Wednesday, May 11, 2016

This Saturday...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Grandpa's Obituary

David Carl Hultgren, 73, passed the way he lived… quietly and on his own terms. Dad left this earth on Saturday, March 19, 2016, with his family about him while watching television after a short, painful, and frustrating battle with cancer.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 9, 1943, Dad was the adopted son of Carl and Anne Hultgren of Oak Park, Illinois. He grew up splitting his time between the city and his grandparent’s home in the very small town of Varna, Illinois.

Dad attended Evergreen Park High School, where he was a member of the Projectionist Club, graduating with the class of 1961. He spent a year at Eastern Illinois University before joining the Air Force in 1962.  He enlisted during the Vietnam conflict; the very definition of a patriot. Dad spent his basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, of which he said, “Yep, it’s muggy.”

Dad was not particularly interested in guns, he said, and he encouraged his family to avoid them. Yet, during his time at Biloxi, he earned several marksmanship awards; always a dichotomy.

The Air Force took him to Utah in 1963 where he met his future wife at an Air Force dance. He married Judy Kay Sewell that November and they celebrated their 52nd anniversary in 2015. They welcomed three daughters, Karen (Jackson) San Antonio, Texas; Cheryl (Spangler) Ogden, Utah; and Annette (Maughan) Chicago, Illinois.

In 1967, Dad arrived in Cambodia, where he worked as Secretary to General (we wish we remembered his name but Dad hardly mentioned his time there, drat?).  Dad had taken a federal competency test prior to leaving for Cambodia, and it turned out to be a lifesaver for his little family. While in Cambodia, he developed whole body eczema and had to be medically discharged. Heartbroken, he shipped out to Walter Reed to convalesce. While there, Mom received a call about the test he had taken and when Dad returned on a Friday afternoon, he had two days down time before he started work for the Internal Revenue Service in Ogden, where he spent 20 years and received several commendations for his work. He retired from IRS once his transfer request was approved, and he continued his federal service, becoming a civilian contractor in the Logistics division at Hill Air Force Base.

Dad never missed a sporting event that his daughters were involved in and always rooted for the Cubs. He attended LDS church regularly although he never took the plunge or dipped a toe in the baptismal waters. He made sure his family was supported in everything they did, and he worked three jobs in the early years to keep them warm, fed and happy while finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Dad spent 16 years at Hill, until one day at an IHOP while drinking coffee and developing model train plans, he suddenly got very disoriented and started to fall sleep. Dad had a transient ischemic attack and was taken to the hospital where he was told he had to spend a few days. The day after the TIA, Dad started to get up and get dressed to go to work when he was stopped. He protested. “I can’t leave them a man down”.  He didn’t have a choice, and with the rapid onset of a heart condition, Dad was sad to have to retire from Hill in 2010. His 48-year service to the federal government was over, replaced with a pace maker and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He struggled with this indignantly for 6 years, angry, happy, and enjoying his grandchildren. Changing diapers like a pro he said, “I helped bring them into the world, the least I can do is wipe a bum or two.”

Dad enjoyed civic service as well, spending time on the Riverdale and Clearfield Planning Commissions and running for City Council in Riverdale. He was diligent, attentive and dedicated himself to learning what he could to make informed and very serious decisions that he knew would have a lasting effect. His time with the fine people in these city governments was a very happy and rewarding time for Dad, and the family would like to express their sincere thanks to Riverdale, Ogden and Clearfield city governments.
Dad spent his life helping others, working seven years with a special needs church group, helping with seven Christmas programs and too many scout meetings to count. Just last year, he and Mom were awarded Volunteer of The Year for their work with the Epilepsy Association of Utah.
In his off-time, and any other time for that matter, he would build model railroads and help “run the trains” at shows with the Hostlers Model Train Club of Ogden. His work with trains helped him make even more friends, and if there was ever a child in a wheelchair watching the trains, he would be sure to invite him or her to be an engineer on their railroad.
He will be missed by many but especially his dear wife (Judy), daughters (Karen, Cheryl and Annette) and “sons” (Jared, Scot and Glenn), sister (Judi Holbrook, Atlanta, Georgia) and “brother” (Wes Holbrook) , 10 grandchildren (Amber - Greg, Zak - Krystal, Megan, Parker, Glenn, Taylor, Ava and Aiden) , and 5 great-grandchildren (Jared, Annabelle, Luke, Adrienne, and Malcolm).
Funeral services (with sincerity and laughter) will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd.  There will be a viewing party on Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the mortuary.  If you would like to converse at Dad one last time, there will be a viewing Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Don’t be late, we will start without you because if you aren’t 15 minutes early…you’re late.

