Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Heidi's bangs

Heidi got some clothes and shoes for Christmas.  I was working in the garage when she showed me her new acquisitions.  Then, out of the blue, she said, "I'm ready to cut my bangs."

Good, because I've been trying to get her into bangs for years.  I studied the google images for various styles and this is the result.  Scott goes, "Mommy, you look younger now."

"Oh yeah?  I don't look like an old woman?"

"Not anymore."

I am pleased with the result.  She has been with a center part for so many years that the bangs naturally separated like this, but in a few days we'll get them straight down.  This morning, we decided to cut three inches more off the back and make the anterior taper more aggressive, so we'll have to photograph that but I had to run off to work and she is visiting Grandma today.

Some people are shocked that Heidi lets me cut her hair.  Well, anyone can cut hair, with the abundance of how-to videos on youtube and readily accessible household items.

"But I can't believe she lets you do it!"  Is a common response.   Heidi doesn't care what other people think of her.

Even if this endeavor had ended in catastrophe, we could have gone to a real stylist to have her/him make it right.

And the difference between a bad haircut and a good one is just a few days--weeks at the most.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Santa Claus visited the Brentwood 3rd ward's Christmas party.  This might be the first time all the kids are in the picture and there are no tears.  
This list must be from kids club.  Where does he hear about these things?  Heidi and I are only responsible for the iphone.  Well, good luck, Tyler!  But I bet Santa is feeling the recession, too.

Scott got a certificate from school to Rubio's.  He wanted to go on the VFR, so last night we went, on the coldest night of the season.  I ordered a mahi-mahi taco and it was Taco Tuesday, so we each got a fish taco.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Fish tacos are kinda the niche for Rubio's.

Good old Taco Tuesday.  Dan-o, Hobble, Rummage and I used to go to Taco Time every Tuesday ever since we could drive.  Sometimes Tadeo, Neal, Benj and Justin came and it was something we looked forward to.    We'd say, "Only six more Taco Tuesdays until graduation."

In college, we had pizza night.  Before Little Caesars offered the $6 pizza everyday, it was $5 on Mondays:  Monday Night Madness.  Well, before everyone and their dog had cell phones, we coordinated who was in for pizza night and then one or two of us would pick up the appropriate amount of pizzas.  Usually, three fed six of us.  I took white lightning and Dan-o and I would bike together for many Pizza Nights.  Once, there was a pizza under the heat lamps.  I asked about it and the employee--who, after months of seeing us, never learned our names--said, "Oh, you don't want that.  It's old."

I said, "I'll give you two bucks for it."


"Fine, keep it,"

Exasperated, she said, "OKAY!  Two dollars!"

Yeah, pizza night.  My record for eating pizza was five meals in a row.  There was one semester where I had doughnuts for dinner every night.  Man, those were the days.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hospital Panel

I haven't done a teaching panel in a long time mainly because it is harder to get to UCSF with the kids in school. The course was for NICU caretakers.
I always learn so much from hearing other parents experiences and journeys. Each individual has such unique needs. A great nurse or doctor will take time to ask and find out those needs, listen and take time to respond. One parent might relate their pregnancy to an unborn baby while another might never want to face that reality.
Part of the day included a class on spiritual care. We were asked how our religions or faith played or didn't play a role in our journey. It was humbling to reflect on one of my greatest blessings. I am blessed with a knowledge of eternal life and a community that wherever I live provides any type of support our family might need. I simply can't fathom loosing a child without a faith.
A reality of these panels is that so often the families that speak have the coping mechanisms to deal with their very difficult journey. We don't represent, nor should ones journey ever represent another's experience.
If just one person came away realizing that, than I think it was worth it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


What happened in November???

Lots to catch up on....Here are some things I must blog about this week...

1. Was super Tired from Thyroid and now feeling MUCH better.
2. Krey awards assembly=1/3 done with the school year.  That is CRAZY.  The boys are doing amazing. So grateful!
3.  My mom was finally doing better from her radiation.  Starting to gain her balance and walk a little and then broke her hip on Thanksgiving morning.  No bueno!  Grateful for my wonderful family and her wonderful friends.  She is loved by so many people.  It is so hard to see her go through so much.
4. Trying to sell our condo and it keeps getting postponed.  Learning patience.
5. Danny's hip surgery went alright.  Nerve pain is doing better but his back still needs help.
6. Feeling very blessed for life.  It is a wonderful season of the year and I feel like our cup is overflowing with blessings.  Grateful!

