oh yeah.

This is not an exaggeration.

Bailey has been sick with a fever and sore throat since late Friday night. Grayson woke up from naps with a fever today. No one ate dinner. Everyone had baths. We put Gray to bed early and let the girls cuddle in our bed to watch a movie. Bailey was sad b/c her throat hurt. I was getting her water when Grayson started screaming upstairs. I dropped off the water to Bails and ran upstairs to check on Gray. He had puked all over his bed and was burning up. I changed him and brought him downstairs to our bed. We moved the girls to their beds (our upstairs is too hot in the summer so they are camping out in my office which is attached to our bedroom right now) and as I was getting Grayson tucked in to our bed he threw up all over. We changed him and Chris took him out to the couch. As I was gathering ALL the laundry to go get started after stripping both beds Parker started screaming. She felt hot so I threw the thermometer under her arm and went to start the laundry. When I came back up I checked her temp and it was 103.


That all happened in less than 30 minutes.

Now Gray is in bed with C, the laundry is going so DogDog will be clean soon, Parker and Bailey are both asleep and I’ve canceled our morning newborn triplet session b/c NO ONE, especially new triplets, wants this virus.

Which is what it is b/c bailey’s strep test from Saturday came back negative.

Just a virus.

Which means C and I will probably be sick by the end of the week.

Does anyone else have kids that get sick this much? People keep asking is we have mold in the house, does anyone know anything about mold? Is this normal for a house with kids these ages?


the last day of preschool.

Man I am having such a hard time blogging lately! And it’s not that I have nothing to say or no photos to share, because I do! I’m just SO DAMN TIRED every day when I finally have time to blog my words don’t make any sense!

So although I should be editing something right now while my kids nap I am instead going to get some photos from Bailey’s last day of preschool up. Because that was an important day in her little life!

The girls go to our church preschool and we love it there. ADORE it. The teachers are just incredible and I know Bailey is really going to miss it there! Luckily our family will be there for 3 more years!

And can I just mention that I still am not quite believing that Bails starts KINDERGARTEN next year? A blog for another day!

I made the girls let me take a few photos before we left for school and they are just as cheesy as I could have hoped! Posed photos just suck, even though these do make me smile!

That morning the girls and I made t-shirts for them to wear that represented the school’s logo… they were SO proud of those shirts!

I love that Bailey, without me asking, had to touch both her siblings. That kid really loves her brother and sister! And I love that so much about her!

So not only was it Bailey’s last day of preschool ever, it was also the celebration for Rita and JoAn, the school’s directors that have been there over 20 years! It was awesome b/c SO many people from our church and the community came by for the party to wish them luck in their retirement. Seeing all those faces that love Rita and JoAn was so amazing!

That’s JoAn, or JoJo as my kids (and so many others!) call her! We love her!

Baby Kelsey… my little Kelsers! Love that kid! AND her big sis who’s holding her!

My BFF Angie, and ignore the face her husband is giving me behind her! HA! Anyway, Ang is taking over as the DIRECTOR for next year! I am SO excited for her, for the school and selfishly for my kids b/c she’s going to do some kick ass things with this school! YEAH ANGIE!

The AMEN choir from Webster High School came out and sang for us all… the kids loved it!

Gray was totally obsessed with that shovel! He just walked around with it all morning!

Rita and Jo getting their retirement gift… the school is building a MacRunquist cabin on the playground in honor of them! Love that!

It was a great party that ended with me rushing Gray to the ER at Glennon after he tripped and split his head open on the playground!

OF COURSE it was my child that ended up at the hospital!

What I felt the worst about was that it was such a quick exit the girls didn’t get to say goodbye to their teachers. I had also planned on taking Bailey aside and explaining to her that this was her LAST day of preschool ever… because she’s not quite understanding that she’ll be at a new school next year yet. Because we’re putting the kids in Webster schools (since that’s where C teaches) but we live in Kirkwood we haven’t gotten her kindergarten assignment yet. So she never got to visit a classroom or anything. The first day of school in August might be a really tough one for her. I’m dreading it already… not to mention just having her in REAL school will be so hard b/c I LOVE having her home with me! That kid is just so special.

Thanks for a good year Emmanuel!

the allen family.

I am an Allen. Which still sometimes sounds funny coming out of my mouth. Jodie Allen. Mrs. Allen. Especially because Chris still calls me “Kuhn” all the time. And because I knew “Mrs. Allen” when I was a kid. I met her when I was just 14. When I met my husband. Who I’ve known now more than half my life. And when I met my brothers-in-law who were really just kids back then at 8 and 10.

