Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HB LD

This is my sister.


It is her birthday.

These are my Top Ten favorite things about Laura.

1. Every time I see her she has a funny story. Whether it's related to me or not, she has one.

2. She is good for a lot of information. She's like my own personal Dex, she knows of good places to eat, new places to visit and can usually give me directions to somewhere if I call her up in need of some.

3. She is always polite, even when completely shutting you down, or saying no to something, she can always do it in a pleasant, non-threatening way.

4. Her talents never go un-practiced. If someone needs her to play the piano, sing, or cook dinner, she'll do it. Bringing me to number five:

5. She is a magnanimous sister, always helping me with Jack, or her other nieces...(there is no gender neutral word for nieces and nephews).. She is always helping with her nieces and nephews.

6. We have many inside jokes. I love inside jokes.

7. She has made nothing but good choices in her life, making her a very inspirational person.

8. She would be the best person to bake her birthday cake.

9. She always laughs BEFORE she tells you something funny.

10. She makes a super best friend/sister. If I had another sister, I don't know if she could live up to it..

Happy Birthday, Lar.

I lit you a Birthday Candle.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Please, don't be afraid.


I'm starting another blog...

you may want to hop on this train.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Son, the Genius.

Merry Christmas, everyone. On a completely non-festive note, I want to acknowledge how very observant my now- four year old son is. He will take note of things visually. Like anywhere he sees the BMW logo, he makes sure to tell me it's "just like our car!" or he pegs any Honda as "Natalie's car" or Prius as "grandma's car" and he knows how to tell which is which.

He also has designated each color as a Disney or Gabba character, as anything red is "Lightning McQueen" and anything green is "Chick Hicks" and so on.

A couple weeks ago it was finally brought to my attention HOW DETAILED Jack's photographic memory is. He came running upstairs to tell me he had "built our house downstairs" and after a lot of 'way to go! good jobs!' he finally took my hand and brought me down to the basement to show me how he had built our house.

After a good look- I realized he did a spectacular job, and I was quite impressed.
Our house is, after all, yellow, tall and skinny with other colored houses on each side, with a pointy roof, and a front door on the right.

Good job, Jack. Way to go.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 17th

Jack's birthday was on a thursday. The most boring day of the week. So we spruced it up with some birthday breakfast eggs, a trip to Primary's to deliver gifts to those responsible for Jack's ongoing birthday's, lunch at the PlayPlace, a fun visit to the Pet Store and then Zoo Light's after we did presents. It was certainly a lovely day and Jack had fun and was a great participant in all of it. We love him so much, and feel blessed to have this fourth birthday.











THEN, on Saturday, we had his birthday party at the Barn. It was SO much fun and I'm so thrilled I thought of the idea.. :) Because otherwise, Jack's birthday would have just gotten lots amongst all the other get-together's everyone is having during this holiday season. So it was very special, and I think he'll remember it.

We all got to play with the bunnies, kiss the llama's, and pet the goat at the barn. Then we had presents and ice cream and it was a grand old time. Thanks to everyone who came, and thank you to the Flamm's for letting us use the barn.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Four.

How strange, that I have a four year old. Even more strange, is to be at this point where we have no surgery on our calendar this year. Ever since Jack was born I couldn't see past his third surgery. Now that we are after our fifth, I can't explain the bliss- of moving forward. It is a simple thing, but to have a four year getting ready to go to preschool is the biggest accomplishment for our family. Jack's year consisted of many ups and downs, illustrated by this collage.


