Thursday, April 23, 2009


There is a great exercise that acting classes do. In it you describe who you’re character is by stating….I AM! It’s designed to help you establish who you are as a character, so you gain dimension. This is my interpretation of said exercise. After hearing this done for a friend at his funeral, it has been rolling around in my brain. For months now I’ve thought a lot about this exercise and what I would say. I’ve thought about who I AM. One particular attribute of mine has been really percolating in there ever since I started this triathlon training. I have flaws, of course I do. I have MANY flaws, but this one particular flaw has been even more glaring to me. I’ve really realized this problem and it’s bothered me. Dixie gets angry with me when I say that I’m like this, and that I can’t say those things to myself because it’s not true and its self defeating. But, it IS true, and my point is…I’ve recognized, now I need to figure out how to fix it. I’ll talk more about it when I get to that part in my exercise below.

I am a daughter of God. I am daughter to Tony and Dian. I am a sister to Dana, Eric, Merlin, Jenny, Porter and Dixie. I am an Aunt to 22, a niece, and a cousin to too many to count. I am a wife to Jere. I am a Mother to Max and Maggie. I am LOVED. I am from Mesa, AZ. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am a returned missionary from the Indiana, Indianapolis mission. I am BLESSED. I am intelligent. I am a disciplinarian. I am a word-Smyth (whole post about that someday). I am a friend to many. I am a good listener. I am a teacher. I am a singer, an actress, a performer. I am a believer. I am one who loves to laugh. I am locked in a lifelong battle with fat. I am a former Mesa City Champion swimmer. I am a lover of exercise. I am sarcastic. I am dramatical. I am strong willed. I am in love beyond words with my children. I am a “fixer”. I am not good at change. I am one who likes everything clean and in place. I am tough. I am quick to jump to conclusions. I am a fan of reading. I am a closet (meaning, hidden) interior designer. I am a reality TV junkie. I am an adequate piano player. I am a procrastinator to a criminal degree. I am a really fast typist. I am very impatient. I am really loving cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. I am a great Boggle player. I am so lucky to have the family I have. I am witty. I am very tender hearted. I am GRATEFUL for all I have. I am intrigued by people and their lives. I am…….

Wait for it………….


And this is what I want to talk about today. I have some examples, and I will share.

I’ve always known I was a bit more “laid back”, less driven if you will, but doing this training, and going through this experience has just shown me once again that, well, for lack of a better phrase; I sorta suck. And by suck, I mean, I give up, give in, am afraid of putting in the full effort, or afraid of pain, or whatever. I grew up in a family of super over achievers, starting with my parents and going right on down the line. I only have one brother who is similar to me, and don’t be offended Porter. It’s just, he’s also more laid back, not seemingly as driven as the rest. My other brother has ALWAYS been DRIVEN to be the BEST, the top, number 1. If he didn’t succeed the first time, he tried, tried again. He’s done very well for himself in his career, etc. because of his drive and tenacity. My three sisters are all type A overachievers. In school they did the best projects, got the best grades, and followed all the rules. Each of them is driven in their own ways, and successful at their own things. I’m sure they all look at me and silently shake their head in wonderment at my “attitude” on things. Just as much as I look at them and think…..”Why get all crazy, it’ll all work out.” However, I realize that I just really need to get over this issue and work to get a little more drive, and stop being such an underachiever. Ok, you want examples; let me give you a couple.