It’s an odd thing to be a woman and take on the name of another family. To claim them as your own. To become one of them and love them as much as your own family.

But it’s also magical.

To fit as securely in another family as much as you do in your own. To love each person unconditionally like you do your own parents and siblings.

Being married is incredible because it binds you to another person so completely, but the biggest perk of marriage is that it gives you a second family.

And last night, at C’s cousin Shayne’s rehearsal dinner, I felt so blessed to have that second family. Another family that “gets me”. People I can laugh with and joke with and love.

It was a night filled with hysterical laughter, amazing food and good people!

Chris, Jack, Matthew and Bubba

We were at the Old Warson Country Club and although the light wasn’t awesome, Terri asked me to snap a few family shots since we were all dressed up… some of these are priceless!

“one of these things is not like the others…”

Oh to be the husband of a photographer! Rough life!

That series was literally three shots in a row! HYSTERICAL!

Matthew and Betsey… I’m sure I’ll be photographing their wedding soon! :)

The in-between shots just crack me up! And I wouldn’t show these of a client but I sure can of my family!

And the whole family!

Thanks to the Allen’s for a great night and to the Kuhn’s for keeping the kids so we could have a great night! :) Grandparents rock!

the studio. and my life.

So we just announced that we have opened our studio…

But that sounds so funny b/c all we’ve opened is my dining room. And well, the DINING room has been closed for a long time. So it feels more like we’ve opened our art room.

And my poor kids!

They don’t know WHAT to call it anymore b/c sometimes I still call it the dining room but they have NO memory of meals being served there and because of Grandma they do know what a real dining room consists of!

But they do like our rad rubber-wood mat on the ground… perfect for puzzles!

And Gray is OBSESSED with the BABIES on the walls. That’s all he talks about. Well, the babies on the walls, balls and ducks. That about sums up his interests right now.

Their little art table I got for a DOLLAR a couple of years ago makes the perfect place to put babies while we’re shooting so although we thought I’d have to move it out for each session, we’re finding now that it works great! If you can ignore the random toys stuck in the open spaces underneath and the paint covering the top.

Having the rug we used to have in there out has actually been awesome, which surprised me, b/c I thought it would look too hard in there. But MAN is it easy to clean up from messy art projects now!

And even though very little furniture was moved and tons was added, it somehow feels bigger. And we’ve been gravitating to it even more than we used to. Art projects galore people. Art projects galore.

I’ve always worked from home for the most part and I never thought shooting at home would be a good idea. Until we tried it. And I love it. LOVE it. Not that we could really have my kids around while we’re working but it’s just nice to be home. And to really USE our space. Because I am all about utilizing every square inch of space we have!

This may have been the best decision we’ve ever made as a family. To let Fresh Art take over a bit of our home. To integrate my business more into our life.

I think this summer is going to rock.

Bring on the babies!

we made it.

Yesterday I stood on the sidelines cheering on the Webster Groves girls soccer team. For like the millionth time. And as tears came to my eyes when the other team started scoring on them I will admit that my brain also went to me and Chris. Because I knew that if they lost he’d be home today at 4:30pm. It meant we were that much closer to our summer break.

It meant we made it through this school year. Of him coaching three consecutive high school sports. Of me doing dinner+bath+bed with the kids alone 90% of the time.

But as a coaches wife it’s hard to be at that last game.

Because of course I can’t help but think of how this effects me, and I don’t think I’m selfish for that, it’s just how it goes. But on the other hand, I love this team. These girls. The parents.

During his speech at the end of the game Chris told the girls how much he’ll miss them now that the season is over and talked about how much they mean to us. US. That every day when he comes home we talk about soccer, if we’re on a date we’re talking about his soccer girls more than we talk about our own kids and I brag on them to other people too. We love these kids. They become a part of our family and it’s always hard, at the end of a season, to say goodbye to the team b/c although next year will be awesome too, it will just be different. Every year the team is completely new. And I agree with C, this has been an incredible year… I’m going to miss it too.

Especially since this season I committed to being there and photographing as much as possible. I feel more invested in this team than I have in a long time.

Anyway. It was an amazing season… Chris has never been so proud of a group of girls than he was of this team. They set all kinds of records at Webster which is just awesome! Here are some of my favorite shots from yesterday…

This might be my absolute favorite shot of C ever. THIS is the smile I married! The smile that ALWAYS hides when he sees the camera!

