Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

Lately, the kids have ended up in our bed.  Tyler's been having nightmares but he comes in quietly.  Maybe I don't notice him because he climbs in from Heidi's side.  

Kira always approaches my side.  This time, the three kids climbed in, forcing me and Heidi into Kira's bed.  Check out Tyler; he has his bear.  

I woke up at six this morning in order to wash the van.  I spent about an hour on it, and I was surprised to see that everyone was still asleep when I finished.  Then I worked on my finale files and Kira strolled in a little after eight.  The rest of the clan was up by nine and we had breakfast.

Tyler made a very bad decision by throwing a book at Kira, which gave her a bloody nose.  He has anger management issues and I was very upset and had to practice a lot of restraint in talking to him.  Poor Kira.  Sometimes, I want to teach her to fight back so Tyler will learn his lesson of not messing with her.  But I don't want Kira to turn hard like that.  It's funny, when Tyler is behaving poorly, Scott is like, "I'm being good, right?"  And earlier that morning, Scott was throwing a fit about practicing his piano.

I've kinda gotten out of TV.  Maybe I'll get back in when Revenge starts up again next month, but I have really enjoyed doing projects in the garage instead.  I hardly have the patience to sit through a netflix full length motion picture.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

And stuff

The kids like to imitate my hamstring stretches.  Tyler is quite flexible.  Blakey is just using me as a couch.

Scott and I went on a date to Panera after soccer practice.  He ate all of his cookie and chips, and about three bites of his sandwich.  I wouldn't have gotten the cookie but we had a gift card.  We took all the leftovers home.

Scott likes one-on-ones with the motorcycle.

Heidi had her copper IUD removed and it made a dramatic difference in her mood, for the better.  No, we are not trying for more kids, I just thought she would feel better with it out.  I don't know why physicians try to deceive or lie to us about how there are no hormones in those, and that it's "impossible" to have the kinds of side effects Heidi was having.  Well, doctors should know to not use always, never, or impossible in their conversations.  Nothing is impossible in medicine.  Just ask Jesus.  What explanation do you offer when he healed the leper?  Or how he made the blind man to see?  I'm sure there is a physiologic sequence, because God operates within the laws of physics and chemistry, but when man has no explanation, we call it a miracle.  And those are happening in medicine all the time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Made bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning.  The kids loved the bacon; my eggs, not so much.  But whatev.  Then Scott had his soccer game and we went on the VFR to Oakley.  Heidi and the rest of the kids showed up just before half time and it was a good game because Scott scored two goals and his team won.  Then we went to the gymmer to swim.  

Kira's a little young for a ride on the motorcycle, but at least she's excited about wearing her helmet.

Then we went to Walnut Creek to Heidi's parents.  Blakey figured out how to make Pop's jeep go.  He still doesn't understand the steering, so I let him go back and forth in a straight line.  

On the way home, Scott kept asking about cars.  He said, "If anyone gave you a free car, what would you get?"


"What if you didn't get a Lexus, what would be the next car you'd get for free?"

"Toyota Supra."  

Scott:  "I'd get a Corvette."

Me:  "I thought about a Corvette, too."

Scott:  "Think we could get an old one, spray paint it, put in a new engine, and put in a subwoofer?"

Me:  "Of course."  Meanwhile, I'm pleased that he knows how important subwoofers are.  Then I had to explain why the Supra is such a great car.  I think it'll be more effective to just show him the youtube videos of the ones with huge turbos that spank Lamborghinis and Ferraris.  

These photos were taken with the iphone.  They're not that great, but a bad photo is better than no photo.  I saw a commercial for a phone that claims 42 megapixels!  Ha!  Rubbish.  No amount of megapixels can compensate for a bad lens.  

Alright, then.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Some kid shots

Just had to photograph Kira in her church dress.  Since I get her ready, I can dress her how I want and do her hair how I want.  She likes the pony tail, and I talked her into this cute dress.  I don't know where we got it--maybe Kat.  Or some craigslist bin. 

Tyler has been into watching youtube videos and he wants to make a "fail compilation," so he asked me to film him falling off the bean bag.  Kira wanted in, too.

Don't know what Scott's doing here, but check out the motorcycle on his shirt.  That looks an awful like a 76 Honda CB750.  Does it say Harley?  Can't tell, but that is no Harley.   Heidi doesn't like that I share my opinions about good vs. crappy vehicles.  Scott is convinced that Toyota and Lexus make the finest cars and that Ford are the worst.  And he believes that Honda bikes are good and Harley are not.  Good boy.  All you Ford people out there:  I have done my time with Ford:  Boy's Bronco and Heidi's Exploder.  No thank you.