I actually have a lot of pictures I would love to put on the blog but we have exceeded our limit so we need to decide to buy more space or start a new domain.  Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November weddings

Heidi's classmate, Shawn, got married in Dublin on 11/9/12 and had a reception at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton.  The cover band and the food were good.

Nancy and Vladimir got married on 11/17/12 in Brentwood and had a reception in Crockett.

 Tyler and Kira had a great time running around and socializing with the other kids.

 Kira shows off her dress we got from craigslist.

We didn't have enough earplugs for all the kids, and Scott wasn't happy about wearing these cotton ones.

Most of these pictures were from the little didge.  After 8 years and one trip back to Canon, it's still working.  The quality isn't as good as the SLR, and you can probably tell which ones are which.  But sometimes it's too much a hassle to lug around the big dog, and I never even take it out of the case.  So a bad picture is better than no picture.

Heidi hasn't been posting much on the blog.  We don't have much news about her thyroid except that the numbers seem to be improving but the physicians aren't that concerned about getting her in to biopsy.  I'm always concerned when things change without much stimulus or why they appeared in the first place, but I'm no physician.  I've been keeping my fix-it blog up to date but people are more interested in the kids.  By the time I come home from work, we eat, maybe do piano, and then go to bed.

For my birthday (34--entering my mid thirties), I got some chocolates.  I like dark chocolate, but anything beyond about 70% is too dark.  Well, there was some 85% in my stash and the kids got into it.  Also, my peanut M&M's began disappearing.  Turns out Scott had climbed up on the sewing machine table, removed the chocolates from the high shelf and helped to eat all but the 85%.  Kira and Tyler joined in, but I found pieces of the 85% all around the house.  Even in the bed.

We got Tyler's report card.  He did better than expected and seems to be thriving.  He can memorize things easily and does well with his Spanish accent.  Scott has improved his reading quite a bit and is enjoying it now.

Kira speaks the most Spanish out of the kids and can repeat short sentences.  Her hair is still a mess and I want to cut it short, but Heidi was traumatized by a bad haircut from her youth.  So we'll keep Kira's hair a rat nest for now.

Blakey has been real fussy for the past week.  He had explosive diarrhea in which he would soil his outfits every three hours.  He doesn't have it anymore, but he still cries a lot and doesn't sleep well.
Okay, that's all for now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Freedom and Politics

The past weeks and months have been a time for me to examine my ideals, beliefs, and what I personally stand for. What a great blessing to be a part of a democracy which fosters this personal growth and reflection instead of taking it away.

Everytime I went down our street and saw signs, both for and against propositions and candidates, I felt proud to be an American.

With that said, it was so sad to see how many interpret that freedom as a duty to bash, put down and name call a side with a differing viewpoint.

I am pro-life.  I have had very sacred and personal experiences in my life that have formed this belief.  Has everyone had those same experiences?  No.  Do I consider others wrong who are pro-choice?  No, however, it would be wrong for me with the experiences and knowledge I had while pregnant to stand for any other belief.

If our state legalizes marijuana, will I teach my kids to smoke marijuana?  Of course not, just like I don't  teach them to smoke cigarettes.  Just because the majority says something is legal doesn't mean it is right for my family.

Our Nation is Divided.  I don't know what the solution is or sadly if there is one.  As a result politicians spend a lot of time getting very little done.  While I believe all truly want the common good for our society, we are all seeing how it is harder to reach that when the morale fabrics of our society continue to become more and more divided.

So the question I have spent a lot of time reflecting upon is what to do about it.  The answer came simply and powerfully: Be the best person, mother, wife and community member I can be.  Teach my children right from wrong. Teach them that living a certain way leads to happiness and fulfillment.  Be just as strong an influence on my family as society will be.  What a sacred responsibility!

I will continue to stand for what I believe.  I will rely on faith, prayer, love and constant attention to my family to teach them to become good, morale members of society, loving husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. It makes me want to be a better person, better mom and wife.  It makes me want to be a greater influence for good on my family and children.