I’m sorry, but this shot just reiterates that head balls must HURT!

Lilly asked me to get a shot of her for the blog… I’m not sure THIS is the face she was hoping to make! HA! Sorry Lilly, I just HAD to post this!

The sky was amazing as the sun was setting!

These are the moments that had me crying during C’s talk. The seniors. So sad to say goodbye to this team. To close down their high school career. We’ve watched these kids since their freshman year. They are an incredible group of girls.

We tried to recreate a shot I got last year under the lights and although the light was totally different and it doesn’t quite have the same effect, I still love this b/c it shows just how many kids it takes to make up this team.


Thanks girls. You are the definition of the Allen family spring and I love you for that. This was a great season and I was honored to be a small part of it!

decorating your home with photos.

Kim and I are in the midst of taking our once dining room turned art room and turning it into our STUDIO FOR NEWBORNS! I can’t even tell you how excited we are about this!

More details on that LATER and over on the Fresh Art blog!

Anyway, in an attempt to update my house, since I haven’t printed photos since Gray was about 8 months old, Kim has been helping me put together a few BIG pieces and I am SO excited about them!

This will be a 24×24 standout mount in our living room…

And this will be a 10×20 standout mount for the living room as well!

I mean seriously. Wouldn’t you love coming home if these greeted you everyday?


I’ll show you how they look hanging up next week when I get them from our lab!

to clarify.

People seem confused about the “hospital error” I keep talking about.

When they tested Parker’s urine it came back with a rare bacteria growing, which was the cause of her kidney infection, but someone, at some point, messed up her chart and wrote ECOLI as the bacteria instead of the one that was actually growing in her.

So for four days they were treating her for a UTI caused by ecoli.

It wasn’t until they did an ultrasound of her kidney did they see that it was a kidney infection.

And it wasn’t until she wasn’t responding to the medication and her fever kept climbing that they called in an Infectious Disease doctor to take a look and see if the kidney infection (that they thought was caused by ecoli, the bacteria that causes more than 90% of cases) had become a blood infection or something else.

It was the ID doc that went ALL THE WAY back to the beginning and caught the mistake.Thank God.

Someone verbally told a doctor it was ecoli and instead of double checking, that doctor just started treating her for ecoli and wrote it in her chart. So from that point on that’s what was assumed and trusted.

But it was wrong.

She didn’t have ecoli in her body. She never did.

For four days she went untreated.

They were giving her antibiotics but they were the wrong ones.

When they told us they needed to “change the dose” what they ACTUALLY were doing was changing the medication, the dose and the number of doses.

On the second to last day the doctor that screwed up came in and verbally apologized to me. And she felt awful. And everyone makes mistakes.

But it was my kid.

So yes. The doctors made a mistake. A BIG FUCKING MISTAKE. And they admitted to it and apologized for it.

I hope that helps clarify things.

getting this out of my head before I forget…


Met with Dr. Mantovani today and had a great visit… bullet points are easiest so here goes the update…

1. She has a clean bill of neurological health! No more follow-ups with him unless she has another seizure or something else goes wrong.

2. Since he saw her during the time they had misdiagnosed her illness (in the beginning when they charted the bacteria wrong they assumed the ecoli was just a UTI and didn’t know yet that it was a kidney infection or that they had the bacteria wrong) and since such severe seizures and encephalopathy does not make sense with a routine UTI he thought there must be an additional virus attacking her. However, now that he has all the information he says that the seizures were definitely febrile seizures (caused by fever) but that they weren’t traditional febrile seizures b/c they weren’t JUST caused by the fever (which is usually the case) but by the infection that was causing the fever. Meaning that he doesn’t think she’ll have a seizure in the future just b/c she has a fever.

3. He also said that her encephalopathy was actually toxic encephalopathy which just means that her body was so busy fighting the bacteria infection it caused her brain to miss-fire (for lack of better language). Just like how sometimes you can become delirious with fever. Again, he doesn’t suspect she’ll ever experience something like this again which is great b/c that was a scary few days.

4. I asked him if he thought she would have suffered with the toxic encephalopathy if they’d caught their mistake on the first day and given her the right antibiotics and he said probably not. This, in addition to so many other elements, makes me wonder if we should seek action in some way. Not that any of the neurological symptoms she had will be lasting but still, she was incredibly sick and didn’t need to be. It was all because of a pretty major mistake. It just has my brain working…

5. The big questions we have now are…

5a. What caused the kidney infection? Is it because of her anatomy or was it a fluke? Does the extra ureter have anything to do with it? Will she be susceptible to more kidney infections in the future?