That's all.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Circus 2013

Saturday was the Barnum & Bailey circus.  I had left for work at 6:00 on the VFR, saw patients until about 2:30, and then Heidi, her parents and the kids picked me up at the office to go to Oakland.  I was hoping to see the motorcycles in the globe, but this year's performance was still good.  My favorites:

Unicycle basketball

 The woman getting fired out of the cannon, 3 step sequence shots

And the trampoline show.  We had one of these in college and Dan-o and I would do fancy flips off them into the foam pit.  We made a video called "Oh, Flip" and it was us doing flips everywhere.  Well, the pool, Mexico, BYU and Layton.  I'll just upload it.

I think the kids had a good time, especially with the cotton candy that came with this hat.

Friday, August 16, 2013

School pictures

Yesterday was school pictures.  They don't seem to do a classroom group photo anymore, so you pay this company way too much money for mediocre prints and then they do a composite print containing each individual's headshot.   I liked the group photos they took at East Layton Elementary because there was always someone who wasn't ready for the picture, so they looked surprised, or there was someone blinking.  Plus, the principal and our teachers were in the photos.  

I took my own photos before school started.  Mr. Congeniality had no problems smiling for the camera.  

Scott didn't want to show his teeth and ran inside.  Then Mommy bribed him with something and coaxed a teether out of him.

This is how he wanted to smile.  I think he looks more natural in the toothy smile.  I don't like Kim Kardashian, but I think she has mastered the closed mouth smile.  Speaking of KK, Kanye was booed at a baseball game when they showed him on the jumbotron.   I don't know why those people have their own "reality" show.  Who cares what Kim's gonna wear to her ultrasound?  Come on.  They ought to call theirs a fake show, not reality.  Or, "Keeping up with the Kardashians' Debt!"  People still watch her, though.  They say it's entertaining.  I think it's contaminating.  But my blog only has four followers, so I can't talk.  Justin Bieber has 46 million twitter followers.  

How do I even know this?  I see as patients a lot of young people who keep me up-to-date with my E-gossip.   I've thought about starting a twitter account.  Then I thought, "No."  Anyway, Scott's photo:

Then he wanted a shot in front of the golf course.  The lighting wasn't good when we did these shots, but this will have to do.  

The other night there was a ruckus in the ditch behind our house.  I got out my super flashlight to investigate, but couldn't see anything, even though the noise continued.  I thought of the movie Super 8 and decided to stay on our side of the fence.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday afternoon hyper

 The boys like to remove these empty water containers and use them in their circus.  Then weren't so excited about putting them away, though.

Are you done taking my picture?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Morning examples

Tyler got himself ready for church.  I let him play with the iPhone since I only asked him once.  Scott puts up quite a fight about the morning routine.  I told him that if he does his piano and gets ready, then he can play.  Instead, he plays first and then fights the rest of the time.  I was like, "What's 3+2+1?"


"What's 1+2+3?"  Also six.  I tried reasoning with him that he doesn't lose any time by doing his piano and chores first, but that wasn't working.  Then we tried the yelling approach.  Scott doesn't respond well to that.  

Kira has lots of clothes, and she wants to wear her princess dress to church, but it ends up too poofy and uncomfortable.  She chose this one instead and wanted a ponytail, like Cinderella.  I gave her some layers last week but her fine hair lacks body.

Her bangs are looking good, though.

Off to church.


Scott had his county meet at Acalanes yesterday.  I was seeing patients in the morning and got a call from a panicked Heidi.  She couldn't find the van keys.  30 minutes later, she texted that Scott was riding White Lightning to the office with his his helmet in order to go with me to the meet on the VFR.
We heard a knock on the window, and I was like, "I bet that's my son."  Sure enough, there was Scott, outside the operatory window.  I finished up my patients and Scott and I went to the meet.  Heidi made it sound like we were going to have to book in order to make it on time, but even with the Somersville coarctation slowing us down, we still made it with at least an hour to spare.

Even before Scott was to swim, Heidi showed up.  Apparently, Kira or Blakey had hidden the keys in a pot.  Where's the spare set?  Good question.  I'm ready to buy a valet key or another clicker so this doesn't happen again.

Scott did backstroke and his relay took 7th.  Scott had a good start and did well, even though we didn't get his split.  It was fun seeing families from Valley Vista.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mr. T and Blakey

Picture of Tyler's usual morning behavior.  I usually do breakfast, and lately, Tyler has refused to eat anything but waffles and cereal.  Sometimes, I'm like, "You can eat these pancakes or go to your room."  Now that school has started, we are in more of a time crunch and if he chooses to not eat, he'll melt down in school.  

This morning, I was going to prepare French toast.  Heidi was like, "I think it's silly to argue over what the kids eat for breakfast."  So, we have compromised by allowing Tyler to eat what he wants, where he wants.  Check out his bear on the right.  He sleeps with a bear that has an embroidered sternotomy repair, symbolizing heart surgery.  We named him Tony after Tyler's surgeon.  