High school: I graduated 80th in a class of 700. Now, I’m sure you’re saying, well that really isn’t anything to be ashamed of. I’m not ashamed, however, it’s really sad that I was 80th, when I could have clearly been MUCH higher. The ONLY reason I know I was 80th is because at the end of my senior year my counselor called me into his office (which I had NEVER been in before ever) and informed me that I had earned a Presidential Scholarship (full tuition) to MCC for academics. I looked at him completely clueless. Was he talking to ME? I got what for what? It was then that he informed me of my rank in the class. My first thought and response to this was….”Hmmm, that’s CRAZY”, and “I don’t even want to go to college.” I had somehow received a scholarship for my academics and I had not done one thing to earn it my entire high school career. I did ONLY what I had to do to get by. I never exerted myself in any way. I would barely glance at something just before tests, as my form of studying. I turned in papers at the last possible moment. I hardly remember doing homework, EVER. While I did have friends who did AP classes, I really didn’t grasp what those were, or what the point of them were. I took EARTH SCIENCE because chemistry seemed way too hard and scared me. I was that lame; never applying myself and STILL got a scholarship. STILL graduated at a fairly decent number in my high school. First of all, what does that say about the 620 below me, and secondly, WHAT COULD I HAVE achieved? Where could I have gone had I actually worked at it? Had I actually used my intelligence and applied myself? Who knows?
When I finally got around to going to college for real, I did the same thing. I did only what I had to do to get by. Well, in academic classes that is. In performance classes I kicked some serious booty, but that’s because I enjoyed that, AND it came easily to me. But, in the end, I had to take some classes over, make up classes in summer school and it took me a little longer, due to my laziness I’m sure.

In church callings, I have always done just what I needed to. Nothing less, nothing more. I’m the world’s worst visiting teacher. And I know that by not giving it my all, I’m the one not learning and growing as I should.

In this triathlon training, what finally made me realize my loserishness is….if something starts to hurt, hurt at all, my immediate reaction is to quit. I don’t want to experience the pain. Except that you HAVE to experience the pain in order to improve and move forward. If I’m told to do something, and I don’t deem it something I want to do, I just dismiss it, even if it’s totally gonna help me out in the end. I’m totally that person in a class that when they’re doing stretches at the end and the teacher is holding a stretch…I just move on to the other side, ‘cause I’m done waiting for them. If I feel like moving on, quitting, whatever, I do it. So, when Dixie says one day, we’re gonna ride 20 miles, I immediately say, I’m NOT. We haven’t ridden over 12, what makes you think I can just add 8 more? Jenny and Dana were all ready to do it. They’re obedient little overachievers. Jenny has taken this whole situation and pushed herself to crazy new limits. She joined a running club, and she has a crazy trainer that makes her do things I’m sure aren’t humanly possible. Except, they are. Dana has pushed herself further than she EVER thought possible. She’s lost nearly 40 lbs. in the process, all because she committed in her heart and mind and wasn’t gonna quit. Don’t’ worry, that day we rode 14 miles, ‘cause we didn’t know how to find the right place to go 20. And, truth be told, I would have gone the 20, but shame on me for immediately being lame-o quitter girl.

I am not saying that I haven’t endured and broken new barriers and improved immensely through this all. I have. I have ridden further, swam farther, run faster (or run at all for that matter), sweated more than I EVER knew I could, or ever did before. I ran for ALMOST an entire ½ mile without stopping today. That is HUGE for me, HUGE! I have ridden a bike through intense pain, I’ve walked 5 miles, I’ve lost weight, strengthened muscles, forced myself out of bed with only 4 hours of sleep, etc. I know that I HAVE achieved. All I’m saying is, I’ve also NOT achieved all I COULD have. I have cheated myself not only in this process, but in life.

The triathlon is 2 short weeks away. I’ve trained; I’m ready as I’ll ever be. I know I can do it, and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m scared, I’m nervous, but I know it is possible. I AM ready. And when I cross that finish line, whether it be first(snort!), last or somewhere in the middle, I’ll know that ANYTHING is possible. I’ll know that I CAN do it, I DID do it! And then it’s time to think about the next challenge, the next mountain for me to climb.

I don’t want to be the underachiever anymore. There is so much MORE I need to give to my children/family and to my students. They all deserve my best. What ultimately am I afraid of? How do I change a LIFETIME of mindset and bad habits? Where do I even begin?

Because someday I want to be able to say:

I AM EVERYTHING I can be. I AM an achiever of her goals.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Oh what? That up there? It's nothing. All I'm saying is....will someone just take me out back and shoot me? I'm just sayin.

Max was scheduled for his 6 month well check THIS Friday. And as history has proven, that means he couldn't possibly make it. He couldn't make it because he is too busy having contagious diseases, as he is wont to do.