Dad’s love for his children, especially his special kids, should be celebrated by bringing your families with you. Wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and feeding tubes are more than welcome; they are encouraged. Dad would love it.
And “if you are always pulling your skirt to keep it down, maybe you should buy a longer one.”

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Unpredictable Nature of Mal

An interesting fact about Mal is he was born with a double uuvla. At birth, no one was worried about it. Greg and I didn't really see it until months later. When I first saw it, I was pretty shocked because they were both fully developed and hanging a couple cms apart.

With some research done by a worried Mama, I was 90% sure he had a Submucous Cleft Palate. After a visit with his pedi and a pediENT, they both said yes and were impressed at my research. This at 11 months old.

A month later, we found out from the Pediatric Plastic Surgeon (who is a Cleft Palate specialist) that he actually had a full Cleft Palate, which would need surgery asap.

His ASAP surgery is tomorrow morning. He'll have to stay in the hospital overnight. Then, there is a four week recovery period of all soft food. He'll also see a speech therpist until he's five, and if his speech isn't developing properly, he could have more surgeries.

I'm not too worried about the surgery because I know the medical team is experienced with this situation. I also know that my baby is being watched over by more then just men, but a Savior, Jesus Christ, who understands all we go through, and loves infinitely.

With that said, can y'all say a little prayer for our family as we start this journey tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Forever a Family

Yesterday, we had the chance to go to the temple. We try to do that regularly, but today was a little bit different because we went with my parents and siblings. It was the first time all together in the temple.  It was an amazing experience. Temple workers kept asking us if something big was happening (i.e. mission, sealing), but it was just us. All together. In the house of the Lord. Absolute eternal truth.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

In the Last 10 Days...

Mal had conjunctivitis.
Jared had to go to the dentist for swollen gums around his space saver.
Annabelle broke her arm and had to go to the ER
Greg and I got the sniffles.
Malcolm swallowed some foam and puked 4 times in two hours (twice in the car); earning he and I a day in the ER.
Luke puked in the dark in his carseat.
Annabelle complained of a sore throat, spent yesterday morning puking, and found out today that she has Strep.

At this rate, I'm about to go kill the first-born calf and spread his blood above our threshold...


Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Update 2015

At least I got them done digitally...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thankful Turkey 2015

In all honestly, we got super behind this year because of the crazy month. So, one night, we sat down and did 12 in a row because we were THAT far behind.  I was determined to do it though because this is a tradition that must be kept. We love Tom the Turkey--- he's the first thing the kids ask for when we unpack the Thanksgiving decorations. :)

Greg: Luke, Belle, Jared, Amber, Mal, my parents, in-laws, gospel, good books, Cub Scouts, little giggles, supportive co-workers, couches, helpful family, rest, cuddles, heater, friends, my job, Atonement, choir, priesthood, Key Lime Pies, time off work, creativity

Amber: scriptures, Greg, water, good car, baseball, music, Jared, Annabelle, Luke, Malcolm, temple, crafting, kiddo cuddles, revelation, Daddy's job, Jesus, service, quiet time, Atonement, USA, nice clothes, modern medicine, our parents, priesthood, holidays

Jared: family, our house, friends, my toys, my brothers & sister, treats, Oba & Jiji, Mom & Dad, Mema & Deda, Annabelle, Gramma Barb, my birthday, Jesus, temple, the Earth, Star Wars, Luke, Malcolm, TV, Thanksgiving, pumpkins, Tom the Turkey, dinosaurs, Six Flags, helping out, turkey

