Thursday, December 30, 2010


I hesitate using the word "resolution" in this matter; I have nothing to resolve, nor am I making any formal declaration of my intentions. I do however wish to make good effort to do or NOT do the items on this list. I enjoy grouping things into measurements of time, so the beginning of a new year seems appropriate for me to make these changes and stick to them knowing I could honestly tell myself that "I have done that since the start of the year."

Number ONE.

Call back anyone who texts me. For those of you who don't know, I hate texting. Not because it is a hassle, and DANGEROUS at times, but because I think it is completely diminishing the human interaction in this world, and ruining social behavior. (This obviously comes with some exceptions..)
- if someone is asking me a one-text question. ie, "What is so-and-so's phone number?"
- if I KNOW the person is in a place where they cannot talk on the phone.
- or if it is a joke that I don't need to respond to.

Number TWO.

Always order LESS than I think I want to eat at restaurants. Most likely, order an appetizer or split an entree. I'm tired of leaving paid for food on the plate and walking away. (and I don't do well with leftovers.) I don't need to eat that much OR PAY that much for that matter. Restaurants are wasting so much food. I wish we could pay by the weight of the food we eat.

Number THREE.

Make an effort to be considerate to strangers. Give people the benefit of the doubt and don't assume everyone is an idiot. I would wish that people would do the same for me when I make mistakes out in the world, like not gunning it immediately when the light turns green...
Perhaps I should add "use my car horn less..." but that can just be a sub-resolution.

I encourage people to not set out-of-reach goals for themselves in 2011. It's truly the small things that count and if we all try to make a SMALL effort to be better people, I think the small efforts could result in big change.

Happy New Year everyone. May 2011 be a cleansing year of growth and discovery..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Reason I Let Jack Have Popcorn for Dinner.

Because this was five years ago right now...

So he can have whatever he wants.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Santa,

... I've been really good this year. Please bring me this dog.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's a Mario World..

Today is Jack's 5th birthday. It was a WONDERFUL day, from start to finish. Jack and Josh went on a special outing to the Discovery Museum, where Josh tells me, Jack was on his best behavior. He also got calls from family and loved ones that are far away- thank you for your love! Meanwhile, I was whipping up a batch of birthday party back home.
Jack had a Mario birthday this year, though he was probably the only one who was familiar with phenomenon, but the other kids seemed to enjoy it nonetheless. First, all of Jack's friends played a game of Gigantic Mario Memory. Everyone did really well, taking turns and staying in tune with the game.
I made a the giant "Memory" game with foam paper, and printed out multiple characters from Mario World (2 of each, obviously) and the kids had to make matches.
(Jack, being Bowser..)

Afterwards, Jack opened his presents from the generous families that attended, and then we ate cake, Firepower cookies, and Star Power cookies. It was a great time. Jack had so much fun and it was so nice to have the adults be outnumbered by the children. (Barely..)
(It's hard to top the "Yo Gabba Gabba Cupcakes" of 2008..)

Each of the little ones got to take home their own Mario Star. Something Jack has a true love for..
Jack obviously has special place in this family, and on this earth. He is a living miracle and we are reminded every day. I love him more that anything and I'm so glad to be here, at this place, with a healthy five year old little boy.

Happy Birthday, Jack! Love.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And The Beat Goes On..

Yesterday was our first cardiology appointment since Jack's "mini pleural effusion" in February. This appointment was a tell-all for the next LONG period of time.. so we were interested to see what news all the tests brought. Dr. Su said he looked, sounded, and felt fine. He brought up the subject of decreasing Jack's Lasix dosage to which all 3 of us said "Nah- let's just keep him on it...."

His EKG reading was excellent, no abnormalities, not to mention Jack was VERY cooperative, didn't struggle, fight or cry once. He went right along with each test, and seemed just as interested in the results as we were. His O2 levels read (at what I think is the highest he's ever had at a check-up appointment w/o supplemental oxygen) at 93. This is huge.

His x-ray's were beautiful, clear and showed how much he is growing. Even the radiologist expressed that it was nice to see him healthy, and nice to see us getting x-ray's in the afternoon, and not at 6:30am (which is an indicator that you are admitted to the hospital.)

Jack's chest is a flurry of debris.. So below this picture, I included the "key" to identify the foreign objects seen via x-ray. There are other strange things in there that the normal person won't be able to see, like the Gore-Tex tubes that are providing passageway to and from his heart, the complete lack of an entire ventricle, and other things us "non-medical students" won' t be able to view.

Needless to say, we are THRILLED with the results, Jack is doing so well, he is happy, eating a lot, active, smart, loveable, horrible, crazy, hilarious and all the other things you'd hope a soon-to-be 5 year old to be. The next post will most likely be his birthday... coming on FRIDAY! (I have a 5 year old????)
A BUFF one.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Weekend

My weekend was full of projects. Some are documented, and others are not- due to gift spoilers. One memorable activity we took part in this weekend was the Primary Nativity. For some reason Jack was EXTREMELY shy, and was turned off of the idea of dressing up like a horse. Despite all my efforts and attempts to connect him to the Charlie Brown Christmas Special when they do THEIR christmas play... I could not succeed and Jack just watched with the rest of the adults. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful production.