1. Jack gained a very genuine interest in Cars. Be it trucks, sports cars or cartoon cars, he loves them. Anything red is "Lighting McQueen."
2. We got to take Jack to Universal Studios this year and he learned that Dora and Diego are NOT of average height.
3. Jack grabbed some scissors and cut off his beautiful golden locks. It turned out to be a good thing because he wouldn't have had time for a haircut in the upcoming months.
4. Jack had his third open heart surgery, completing the Norwood Procedure to adjust his blood flow to and from his heart. It changed him forever.
5. Jack made many trips back to the hospital, due to his pesky pleural effusions. His spirits were bruised but he took it like a rockstar.
6. In between hospital stays he got to enjoy the warm weather and do fun things like visit Red Butte, Thanksgiving Point, and go to a carnival with his cousins.
7. After his fourth pleural effusion, the surgeons decided to do surgery to help him recover from the new heart adjustment. Another surgery followed that one..
8. A three week stay in the hospital set us back a bit, but we took advantage of summer and got Jack's skinny bum outside.
9. Jack LOVES to swim... and tries to be brave by ditching any floating device. We are still working on keeping him above water.
10. Make A Wish granted Jack a wish, to go to Disneyworld and meet all of his disney friends. We are so excited to take this well deserved trip with him in February.
11. For the better part of the year Jack became quite attached to WALL-E and opted, or demanded rather, to be MO from the movie. That costume lasted 10 min.
12. We went to California a couple of times per Jack's request. He was able to go to SeaWorld and get drenched by Shamu.
13. Because of his mommy's example, Jack prefer's to be behind the camera more than in front, and has proven hard to get pictures of as of late.
14. Jack has managed to be potty trained despite taking his diuretic everyday that REALLY makes him need to ... evacuate. We are really proud of him.
15. My little baby bum is turning into a boy. He loves guns and tools and he doesn't always want to be my little side kick each and everyday. He is very independent and capable.
16. This was Jack's 3 year old pictures. I will be doing his 4 year old ones soon. He is FINALLY getting so big, and for the first time I am sad about it... every pound he gains is a huge accomplishment and each inch he grows is a celebration, but suddenly I want him to slow down now that I don't have to worry so much about it.

Jack is the most charming little boy I know. He can make you smile seconds after making you mad. He knows he has the skills. I will never take him for granted and I hope he grows up knowing that he is a blessing to everyone's lives. This birthday is so special for him and I hope that this next year will bring more imagination, more laughs, more games, more clubhouses, more vacuuming.. and more love.

Happy Birthday, Buddy. You conquered 2009.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We can make a difference if we make ourselves heard.


I came across a certain bill, one that may actually directly affect my life, and the life of my son. The bill is known as the Congenital Heart Futures Act. The bill addresses the issue of adults with CHD's and the shocking statistics that only 10% receive the life-long care that they need to have a longer, healthier quality of life. The bill supports research and education on congential heart diseases to promote the chances of the medical industry discovering new and better ways to help those born with CHD's later on their lives.

The bill hasn't received enough attention to be recognized as well as we need it to. But we can help our Senators understand the importance of this bill and perhaps help improve the lives of all those little boys and girls born with CHD's that spent months in hospitals undergoing surgeries to help them continue forward. We need them to know that even when they are grown they will still be cared for and taken care of.

If you want to voice your opinion there is an email template (found on this page under "action is simple") that you can fill in the blanks with your name, your personal relationship to this issue and where you are from. Then you send it to your local senators and house representatives and they will start to see how life-changing this bill is.

Email Bob Bennett: here
Email Orrin Hatch: here

The full text of the bill can be read here.

Thank you for reading.

~Mom of Jack, HLHS

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm Thankful for Food..

Probably one of my top five favorite things about the holidays is the food. Trying new things, preparing new things, tasting the old traditional ones. It's just lovely. There are a number of foods that are a must during the holiday's. Shrimp cocktail, always makes an appearance. My mom's ROLLS. She doesn't seem to take as much credit as she should for them. Fernwood's mint sandwiches.. divinity. This year I woke up and decided that these muffins* will be Thanksgiving morning's tradition. They are so easy to make, fast, and melt in your mouth.


Truly, I will make these a lot. Which may deter from the "specialness" of it. But I don't care. Thanksgiving morning, the parade, muffin's, it all works together to make for a wonderful tradition.

A new staple to my list of what to make when people ask me to to bring an hors devours, is this amazing sesame bake. It doesn't look like much, but once cracked open I constantly have people asking me where I got this "rare and delectable cheese." It is a block of philadelphia soaked in soy sauce, rolled in toasted sesame seeds and baked. Incredible.
This dip, which sports the magical colors of Christmas, came to me via a dear friend that more and more we find we are much more domestic than we believed. It is pretty delicious. The tart sweetness that comes from the pomegranate soothes the quiet flavor of the avocado. And the cayenne pepper and corriander gives it a nice kick.