Annabelle: Malcolm, Luke, Jared, Daddy, Mommy, Tom the Turkey, doing crafts, our house, Heavenly Father, me, Jesus, the Earth, animals, school, my friends, our health, pumpkins, Oba & Jiji, Mema & Deda, Gramma Barb, great-grandparents, my body, singing, dancing, Anna & Elsa, birthdays

Luke: beds, safe places, Oba & Jiji, noses, tongues, having fun, Mama, Jedis, Mickey, Annabelle, Mickey Boat, Mema & Deda, looking at pictures, my brothers, watching my Jared brother, Daddy, being a sunbeam, eating food, friends at preschool, Tom & Jerry, cuddles with Oba, watching movies, having water, Shoe Roller Coaster at Six Flags,  McQueen, playing games with the family

Malcolm (as told by others): bathtime, playtime, places to scoot, milk, diapers, highchair, drums, blue blankie, thick bones, Annabelle, giggles, peek-a-boo, teeth, stuffed Chewie, big boy food, walking, family, naps, toys, shoes, jumper, Mom & Dad, pumpkin, waffles, grandparents, brothers & sister

Happy Thanksgiving from our little herd to yours!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Annabelle's Birthday Questions at 6

  1. What are 3 words that describe you? smart, fancy, and pretty
  2. I'm really good at:  baseball, jungle gyms, art
  3. What makes you happy? Getting tickled
  4. What makes you sad? When Daddy goes out of town
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Monkey
  6. What is your favorite food? Mac and Cheese
  7. What is your favorite color? Pink
  8. What is your favorite part about church? Singing Time
  9. What is your favorite scripture story? When Jesus walked on water
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  11. What is your favorite treat? ice cream
  12. What is your favorite type of music? Jack the Pumpkin King
  13. What is your favorite toy? Legos
  14. What is your favorite sport to play? Baseball
  15. My favorite books are: Scriptures
  16. What is your favorite movie? Frozen
  17. Favorite TV Show?  Doc McStuffins
  18. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: California
  19. What songs do you like to sing? Every single song in the world
  20. Best thing our family does together: Go to Six Flags
  21. If you could pick any pet, what would it be? cat
  22. When I was little I used to: eat purple crayons
  23. My best friend is: Alex
  24. What do you like to do with Mommy? Go to movies
  25. What do you like to do with Daddy? Go get ice cream
  26. What do you like to play inside? video games
  27. What do you like to play outside? swing
  28. If I had one wish, it would be: it was time to go on the Disney Cruise
  29. Are you afraid of anything?  scorpions
  30. When I grow up, I want to be: an artist
  31. Who is the coolest person you know: my family (WOO HOO!)
  32. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: getting my first lego set.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Goofy Four

Trying to get our little herd to sit still for a picture is pretty intense...

but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jared: Birthday Questions at 7

  1. What are 3 words that describe you? fun, silly, and playful
  2. I'm really good at:  baseball, swimming, math, reading
  3. What makes you happy? When we spend time as a family and go to parks and museums
  4. What makes you sad? Not getting to do fun things
  5. What is your favorite animal?  Platypus, Dolphins, Armadillos
  6. What is your favorite food? Lasagna, Seafood and Rice
  7. What is your favorite color? Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Gold & Silver
  8. What is your favorite part about church?  Sacrament Meeting
  9. What is your favorite scripture story? Army of Helaman because they are strong
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, Halloween, & Easter
  11. What is your favorite treat? Almost all treats like chocolate, fudge, ice cream... almost all treats.
  12. What is your favorite type of music? Star Wars & Jurassic Park music 
  13. What is your favorite toy? Legos
  14. What is your favorite sport to play? Baseball
  15. My favorite books are: Harry Potter series & How to Train Your Dragon series
  16. What is your favorite movie? Harry Potter, Star Wars, & Jurassic Park (he's only seen the non-attacking parts)
  17. Favorite TV Show?  Miles from Tomorrowland
  18. If I could go anywhere, I would go to: Universal with Harry Potter & Jurassic Park stuff, Disneyland, & Disneyworld
  19. What songs do you like to sing? "Love One Another" & "Lilac Tree" (My Heavenly Father Loves Me)
  20. Best thing our family does together: we have fun together!
  21. If you could pick any pet, what would it be? Hamster, lizard
  22. When I was little I used to: I don't know because I don't remember!
  23. My best friend is: Boston, Wyatt & Caleb
  24. What do you like to do with Mommy? Make things with her
  25. What do you like to do with Daddy? Build things with him
  26. What do you like to play inside? Legos & board games
  27. What do you like to play outside? games like tag or swimming
  28. If I had one wish, it would be: Have one of each Lego sets. Go to Universal or Disney Cruise with my family.
  29. Are you afraid of anything?  being alone, spiders, and the dark
  30. When I grow up, I want to be: a Paleontologist
  31. Who is the coolest person you know: Mom & Dad (SWEET!)
  32. *EXTRA*  My favorite memory is: Feeding dolphins on my birthday. And feeding sting rays at Aquatica.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Malcolm's First Month

