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One Very Big Week

Last week was hectic and intense (thus the lack of a blog post -not that you noticed), first and foremost because Iris had to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.

iris gets her tonsils out

She has been a very healthy girl and hasn't had a single throat infection nor allergies. But... her tonsils and adenoids were enormous and had been causing sleep and breathing issues (sleep apnea). She was a loud snorer, a mouth breather, a frequent night waker, and then in recent months started waking herself up gasping several times a night.

iris gets her tonsils out

Her tonsils were so big that they would literally touch when she would say, 'ahhh!'.  She started having labored breathing during the day when she would get just a little congested.   We took her to the urgent care for it one evening and the 60 year old pediatrician said they were the biggest tonsils she had ever seen!

Iris would ask people "Would you like to see my tonsils?!" as if it were her super cool party trick.  :)

iris gets her tonsils out

Also her adenoids were blocking 90% of her nasal passage, which we've known since she was 17 months old, but wanted to be conservative about surgery then.  At this point, though, every doctor agreed that it was time.

iris gets her tonsils out 

Thankfully, 11 days post surgery, she is mostly on the other side and is doing well.

post -swimming!

Dan took most of last week off so we could both care for Iris while keeping the house running.  While she rested, I gave Jude and Indigo their standardized tests.  They went incredibly well and it also means our homeschool year is officially over.  Whew!  I feel so much lighter this week!

One morning while Dan was home, I had the chance to sneak away to Tia's half day kindergarten to do a photoshoot of what goes on in her classroom.  Tia's teacher is 67 years old and she gets up and down on the floor, she dances with the kids, gardens and crafts with them.  She is amazing and such an inspiration!
   the very best kinder teacher! 
Tia was absolutely thrilled to have me there, which made it extra special.

my sweet tia

Finally, on Monday the 11th, Hazel turned 9 months old.  Mother's Day seemed like as good a day as any to attempt to get a photo with all of my kids.  I feel incredibly awkward in front of the camera and much prefer being behind the camera to in front of it.  But the older I get, or maybe the older my kids get, the more I realize that it's important for me to get in the photo every once in awhile, too.


That said,  I'm not sure these staged family photos will ever capture who we really are as a family.  There's just too much pressure and the whole 'everybody say cheese' thing rarely seems to create authentic smiles.  Or maybe we just need to do it more often?  I'm not sure.


We were about to go inside when Dan decided to take a few photos of Hazel and me together.  I'm calling it her 9 month photo shoot.

hazel : nine months 

I really treasure these photos with her.  I think he was able to capture the deep connection that we share.

hazel : 9 months 

 The way we light up when we see one another.

hazel : nine months

I would love for my children to be able to look back someday and see the way I light up when I see them.

hazel : nine months

I'm just so happy and blessed and grateful to be their mom.

I also took a couple of photos of Hazel with her awesome daddy.  And she was so happy to be in his arms.

hazel - nine months 

Until she wasn't and she wanted mama again.


But in the words of Pete the Cat, it's all gooood.  I'll take cuddles from her anytime!

hazel : 9 months

Have a happy weekend!


  1. The pictures of you and Hazel are gorgeous.

    It sounds like all your doctors were very on board for getting Iris's tonsils and adenoids out. Did you advocate at all for it or was it their suggestion? I'm wondering because my 6 year old also has abnormally large tonsils. At the first sign of a cold she's constantly clearing her throat, and complaining about them. They also pretty much touch when even slightly inflamed. And when she's got a serious cold or strep they are HUGE and she's always complaining about feeling like there is something in her throat. She's also a mouth breather, a huge snorer but thankfully doesn't have apnea yet.

    I'm just wondering how you got to this point. Did the doctors suggest it or you? When I mentioned maybe removing them her pediatrician basically said no. And I don't want her to have un-necessary surgery but multiple people who've had them removed at a later life have told me how much they wish they'd had it earlier.

    At any rate I hope Iris heals up quickly and happily!