He's had a wet, loose cough for about a week, but no fever, no other issues, etc. But, the last 2 days I was noticing that when he was asleep he was struggling to breathe. He was having really short, rapid breaths, and this was concerning me. I took him to Dixies last night for a breathing treatment, which didn't seem to do anything. His lungs sounded like he was breathing through mud. And on top of this, his goopy eye had become profusely so throughout the day and had now spread to the other eye, which could only mean one thing right?.........PINK EYE! Clearly I could not put off his visit until Friday.

I called the doctor at 8:00 this morning, no answer. Called again at 8:10, was on hold until 8:17. I KNEW they'd tell me they had an 8:5o available, I KNEW IT. Sure enough, after explaining the sitch, they said to come on down at 8:50. Mind you, it's 8:17, Maggis is STILL in bed, Max is in his pj's and now the race is on. Impressively, I got Maggie out of bed, diaper changed, dressed and hair done, Max dressed, in his seat and all of us out the door by 8:30. THEN, as I was flying down the freeway, complaining to Lana on the phone about my sickly children, I blew right past my exit. UGH! So, took the next exit and made it to the doctor with ONE minute to spare.

So, trusty Dr. Deardorff came in, gave Maggie a looksy, checking to see if her ear infection was gone. You'll be "surprised" to know that it was NOT. SO, another round of antibiotics coming right up. THEN he looked Max over....not pretty. Max's ears were STILL infected (after 2 rounds of antibiotics already), he does have pink eye, AND a respitory infection, meaning breathing treatments every 3 hours. I tried to hold myself together, 'cause hey, what's another 100+ bucks in Dr. visits and medicine? SERIOUSLY! But the best was yet to come. The conversation went a little like this:

Dr. Deardorff (or DD): Are they around a lot of children?

Me: Well, yeah, I guess.

DD: Who?

Me: Their cousins.

DD: I want you to keep them home, away from other children. I don't want you to take them to the store, out in public, no church, nothing. Just stay in your house.

Me: Really?

DD: They just keep getting the same cold over and over again. We need to see if we can keep them away from others and REALLY knock this out. Because if we don't, your next option is tubes. (Max has apparently had one ongoing ear infection since about 2 1/2 months).

Me: (Internal whimpers and crys) Ok.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? What the H man? It's not that we have such a glamorous play group kind of life. We pretty much stay home most of the time as it is. We make our weekly forays out to Costco, Fry's and an occassional Target run. Then there are some very random stops at Lanas or Danas, with hangouts at Dixies. Really, we're not out in public that much. So, he wants me to truly never leave this tiny little box where we're tripping all over eachother and losing our minds. I'm not s'posed to EVER get out with them? Along with me losing my mind, THEY will positively lose their crap. I am SO not ok with this. I'll do it, 'cause I occassionally like to follow a command or two, but I won't be happy about it. AND, I'm VERY interested to see if we can actually get my kids better. Truth is, I simply can't handle paying out another round of EIGHTY dollars for antibiotics, and I'm not interested in either of my children having tubes put in their ears if we can help it.

I s'pose if I had to find a silver lining, a bright side, if you will, it would be that God gave me fabulous children that don't cry, or act sick. At least Max isn't screaming, whimpering, or crying all the time with his apparent sickly ears. Nope, he just smiles, giggles, plays and coos. He's pretty much perfection, and it humbles me. And really, Maggie, an ear infection? You wouldn't know it, 'cause she sure doesn't act like it. So, there's that, I guess.

What this means: Melissa, I'm suuuuuuuper sorry, guess we won't be coming over on Friday to spread our filth. Perhaps next Friday, if your girls haven't contracted some disease by then, haha.

Adults are welcome to come visit us, but guess no dirty little children beasts, carrying vile bugs of destruction.

Don't mind us, we'll just be here in Hell, I mean quarantine.