Mal & Chewy: Month #1
STATS: Weight:  6 lbs 1 oz  Length: 19 inches long   Head Circ: 14 cm--- She didn't give me any percentages because of how small Mal was from the beginning.  She said he won't be on the charts for another few months, but he's growing consistently, so there's no need to worry.

SLEEP:  All the time.  He is only a month old.  He wakes up once or twice a night and we all get about a 5 hour block of sleep--- as long as we go to sleep around the time he goes to sleep.  Which is pretty good for a month old whose smaller than most newborns.

FOOD:  Mal's a little different than his siblings.  Because of his size, he won't nurse on one side, so I've had to pump exclusively on that side. Needless-to-say, this situation has made feeding really difficult.  The hospital nurses said to give it time, since he's a preemie. In the mean time, he supplement with half breastmilk, half preemie formula--- so he can have more food/calories.  The bonus with this is that everyone else can help with his feedings--- Annabelle LOVES this.

PLAYING/TOYS:  The kids love talking and feeding him, and he's spent a couple of times underneath his gym--- that's about it for our little guy. Everyone is looking forward to when he interacts a little bit more.

PERSONALITY:  Mal certainly lets himself be known--- he figured out how to use his lungs from the beginning.  It's super cute and sad at the same time because you don't want to see him sad.

MILESTONES:  Sleeping five hours. ***First Christmas ***First bath*** First Sea World adventure*** First family fun day ***  First Restaurant visit*** Graduating from preemie clothes and diapers*** He tries to hold up his head, which is surprising for his size, but not for his age.

RANDOM:  Right now the focus in on getting him eating and growing.  The doctor warned me not to expect it to happen the same way as the other kids, so it's a whole new ball-of-wax. I'm looking forward to his body clock to be a little more scheduled and less random, so I can attempt to find a way to get things done around the house and take care of the rest of the family.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Malcolm's Birth Story

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that he's here and was so early.

I fully expected to have him in three weeks, since Annabelle and Luke were both born two weeks early--- apparently Malcolm had other plans.  This past week, I spent the time getting ready for a Relief Society dinner that I helped plan. I figured once that was out of the way, I could start prepping for Malcolm. I was literally going to pack my bag for the hospital the very next day.

Usually for RS Meetings, Greg stays home with the kids, but this time, he was planning to be one of the Child-care supervisors, which meant I came ahead of him and the kids to the meeting--- instead of him playing single Dad at home.  Since it was a dinner and presentation, I had lots of other things in the car, as well.  So, I got to the church at 545 and started unpacking the car.  There was a fair amount this time, but I was being really good and not helping with heavy stuff or doing too much.  I even sat down to rest a few times while we were setting the tables.

A little after six rolls around and I wanted to double-check the child-care just before Greg showed up.  The other gentleman was there and I wanted to see if the bag I brought with movies, crafts, and treats had made it into the right room.  As I was leaving the room, I felt the same 'pop' that I've felt twice before and knew then and there what had happen. Luckily, I happened to be just outside of the bathroom, so I beelined for it. My friend, Becca, saw me go into the bathroom and followed me.  She asked me what was wrong and I told her: "my water just broke."  Her response: "are you sure?"  Yes, I'm pretty sure.