5b. Is there any lasting damage to her kidney? The infection raged out of control for days without treatment, did that do anything? He doesn’t think, if there is damage, that it will effect how the kidney works but there might be some damage to the kidney itself.

We will only find the answers to these questions when we follow up with the urologist in a couple of weeks and do more tests.

6. My main issue now is that the hospital is responsible. Now that Parker is feeling better I can’t get my mind past the fact that because someone made a human error we went through so much. And I forgive them as a person. Everyone makes mistakes. I get that. BUT. It’s hard to accept that when its your kid that was in the hospital for so long. When both Chris and I had to take so much time off work. And when the bills will be adding up. Moving forward we will just have to see how this all plays itself out.

7. I feel much better today. Last night I slept for 6 uninterrupted hours and that felt great! Today has also been a pretty good day with lots of outside play now that Parker can run and jump and explore and do all things a normal active three year old wants to do! We still will keep her mostly at home for a couple more weeks so that she doesn’t risk catching any other illnesses but other than that she’s great!

WHEW! I needed to get all that out so I could relax and not stress out about forgetting anything!


Parker officially has NOTHING in her arm tonight! A nurse came by this afternoon and took out the picc line!

Oh, and I called a sitter so I could rest for a couple of hours and get some work done.

Don’t let my last post scare you… I’m just tired. Giving myself these little breaks is really what I need!

And Chris reminded me to just keep my EYE ON THE PRIZE b/c next week is his last week of school! Then we have one week to get our new in-home studio ready to launch because exciting things are happening this summer for Fresh Art. Having him home and having fun work+family things to look forward to helps a ton. I just need to remember THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

Thanks for the prayers and dinners and gift cards and LOVE. When I have more energy I will come talk about how much incredible help we’ve had the last two and a half weeks!


I’m feeling numb.

I can feel myself falling into a funk and I’m not sure why or how to stop it. Or if I want to stop it.

And it is really starting to make me wonder if I’m depressed about something.

I’ve been talking less to friends and family which is always my first inclination the funk is coming. I feel exhausted. Never fully awake. I’m never actually hungry but am snacking more than normal. I am constantly picking up the house but it seems as messy as ever. And I don’t care. I’m not in the mood for anything and couldn’t make a decision right now to save my life. Indifferent. That’s how I feel. Like I could lay on the couch watching reruns for a week. Sloth-like. Tired. Sad.

Is that depression?

Is it a side effect of the stress from Parker?

Is it the rain?

Could it be hormones?

Anyway, this feeling has been tugging at the corner of my brain for a few days now, pulling me deeper but the call I just received confirmed what I’ve suspected because I got the call that Parker’s blood work came back “decent” and they feel confident to stop the IV meds.

I should have JUMPED FOR JOY or squealed with delight or called everyone I know. But instead I just sat here. Frozen. Unable to move. Picking up my fingers to type right now feels like the tips are filled with lead.

And I know I’m exhausted. And drained emotionally. But is that all this is? This horribly heavy feeling?

Who knows.

And if I’m honest with you I will admit that instead of trying to get HAPPY I will just call Imo’s to bring me my crack and hope it revives me enough to get through the dinner/bath/bedtime without crying or screaming or hiding under my covers.

Because ALL I feel like doing is crawling into bed.

But what I actually logged on to blog has NOTHING to do with how I’m feeling but instead to update you on Parker…

1. Her IV will come out tonight! (if I put an exclamation point on the end it makes me feel like I’m excited even though there is nothing in me that is) The home health care people will call me to set up a time for the nurse to come out and yank that sucker out.

2. She is anemic. Caused from the bacteria and an iron supplement/vitamin every day should do the trick.

3. Not all the numbers are perfect but they hope the meds already in her body will keep fighting… if they don’t we will see the fever come back or some other sign she’s getting sicker.

4. We see the neurologist tomorrow morning at 9am for that follow-up but everything is great in the brain dept as far as I can tell.

5. In two+ weeks we go to Glennon (not sure we’ll ever be back at St. John’s) for follow-up tests on her kidneys.

6. Tomorrow she can run and play like a normal kid we just have to keep her away from big groups of people for 2 more weeks b/c of her immune system… just don’t want to risk her getting sick.

And that does it!