Does the nation dictate my happiness or belief?  Yes and no.  As laws and ideals shift, I will still have the freedom to choose how I will personally live and what I will personally stand for and yes because I am blessed with that freedom!  For that I am very grateful to be an American.  I am grateful for the election we just had.  I am grateful for our wonderful country that blesses me with that!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Danny Surgery Update

Danny's surgery went well.  He went in today to get some nerves cut that have been causing horrible, daily pain that affects daily life.  I am not much of a worrier but I was really really really hoping that this worked.  My mom's best friend, our Aunt Rita, had nerve damage that was so horribly excruciating she finally got her leg amputated.  Danny's was nothing like hers but he told his surgeon he was ready to amputate than to live in this pain.  My heart goes out to all those with chronic pain.  I very much take my health for granted.

He had a similar surgery done a year after his first hip and got immediate relief. When we left the hospital today he thought it was better.  He has some phantom pain lower in his leg, but the back pain seems to be alleviated.  Keep him in your prayers.  This could be a huge blessing. It seems like we have been receiving a lot of pretty awesome blessings lately.  A lot to give thanks for during the season of thanks.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Radio call-in on Mormon missions

Ok, we listen to AM radio.  Every time I listen to talk radio, I am reminded that I am old.  
Anyway, today while we were driving to Walnut Creek there was a lady on the radio that couldn't stop talking about the Romney boys serving Mormon missions instead of serving in the military and if they loved their country they would have served in the military.  Apparently, Ann Romney had been talking about the positive impact her sons' missions had had on their lives.
While no service can be compared to serving in the armed forces, I do feel that anytime we serve, whether serving for the liberty of our country, serving in our professions, humanitarian service, volunteering or serving in our church, we are bettering society and bettering ourselves.  This is a commendable and good thing.  The talk radio hostess was so bold as to state that the only reason mormons serve missions is to grow their church and thus have more money for their church.
That got me.  I thought about the thousands of people serving humanitarian missions.  My sister-in-law being one.  You can disagree with church's trying to proselyte about Christ.  I get that.  That didn't bother me, but what did bother me was her false information.  So I called her and stated while there are a lot of proselyting missionaries, there are many missionaries serving humanitarian missions for our church.  She said there weren't this type of missionary in the Mormon church and there were just proselyting missionaries.  I said I personally know people who were called on humanitarian missions to which she said, "oh you are cutting out, I can't hear you," and hung up the phone on me. I wasn't cutting out but she didn't want to be called out that she didn't do her homework.  
Needless to say, the church is often first to aid in natural disasters.  They help all people and nations regardless of religion because that is emulating Christ.  In 2008, LDS Humanitarian Services provided aid to 3.3 million people in 122 countries.  From 1985 - 2009, $327.6 million in cash and $884.6 million in commodities of aid was given throughout 178 countries.  
I think it is important to recognize the good and get the facts.  So what did I learn?  Do your homework.

Friday, October 19, 2012



Oh, you want me to find my own binky?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Postponed Biopsy

I went in for my biopsy today and they were unable to do it.  The doctor was concerned that my inflamatory processes were too high.  She explained this might be a result of my pregnancy with Blake, infection, hot nodule or disease.  They want to make sure that it wasn't a hot nodule that elevated the esr.  She doesn't want to biopsy until she repeats labs in a couple of weeks. She is hoping to see a decrease in my sedimentation rate during my next round of labs.  My hormone level is really low, pretty much non-existent but t-3 and t-4 levels are normal which she said might be a result of the cyst interfering with my thyroid function.

She said my cyst is very large and pushing on my wind pipe and eventually lead to more symptoms.  She was surprised I didn't experience signs of having trouble breathing.  It hurts my ear right now and I can feel where it is pressing but not painful or troublesome to breathe.  She showed it to me on the ultrasound and it is a lot bigger than I thought.   It is a complex cyst, meaning it has solid masses, which she said isn't as good as just being fluid filled.  She said that if it comes back cancerous they will remove both sides of the thyroid to make sure that the diseased side didn't affect the side that appears healthy.  If the biopsy comes back normal, they can try to drain the cyst and hope it remains small. If that doesn't work they can try radiation or removal.  If they remove the one side they actually biopsy it while I am under to see if the other side needs to be removed.

I left feeling informed and educated.  I might not have all this right, but I think I understood.

Not worried about it and so grateful it is in my thryoid and not lymph node.  Hoping the elevated esr is due to a hot nodule or past illness or pre-pregnancy but we shall see.  So that's all for now.  A lot to be grateful for.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pain in the Neck

I got sick right before going on vacation and of course was sensitive to my aches and pains and noticed a lump in my neck from about a month ago that was still there.  Told Danny, who was upset and told me if I were his patient he would send me off to the Doctors right away. I was going on my trip and promised I would go to the doctors upon arrival home.

