his Aortic arch because his aorta was too small to allow blood to flow to his body. 2. Repair a Coarctation of the Aorta which means his Aorta was too narrow and 3. a Ventricular Septal Defect which was a large hole (6mm) between his left & right ventricles which are the pumping chambers of the heart. He also has a few small holes in the upper chambers of his heart which (apparently) are no cause for concern. The VSD was repaired by placing an H type of mesh device into the opening. The surgery which took about five hours involved stopping is the young heart, completing the surgery, and then restarting his heart. They were able to fix all of Owen’s issues with no complications.

In the picture you can see the Owen is on a ventilator, and numerous other intravenous tubes. Owen was in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) for twelve days. He was extubated but could only maintain breathing on his own for about 15 min. as his lungs had collapsed, and he needed to be re-intubated again. Two days later he was extubated again and, this time he did well.

This was Owen on his 2 week birthday. He is still looking very sorry for himself but is still receiving expert attention from his personal nurses in the CICU. He had visits from Grandpa Allen, Uncle Jimmy and was as fed up as everyone else from the constant questions being asked by Granddad Bob. Of course Mommy and Daddy were there everyday and sometimes even having a sleepover. Nanny Barbara had a tough time with all of the nasty bits and was the substitute Mom for Olivia & Sophie. Owen now has a 3 inch incision scar on his chest which is healing nicely. Even though he seems at peace in this photo, he has endured many doses of morphine, is still on the ventilator and also a nasal feeding tube. He receives his medication intravenously and has a catheter to remove his waste fluids. He hasn’t been able to feed for 10 days and will have to undergo a swallow test before he is discharged.

Sian finally gets to hold her baby. After twelve days in the CICU, Owen was moved to the third floor Cardiac Recovery Unit where he was on 7 liters of oxygen. Overnight this was reduced to 5L and then 4L and then 2 liters. Finally he was weaned off oxygen onto room air and even though the picture below shows him in his car seat with oxygen, he is only on a very low amount.

He is now at home in Eagle Mountain, Utah being fussed over by his two older sisters. We are also grateful for the excellent medical attention that Owen received in his first three weeks of life. We are amazed that the surgeons were able to work on a heart which is roughly the size of a walnut. We are grateful for all of the prayers and good wishes that were sent to Owen and his family. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your kind thoughts and prayers.