After the Nativity, we had a Judean feast. It was delicious. Jack also got to spend some quality time with his church buddy, Quinton. They get along GREAT and spent the whole time running around together. Sadly, we have to tear them apart to go find a Christmas Tree.

90% of our Christmas decorations were swept away with the flood this summer, so I had to reinvent our Christmas tree. We did our best. I must say, that we did get it for quite a bargain, it fit perfectly in it's brand new stand, and was just right in its expected corner of our family room. The colors are interesting... and it gives off a
whole new glow. But I like it.

Then, to humor Jack and hopefully fulfill his own inner-child needs, Josh went outside and helped Jack build a snowman. It was a really great one... I don't have a picture of the finished product, so you'll have to take my word for it. But luckily the whole neighborhood gets to enjoy him, being that he is in the community part of the yard. Jack was upset that there wasn't a mommy snowman, and a daddy snowman. But I know that if we continued in that fashion, there would end up being a snow-Dominic and a snow-Lucy, and perhaps a snow-peedie.

That evening, Josh whipped up a tasty batch of homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate. It is very delicious and if you'd like the recipe.. I'll give it to you. But obviously it looks appetizing, you can imagine how yummy it is going down.
After that we all curled up to watch Toy Story 3 and prove to Jack, that it ISN'T scary, and that he would really like it the second time around. We were right, (thank heavens.)

Then I needed to get down and dirty with the pears and raspberries and make my neighbors gifts, Pear-Raspberry Jam. It turned out perfect and I may just keep it all for myself... we'll see..

Starting the Holiday Season off right, here's to a wonderful and productive weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"The Rabbit Died"

I've been watching "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on Netflix this week. I'm completely inlove with the old shows lately, (probably because I can't find a whole lot on TV right now..) but I also have a great sense of nostalgia while watching them.

There are favorites, like the "Hypnotist" episode, or the "Giant Woodpecker" episode.. but one the really caught my attention was the "Rosebud" one, not only because of the hilarious plot and remarkable writing, but because of a scene I had to watch twice.

Rob and Laura are trying to explain to Richie why his middle name is "Rosebud"- but not really, because it is an acronym for "Robert Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David." But they show a flashback of when Laura told Rob she was pregnant. She told him she drove herself to the Doctor that morning. He was nervous that she had gotten the car in a wreck, and said "is the car ok?" and she replied "well, the rabbit died!" and he stopped and excitedly asked "the rabbit died?" then they began celebrating.

Dumbfounded, I sat there rewinding it to see if I missed something. But nope, it was the same when I watched it a second time. My mom, being a huge fan of the show was the only person I thought I could call to find out what this meant. She told me that back in the day, they tested for pregnancy in a matter that ended up killing a rabbit. So- to Google, and Wikipedia.

Wiki explained that in 1927 they would test for pregnancy by injecting the potentially pregnant women's urine on a female rabbit, and then check the ovaries of the rabbit. But the misconception is that ALL the rabbits died, because they had to cut them open to check the surgeries.

MY, how far we have come since the 20's, that all these poor rabbits had sacrificed themselves for the progression of humankind.

The fact that this expression was used for awhile after newer and better forms of testing were discovered was so funny to me, that after a woman told her husband "the rabbit died" immediate joy would follow.

You learn somethin new everyday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Did I forget Halloween?

Jack was Mario:
I was an Owl:
And Josh was House:
(Ok, this is the real House, but none of my pictures of Josh turned out. Just know he looked a lot like this, without the confetti.)

Our Halloween was cold and wet... but fun.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Muffin Day.

These days when the light never seems to come, I wake up and it feels like it is 7am- ALL DAY LONG, the rain outside turns to a slushy snow and I can barely find any reason to get dressed....

I like to make these muffins.

What is YOUR "it's raining and gloomy outside, but warm and cozy inside" food?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3 Things I Did Not Know Jack Knew

1. The Pledge of Allegiance. Jack threw it out one day, and took us all for surprise.

2. Owls see really well in the dark. This was announced at 4:30am one morning when Jack stood in the dark in our room and woke us up with this important nugget of information.

3. Cheezit Crackers are on isle 11. Shopping with my mom, Jack declared he'd like some cheese crackers, and my mom said "I don't know where they are" to which Jack replied, "They are on isle 11." ..And they were.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where there's a Flo there's a way..

A long, long time ago, our family took a trip to Florida with Josh's entire immediate family and all their children. I spoke of posting about it here, but sadly, was too intimidated to document this week long trip to a place I'd never been. There were 1200 pictures, many days in the sun, sporadic outings to various spots near West Palm Beach..... and I just couldn't bring myself to narrow it down to one blog post.