Luckily sickness passed within a couple of days.  I was slightly concerned I am so tired and get sick more than I used to.

Went to doctor, who I love, on Friday and ended up spending three hours at the doctors, getting annoying moles removed, tb test, labs and antibiotics there with 4 children.  Luckily I rock at doctors visits with kids and barely survived.  She thought the lump was probably a swollen lymph node, which didn't explain why it wasn't going away and I was so tired all the time, put me on antiobiotics and set up a follow up appt.

Labs came back normal for infection.  The abnormals were non-existent tsh yet normal t4 levels.   Elevated platelets and elevated sedimentation rate.  Didn't seem like an infection and symptoms of being overly tired didn't line up with hyperthyroid. I emailed and asked for an image since I didn't like the abnormal platelet count and esr.  They did a CT Scan today and showed I have a cyst on my thyroid. Super grateful it is my thyroid and not lymph node.

They will biopsy it this week and go from there.  Super grateful for modern medicine.  It is simply incredible what they can do and how easily things can be detected.  Grateful Danny and I have learned to listen to our intuition.  Hoping biopsy comes back normal, but if not, grateful that it is very treatable.  Hoping this will cure my excessive tiredness!  I am glad I am not much of a worrier.

Danny got a surgery date today to cut a nerve that is causing him horrible nerve pain.  He wanted to amputate his leg at Disneyland and was miserable at Katie's wedding so I am praying that surgery gives him some relief.  That could be the best news of the year for us.  Have so much empathy for people with chronic pain.  It is a joy killer, yet Danny has lived so graciously with pain.

Fall Break

Fall break is over and it was soo much fun!  We got to visit Glen and Janine who are serving a mission in Las Vegas.  It was Conference weekend which I love!  It was so nice to sit, talk, catch up, listen to conference and see them as missionaries.

They are working so hard.  They are doing an incredible job and blessing so many lives.

I thought a lot about my mission.  As I reflected on mission life I realized how blessed I was to serve in Barcelona with amazing mission presidents, companions, members and districts. I got to know my first mission president well as I served in the office zone and he was so full of love.  We wanted to be obedient simply because we wanted to love the Lord as he loved the Lord and loved us.

The missionaries came to talk to my kids about serving a mission and that was one of my highlights.  I hope they choose to serve missions someday.  It was one of the greatest blessings of my life.  The mission age changed from 19 to 18 and 21 to 19 for girls which makes me excited for them to have a focus in high school.

Afterwards we went to Disneyland with my parents, sister's family and her in-laws.  It was so wonderful to be together as a family.  It was so wonderful to celebrate with my mom. So grateful her health allowed her to come.  What a blessing.  Something about Disneyland makes you want to go all day every day so I now feel like I need a vacation.  Maybe next time I will slow down a bit.

Now we are home and it feels good to be back into the routine of school.  So grateful my kids like school and learning.  I feel spoiled and incredibly blessed.  Now we just need to get back into the routine of piano. Life is good.  Much to be grateful for!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Las Vegas and dizzyland

Heidi, her dad, and the kids drove the van to Las Vegas to hang with my parents.  I flew to LV the following day and here are some sites we checked out.

Then we left for dizzyland at 6:05 Monday morning.  The kids had a great time.  I started getting into the urban myths about Disneyland and began asking workers for insider information.  Heidi didn't believe any of it.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Finally got Tyler to predictably ride Little Bike.  We rode to Krey twice and he doesn't quite have the stamina, but I remember when Scott used to ride Little Bike to Northgate, he'd get tired, too.  Then, on Wednesday, Scott and I decided to ride bikes to soccer practice but Heidi left Scott's bike and insta-tandem at the school.  I pulled down White Lightning, filled up the tires for Scott, and we made it to soccer.  White Lightning is still a little big for Scott but here he is, riding it.  25 years old.
And here's Kira on the trike in Walnut Creek.  We went to Brett's house and I brought along some oil so I could lube the squeaky wheels.  By the time we got there, the trike was going pretty good.

Friday, September 14, 2012


As Danny rode off on his bike with Scott behind waving good-bye, yelling over and over, "I love you mom, have a good day, see you soon," with his backpack bigger than he is I wondered when my baby got so big.  So good on a bike to turn around and wave without falling or running into parked cars.  I wondered how we were so lucky to live in a beautiful neighborhood and country. I was filled with JOY!