Dinner was spectacular- don't get me wrong. I love my potatoes and gravy. But I sure do love finding new things to bring to the table.

*These recipes are becoming my most favorite to add to my collection. This blogger has the same delightful taste in food as I do, and I am always excited to see what she posts next. Her link is to the left, "Baked Deliciousness"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cell Phone Etiquette 101


I'm all for cell phones. I've had one since I was 17. It comes in very handy. I honestly don't know how we picked people up from the airport before cellphones. However, with these technological blessings have come many, many pains. Although cell phones went from an adult to a teenage necessity, I think we need to start at the other end and hold classes in school about the proper way to own, and use a cell phone.

1. Places that a cell phone should be neither seen nor heard: Church, school classrooms, movie theater's, on date's, and the dinner table. It is just unacceptable, rude and completely unnecessary.

2. While driving, keep cell phone conversations under a minute. Not only is it unsafe, and becoming against the law in more and more states, but it's annoying to the other people in the car, and frankly I hate driving by people going 75 mph to see that they aren't 100% focused on their driving.

3. When in public places in close confinement, (ie: grocery lines, bathrooms, airport terminals etc.) keep your voice down. No one likes a loud, obnoxious talker gabbing away while we are all stuck in the same place and can't walk away from you.

4. Remember there is always someone listening. Keep private issues for private conversations. Everyone else doesn't need to hear you chew out your significant other, or how bloated you felt this morning, or how much you hate your co-worker.

5. Again, do not answer your phone on a date. It just shows that you aren't interested and they'll pick up on that quickly. Your attention should be on them, and not what ELSE is going on.

6. Do not text unless it is something that can be exchanged in 4 texts. Example:
"Hey, sorry I'm late. I'll be there in 5 minutes."
"No problem, where are you?"
"Just getting off the freeway."
"K, see you soon."

NOT:
"Hey how are you?"
"Good how are you?"
"I'm alright, just hangin."
"Cool."
"Yeah."
"Wanna do something?"
"Sure. Like what?"
"Dunno."
"Me neither."
(this continues on for another five bucks...)
That is why you bought a cell phone in the first place. To be able to talk to people from anywhere at anytime. It's really irritating to see people clicking away on their phones forever. Especially at meals, during conversations, or in any of the places mentioned in #1.

7. Don't play games on your phone in social settings. It just tells everyone around you that they are boring you and you'd rather be somewhere else.

8. Always hang up on conversations when approaching or speaking to someone that is helping/serving you, ie: waitresses, bankers, grocery store clerks. You need to be available to them for the service you came to THEM to provide.

I'm sure there is more that I am forgetting. But I feel like cell phone's are rapidly decreasing the quality of human interaction. I hear about break-ups over texts, and people getting in car accidents due to people on cellphones, so much more texting rather than actual conversing, and it makes me sad. We DID manage... before cell phones.

Anyway. Again, I am a fan, but let's do it right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can someone explain this to me?



I seriously hate having to sit at a stoplight, and stare at this.

Not only is it completely humiliating for whoever is driving the car, but it is totally unsafe. I couldn't even decipher between human driver head and stuffed animal. My eyes were having difficulty absorbing the amount of polyester fur and glass eyes staring lifelessly at me.

It's not like there is a surplus of these "collectors" out there. I only see one of these vehicles per week or maybe per month. But each time I see it I sit and think to myself, "did they put them all in at once? Or was it a gradual pyramid.. do they each represent something? Do they ALL belong to the driver? Or the driver's child? If they are the child's, then wouldn't they rather play with them than have them paraded around like trophies in their parents' car?"

It's absolutely insane that I've spent this much thought on this stupid phenomenon. Let alone taken the time to write a post about it.

I don't know. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is weird..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Farmer's Market...


They are all so pretty. This one was in San Clemente, off Del Mar. It's so nice to see such beautiful bright colors in October. However, I didn't buy any fruit. I ended up buying cakes at the baker's stand. Carrot Cake. Yum.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting the Getty

Jack and I visited the Getty today. I LOVED it and decided that if I had to move here I'd spend most of my time there. And I'm going to keep this short, because I took a TON of pictures. So the Getty was awesome. Here you go.