 Blakey's pretty chill.  People have been commenting on how he looks like Scott, even people who don't know us well.  I agree.  Blakey likes to tinker in the garage with me and lately, he's been crawling up on my motorcycles.  He sleeps the best out of all the kids and seems to be the least fussy over what he's eating.

Adam, the guy who gave me the CB750, has sold his home and moved.  Wednesday night they packed up everything else within the home and gave us their portable basketball hoop. Scott and Tyler were stoked about it and last night they were shooting the hoops.  I think that's a lot better than spending hours on minecraft, but I remember watching tons of TV as a kid, too.  I just think if they did fewer electronics, they'd be healthier.   I pretty much have to pull Scott out of bed and carry him to the piano to get him to practice.  After about ten minutes of him sitting with his head on the keys, we can work on some songs.

Okay, that's all.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Our Utah trip and my thoughts on blogs

Looks like I'm the primary author of this blog, now.  That's okay.  For a while I was hesitant to put up kid pictures and text because that's usually Heidi's job, and then for a while, I wasn't sure where to get back into blogging.  I'm not into facebook because it's too time consuming and there's no real power to archive.  Plus, why do I care that you've just gotten a latte?  With these blogs you can print them into books, which is what we did for Heidi's posts from 2007-09.  It's easy to keep my NBI blog because no one reads it and I don't have to stress so much about including each of the kids in the posts or whatever.  

So we did the annual Glen McMillan family vacay in Elk Ridge Estates, near Cedar City, Utah.  The elevation was about 10k and I felt it right when I got out of the car.  Then Tyler complained that his chest hurt, and we could see that he was really having to exert himself in order to get the air in.  The expansion and contraction of his chest is what drives the flow of blood, so he would huff here and there.  

We called his cardiologist and he was like, "Did you ask me about this elevation?  I don't remember having this conversation."  It was because we didn't know the altitude was going to be so high.  We figured that since it was near Cedar City that it would be about 4500 feet.  So we gave Tyler a blessing that talked about his hemoglobin accommodating so he could enjoy his time with his cousins.  

The next day he was feeling a lot better, and he complained a little, but the rest of the time, did well.  

A view from the west balcony.  We were pretty much at the top of this mountain range.

Bryce was my favorite part.  Fortunately, it was cloudy and therefore, not very hot.  In fact, it started to thunder and lightning and rain and we had to go inside the lodge.  The guide was trying to shuffle us inside without sounding panicked, but I know he was worried that someone was gonna get struck by lightning.

I think the kids need more time to run around in the dirt and throw sticks or rocks.  More nature, less electronic stimulation.

I have since cut Blakey's hair and he looks quite a bit older.  Everyone comments that he looks like Scott, and it's true.  My mom did Kira's hair each day.  She's real crafty like that.  I gave Kira some layers but we haven't really styled it since.  I also gave Heidi some posterior layers but that's not really hard.  Anyone can cut hair, and the difference between a good and bad haircut is a couple of days.  

 On our way back to California we drove through St. George and stopped at Brigham Young's summer home.  You gotta admire the Mormon pioneers for planting and irrigating and making that desert into a habitable area.  I still don't much care for the heat, but they were able to grow, harvest, and spin cotton on his estate.  That's cool.  This tree had split (maybe struck by lightning, I can't remember) and they cemented the core and put a turnbuckle in the bifurcation.  Clever.

I'm also impressed at the woodwork those pioneers did.  Things were different back then.  I don't even know who Ethan Allen is, but I bet his kitchen set isn't as sturdy as this.  IKEA:  get real.  We can't talk much because we buy beat-up stuff that the kids destroy.  Heidi wants to get nicer furniture, and I kinda do too, but as soon as we do, we'll always be fussing over it.  Kira has been going crazy with the markers on the walls, furniture, bedding, herself, you know, pretty much anywhere she shouldn't draw.  But whatev.

A view from the west.  On the right was the cotton garden, pomegranate tree, grape vines, and some other fruit trees.  It was inspiring.

Looks like that's all the pictures I have in my dropbox folder.  So how are we doing?  Okay.  Fortunately for me, work is going well and I am happily doing six days.  The kids started school back up and we had back to school night last night.  This morning, Tyler and Scott were racing the hopscotch grid and Tyler fell.  He started to cry that he wanted to go home, and his teacher had to coax him to get into the classroom.  I left before he actually went in, but I don't think he's exactly thriving.  We got two phone calls last year because Tyler had "accidents."

Sometimes I forget his condition and just expect him to be like Scott.  Considering Tyler's heart configuration, and considering that some of his cohorts have died or have received transplants, I think he's doing pretty well.  I think he got the genetic shaft from me.  My stupid back still hurts, even though it hurts less than it did six months ago.  The swimming, pilates, and acupuncture seem to be helping.

I can't speak on behalf of Heidi, but I think her mom's condition has been hard on her.  I don't know what to do or say, so I end up just retreating to the garage for my therapy,  but that's selfish too.  Oh well.