    1. Hi Alexa! That is a great question! We did not advocate for the surgery at all. We are more non-interventionists by nature. In fact, when Iris was 17 months old both the ENT and the pediatric ENT, who we got a second opinion from, wanted to remove her adenoids then. But our pediatrician thought we should wait until she was a little older and we felt most comfortable with that as well, so the ENTs agreed that that was a reasonable option : the watch and wait approach. However things only got worse. The mouth breathing can actually affect the way their facial structure develops. The frequent night waking/not getting into a deep sleep can affect their growth hormones, I believe. So the sleep apnea thing was a big deal. At this point, we got her tested for allergies, just to be sure that there was nothing else contributing to the problem, but that came back totally clear - no allergies. Everyone unequivocally felt she needed the surgery. I slept with her for a couple of night and was shocked by how frequently she was gasping at night - sometimes several times an hour. It was intense. Even after the surgery, when there is supposed to be snoring due to swelling, she has stopped snoring! Our son had similar issues, though not quite as bad, and the surgery helped him immensely. We also know of two people who had the surgery as adults and it was roooouuuuugh. I think nowdays they are most likely to do the surgery for breathing issues and sleep apnea, from my understanding. I hope this helps! :) Good luck to you!

  2. Aw, hope Iris will be her old self soon!
    And such lovely pictures of you and your children! No need to feel awkward either, you look great!

  3. It's great that you and your husband got in on some of the pictures. Your kids will want to see how you looked when they were little. I suspect these pictures will mean more to them because you are in them, and they show your relationship. I hope sweet Iris is as good as new soon.

  4. I love your daily life posts:) I feel like I am home with you and your beautiful family for a while and I forget the distance!
    I am happy Iris is getting better and I am still praying for her recovery.
    I love all your photos, they capture so vividly your kids personnality and all the life going on around you! that photo of Dan and hazel (with her NOt crying:!) oh! so amazing!

  5. I'm glad all went well with the surgery!
    Your photos are lovely! I especially like the first one of you leaning on the doorway. I am sooo not photogenic (even my husband agrees) so I am very rarely in front of the camera. I'm trying to be in more pictures, even if I do hate seeing myself.....
    My 3rd son (4th child) was 5 when the next baby was born. He once said, "I love to watch you take care of Jeremiah. I see how much you love him and it tells me how much you love ME, too." I've always treasured that! Rather than being jealous of all of the attention the baby got, he knew that surely HE had received that same love and attention, and it made him feel loved. So, yeah, I think there is a good chance that at least *some* of the kids will remember how you lit up.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ Tracy

  6. We had almost the exact same thing. "Biggest tonsils ever." No illnesses but ear infections and signs of apnea. So glad we had it done before it got worse! She healed so quickly but she sure came out of the surgery feisty as anything.

  7. So glad your girlie is ok now. That last pic of you is gorgeous!

  8. So glad to hear Iris is doing well! My friends who have gone through this procedure seem to report that sleep and breathing issues are dramatically improved by it! So I hope that will be your experience as well. Poor bunny!!

    Those pictures of you and Hazel! Yes, so wonderful that they can look back and see that love radiating between them and their mother. Just an incredible moment, captured. I love it. The photos with Dan made me smile too. :-) I love your everyday updates.

  9. Glad to hear Iris is feeling better :) She will have to come up with a different party trick, but it is for the best :) Staged photos... Phafff!! I have no idea how people do it! Mine runs away as soon as she sees the camera, so in my books you guys did great!

  10. Glad to hear Iris is doing well. We call my daughter the Snork Maiden, which is partly a reference to the Finn Family Moomintroll books but also cause she's a snorer. So am I if I have a cold, so I think her snoring is adorably cute. My husband's not so impressed with either of us!
    Any anaesthetic and surgery can be a bit daunting, especially if it's not a thing you're familiar with. P had a small surgery last Christmas and when the anaesthetist suggested I give him a kiss before leaving him in surgery my thought was "how ridiculous. he's asleep and I'm most certainly not saying goodbye!"
    All's well that ends well hey.
    Lovely photos of you all.
    Best wishes for some easy times ahead.

  11. Oh my goodness. Seeing those pics of you and Hazel makes me quite teary. They really are very atmospheric and show your deep feelings. Beautiful!
    Also, I really hope that Iris will be fine again soon and then feel much better than before the surgery!

  12. Ahhh, your photos.....simply amazing!! I'm so glad Iris is better!

  13. Had to comment on this one to say I'm so glad Iris is better, and I really love all the photos but especially the photos of you with your kids!! I need to make B take those of me more often, I feel like I'll look back and regret not having more with them at various ages. And oh man, the looks you and Hazel are giving each other? Heart eyes!!!

  14. Eek! That last photo . . . makes my heart melt! Just wanted to say congrats to you and the kids on finishing up your homeschool year, and blessings to Iris as she continues to heal from her surgery. No parent likes to see their child be put under, but clearly it was the right choice for her at this time. Glad all went well!!


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