However, my father-in-law made a point to remind me that I hadn't finished what I started, and I needed to follow through with my promises. So here we go.
Toward the end of June, we flew out to West Palm Beach and met up with Larry, Mayetta, Tasha, Derek, Lori and Bruce.... and everyone's offspring. The resort was beautiful and the air was thick with smells of the ocean that was just a boardwalk away from our swimming pool.
Jack had a plethora of cousins to play with. He had so much fun and could name them all for you. All 9 of them. They ran back and forth from swimming pools to rooms, and playgrounds to the beach and really kept themselves busy.
I was asked to take a family picture, so I did what I could, and we came out with a few. Not to mention one of the very few pictures of our own little family..

There were many beautiful things around us. It was fun to have the lenses I did, and take such great shots.

Each and every day was spent at the pool. The extreme humidity and heat combined- practically mandated it. But it was a really nice pool and we always had a place to gather. It was great. Plus the resort provided lots of fun activities, like for example the Magic Show, which was truly hilarious.

It was Mayetta's Birthday on the 24th, and all the adults got to go to a nice dinner, while a couple of teenage strangers watch all 10 of our children. It was wonderful.
We got out of the Resort one day to go to a Water Park, my first actual waterpark experience. Jack was very hesitant at first, but once I pushed him down the slide and he saw how much fun it was, he was thrilled and couldn't stop going up and down repeatedly. These are my brother-in-laws... posing for next years calendar.
We rented a Kayak for an hour or so and took turns taking it out, which was fun.

All in all, it was a great trip, and a fun time to get to know Josh's family better. We are grateful that his parents gave us the opportunity to have such a fun time and enjoy each other's company.

Till next year!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Old Fogey.

This is a list of the top ten things I frequently say that make me sound, feel, and probably look Old.

1. "Chew your food into small pieces."
I have to say this for a couple of reasons, one, is that I do honestly believe your body can absorb the nutrition it needs by helping out the digestive system by chewing your food well. Also, Jack once had a poopy diaper with WHOLE olives in it, and since then I've noticed he'll typically swallow things whole if he can get them down.

2. "Stay out of the street!"
I remember having this yelled at me. By all sorts of people. A also remember thinking 'Duh, I'm not going to get hit by a car.' But honestly not only is it dangerous, but it's just annoying. I hate driving down the street where there are a bunch of kids and it takes them forever to clear out of my way.

3. "Did you wipe?"
This is something that shouldn't even have to be asked. But for some reason, kids don't mind walking away from the toilet dirty. Nevermind the fact they don't flush, but they take part of the experience WITH them and I have problems with that. So I make a note to ask. Every time.

4. "Kids and their damn cell phones."
Every. Single. Time. I encounter a stupid move on the road, it's usually some teenager texting away on their cell phone. Or they are talking too loudly on it in inappropriate places, or on it during dinner, or any of the other rules I mentioned here.

5. "When I was your age.."
This often comes up when Jack's DS dies, or something. We'll be in the car and whatever entertainment he has gets old, or the battery dies, I have to pull out the 'when I was your age, we just looked out the windows.' Although, this comes out way MORE than just in the car.

6. "Walk! Don't run."
It freaks me out so much to see wobbly little kids who aren't aware of their surroundings, stumbling around on concrete or asphalt and about to fall flat on their faces. Ugh, makes my stomach turn. Road rash is no one's friend.

7. "Don't stand so close to the TV!"
We already have guaranteed Jack some horrible eyes, destined for lasik, but it's the SIZE of the television and the weensie-ness of Jack that makes me think that TV could smash him in a second.

8. "Because I said so."
You really don't understand this one, till you're a parent. Because when you are a kid, you want to know the REAL REASON WHY you were asked to do something. Like, "go wash your hands" for example. Forget the fact that you need to wash your hands, I am your MOTHER and I ASKED YOU to DO IT, and YOU DO WHAT I ASK. That's why.

9. "Don't go outside with your head wet."
I still don't know if this is a proven fact- that you will get sick if your head is wet and you go outside. But I'm not about to take any chances.

10. "Who is Justin Bieber?"
I still don't know if this kid is a singer or an actor or what. But I just figure he is a female version of Miley Cyrus and assume that is accurate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I could give every detail of this trip. I could. But I'm not going to. So for YOUR benefit, I'm going to narrow it down to the key, best moments. Completely in random order:

We were lucky enough to see Old Faithful faith it up TWICE in one day. Not many tourists do that.

These are the party animals Jack and I went with.

This is a picture I took, that I actually compare to an artist that Laura has showed me, Aron Belka, who Laura commissioned to paint a topographical image of Lover's Point for my dad, shown here:
I thought they were somewhat alike. Though one is my photo, and one is his painting.

Jack had a super buddy on the trip. He loves his Teagers.

This particular Bison strayed from his herd to spend a while rubbing himself on this pole. The kids loved it.

Jack is great at making pictures look like we are filled with joyous emotion.

This is one of those pools.

This is an old gas pump in one of those weird Wyoming towns.

And this is a bear, that we saw in virtually the same place that we saw THIS one last year. It may very well be the same one.

There you go.