She went to grab another friend, Lori, while I sat there and tried to keep it together.  Mentally, I was trying so hard to keep it together.  I instantly had so many worries for Malcolm.  I was only 35 weeks THAT day... was he going to be okay? I then had to call Greg to tell him the news.

G: Hey, did you forget something? We're on our way. (I usually forget to bring something to the church on those nights)
A: No... my water broke.
G: What?! Are you sure?! (what is it with people asking me that question)
A: Yes, I'm sure.
G: I guess we're having a baby. Everything is going to be okay.
A: I know.
G: You better give your folks a call. We'll be there in a minute.

Looking back, it was that conversation that was the first peaceful prompting from the Holy Ghost reminding me that everything, and everyone, would be okay.  Lori came in and further talked me off of my mental breakdown ledge, so I could sound okay when I called my Mom.  The conversation with her ended up pretty much the same as Greg's, except they would come to the church to pick up the kids after they met us at our house to give me a blessing--- because we had to go to the house to pack a bag.  Being fourth-time parents-- and all--- we were super prepared. We said goodbye to the kids (surprise we're changing your lives a little earlier than planned) and got a lot of well-wishes from friends as we left (seriously helped me to stay calm).

About an hour after my water broke, Greg and my Dad gave me (and Mal) a blessing of strength and comfort. He blessed us to be strong, to endure what was ahead and promised that everyone would be fine in the end.  We finally got to the hospital around 730 pm; the triage nurse was the nicest lady and pretty much told me they trust all of my instincts because this was my 'first rodeo'. She also told me that one of her kids was born at 35 weeks and was perfectly happy and healthy college student (I don't think it was a coincidence that she was my first nurse).  At 745, we were admitted because my water was really broken and we were really going to have the baby; it was actually the same room that Luke was born in.

At 815, I had my first check and the nurse said I was a 1 and it felt like Mal was breach. Now-a-days, breach equals c-section--- so the good feelings I had worked so hard to build up for the last two hours instantly went away.  Not because I didn't think either of us would have been in danger; it was the fear of the unknown. I had three babies before this one, so I thought I had a fairly good grasp at what to expect during labor--- I just figured this one would go a little faster. Since, they weren't sure, they ordered an ultrasound to double-check.  When the on-call doctor came in to do the ultrasound at 845, it showed that Malcolm was NOT breach, just high and small, so he felt breach.

Since I wasn't breach, she ordered Pitocin. After Jared, I've tried to make sure I get my epidural first before Pitocin comes, but the other doctor was busy, so I got Pit first--- at 930--- on a very little dose. I progressed slowly (not surprised) until right before the epidural at 1045. The pain started to get bad, so once everything was set up, it felt as though it didn't work on one side--- impatient Amber didn't give it enough time TO work--- so I pressed the button at 1115.

With the pitocin going and the epidural in, we were in a holding pattern. So, we tried to rest as much as we could. At 1215, the nurse came to rotate and check me and I was only at a 4.  I was actually pretty shocked that I wasn't further--- because my previous birth patterns showed me that I would labor faster with this one. Well, sometime in the next hour, I went from a 4 to a 10--- however, I didn't realize it because I pushed the button and was completely numb.  So, when the nurse went to check me at 120, I was complete (and probably was for a while) and Mal was crowning.

So--- what happened next? The typical labor room panic induced by all-of-the-sudden ready-to-push Amber. Four for Four. At least I was right about that. A bunch of nurses, including NICU ones, came in to prep the room--- while my nurse tried to hold Mal in until they were ready.

At 138 everyone was ready, and I half-way pushed Malcolm Aaron out into the land of the air breathers. When he came out, they only kept him on my chest for a few seconds and took him away to make sure everything was okay. And, as my blessing said earlier, everything was okay. He passed all of his newborn screening, was breathing on his own, and because he was just at 5 lbs, he didn't have to go to the NICU.

This whole hospital stay has been a little surreal. He's so early, but they haven't been treating him like a preemie. Right now, he's doing a carseat study and if he passes that, we can go home today.

At some point during the whole ordeal, Greg turned to me and said, "he just wanted to be like his siblings and have a 1 and 0 on his birthday--- plus he wanted to be an airbreather for Christmas".

Merry early Christmas to us... and our family of six.


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