I was filled with joy that danny is so lucky to do something he loves that allows him to ride the boys to school!

This type of joy that can't be bought with money, a big house of fancy cars.  It is the joy that is found with family, friends, love and living close to God.  The joy of having a wonderful husband.  The joy of having kids who enjoy school and are striving to be good little people.  The joy that my husband gets to take my kids to school because he works down the street.  I love our little neighborhood.  It is perfect for our family!  I felt so blessed!

I was filled with gratitude and simply needed to share!

I have the image in my head and need to capture it on film or with a photograph because I think it will be one of those moments in this moment of life that will forever make me happy.

Do you have any of those moments?  What are they?  Write them down to remember them forever.

As a kid I remember walking home with Erin and being greeted by my mom and grandma.  They made me a snack.  They asked me about my day.  I felt loved.  I felt special.  I felt I was the most important at that moment.  I remember that.

I remember sitting in the shower at Scottsdale or on the hot deck to get warm.  That was joy.

I remember driving to LA in our van at night.  We slept in the folded down back and watched movie.  I remember getting there and being greeted my ga and granny.  I remember playing at the beach and watching the rose bowl parade.  That was joy!

I remember always having my parents at my soccer games, swim practices and gymnastics practice.  They always supported me.

I remember doing my homework with my dad at night.   He was always there for us.  He could answer my homework questions, even if it meant reading the entire chapter to get what we were doing. I am grateful that Danny will do that someday because I am well aware my kids are going to surpass my skills.

I remember sunday dinners in the backyard.  Yummy strawberry/lemonade smoothies.  Sour and good.

My memories aren't necessarily the presents or big trips.  It was the time that we spent together.  What a reminder for me as a mom!  I am blessed with parents that led by example.  They taught me the importance of spending time with your kids.  You don't know to be involved in everything, just need to be available.


Can you believe Tyler is 5??  I really can't but so far 5 has been magical.  Except for the bad headache last night, Tyler is a new kid.  He is happy, healthy, social, fun to be around, loveable with a little kick instead of a lot.  His fontan has made him into a new kid and we are all loving it.  His cardiologist said that kids personalities oftentimes transform after the Fontan and not being so oxygen deprived.  I didn't hold my breathe, but he has miraculously transformed.  It makes me realize how sick he really was.  His blueness became normal and I thought his personality was just him being tough.  I guess he really wasn't feeling well for the first 4 1/2 years of his life.  Gives me a little more patience and empathy to try to understand why my kids or adults for that matter act the way they do.  

It is a miracle.  Each birthday for Tyler is a miracle. We have so much to celebrate this year!  He started school and loves it.  He has made some great friends.  He enjoys learning.  He goes swimming with his brother and loves it.  He is living a healthy and happy childhood.  I feel so blessed.  So grateful for the doctors, nurses, family and friends that got us to this point.  So grateful for the angels that gave their lives for medicine to be where it is today.  There lives are not forgotten.  Full of gratitude in celebrating this little man. 

All he wanted was spiderman stuff.  Cake brought to you by Pop.  He loves his new big boy slip on Star Wars Shoes, spiderman hat, watch, shirt and football.  He is one happy little man!  Most of all grateful for family who fill our lives with joy!  Without family, birthdays would be so different.  Grateful my mom is starting to feel a little better.  True love!

the weddng

This is when I went to Max's wedding one day late...My mom told me she thought it was Friday and sure enough she was right.  While I missed the dancing and mingling lucky me got to hang out with my bestie Laurel and her sweet little guy. These little men are about 3 monhths apart. Our last kids are 1 day apart. Robin served me up some yummy mexican from the night before and her bundt cake that was SOOO good.  I can't stop thinking about it.  I got to actually talk to the special couple Max and Emily without any rush.  It was a fabulous post wedding if you aren't quite ready for your wedding to end in a night, just invite me and I might just extend the party!  This is my life with 4.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The close of rec swimming

Aquaknights had their awards ceremony and Scott's relay did pretty well.

Tyler enjoyed the hot tub more than anything.

A sinking Kira has had to be pulled from the pool at least three times but she's learning how to breathe.

Scott's happy about the regalia

Blakey is thinking, "Hmmm, steak or chicken?"
Tyler says, "Cheese!"  Look, that open bite is almost closed.  And Tyler can pretty much do bathroom duty on his own.  Sweeeet.