Ear aches and empty cupboards,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Six Months to Forever

To my dear SWEET Max -

It is so hard to believe that just 6 months ago you came to join our little family. I didn't know what it was going to be like to have a little boy. I didn't know that I could love something/someone so much that my heart would explode every time I looked at them. I learned that was possible with Maggie, and you have enlarged my heart and my capacity to love even more! You came to us with your perfect round head and perfect 8 lb. 6 oz. body. You came out with your eyes wide open, ready to take in the world around you.

Your first night in the hospital you were sooooo calm and so quiet. You slept through the entire night. I kept waking up every hour or so just to make sure you were ok. There you were, breathing peacefully, sleeping soundly.

You are such a sweet little guy. You just watched your big sister and cousin play around you, and let them "pat" you endlessly.

You had some jaundice, so I would lay you on the couch in the sun while you slept. You were such a good sport about it.

I loved you in this Sunday outfit so much! The Law family said you looked like a little Professor. I guess you did, but you sure made a CUTE professor.

You began smiling early at just about 2 months. It was such a new sensation for us, because your sister was very stingey with her smiles. I can't tell you how much happiness your beautiful smile brings to us.

You grew and grew so quickly.

You had so many great pairs of pajamas, there were just never enough nights to wear them.

My heart melts each and every morning when you wake up and the first thing you do is smile a HUGE smile at me. I wonder how I got so lucky to have another amazingly sweet and happy baby.

You began to roll over at 4 1/2 months. It made your sleeping a little difficult, because you were a tummy sleeper. Suddenly you'd wake up on your back, and it made you really angry. Thankfully we've worked through that.

You make me happy every single day. I thank my Heavenly Father for sending you. I'm thankful for your laughter and giggles, for your sweet spirit and for your adorableness.

I love your gorgeous blue eyes....thanks Daddy for those.

How is it possible that you've become such a little man already? We woke up one day and your were an adorable chubby bub. You LOVE to eat, you're always ready for a meal. At 6 months you weigh nearly 19 lbs. and you're so strong, you can pick things up or knock them over with real skill. I'm just waiting for you to sit up all by yourself, it's not too far off.

Thank you so much for coming to live with us. Thank you for every day of smiles, giggles, melting Mommies heart, joy and laughter. Thank you for bringing such a peace and calm with you. We love you so much and can't wait to see what the next six months to FOREVER bring us.
I love you forever
I'll Like you for always.......


Sooooooo, we ran into a minor complication in the ol' recovery process.

Jere had been having an especially hard time with his left side. It just was hurting him A LOT, and it was getting red and spreading. Then, randomly on Saturday night it started to "leak" a little bit. We watched it, to make sure all was ok. On Sunday it started to "leak" some more, and by Sunday evening it was pretty much pouring out this liquid every time he stood up, or sat, or moved, or whatever. We put gauze and tape over it and it would soak through. I wasn't too concerned because it wasn't puss (sorry, so gross) just mostly clear or a little bloddy liquidy stuff. However, by Monday morning it was clearly more of a problem, so we called the doctor. Long story short, they had us come in and when the doctor saw it his first words were, "I don't like the looks of that at all." And then he followed with "I'm gonna have to open it up Jere." This, you should know, was jere's BIGGEST fear. He was surrrrrrrre he would die if the doctor said he'd cut him. Wish you could have seen the look on his face....priceless! So, he numbed it up and then proceeded to scalple the site open. I'm here to say, that I find nothing more revolting than the sound of skin being sliced open. UGHHH! My stomach was squirming and lurching at this point. Jere was looking at the cieling and humming loudly. Pretty soong the doctor said, "Ummm, ok, Allyson, I'm gonna need some MORE guaze, could you hand me some?" So I obliged and handed him a wad, without looking in the direction of the foulness happening over there. Wouldn't you know it, even that was not enough, he soon asked me for some MORE gauze. Apparently, there was A LOT of infection inside of there. I tragically looked over at this point to see a fountain of what can only be described as FOULNESS flowing into the gauze. Holy barf buckets Batman. So, after he "cleaned" it all out, he then asks if I'll be able to pack this wound. He asks me this as I'm noticing his ENTIRE finger is now inside of Jeres wound. At that point I said, "but your whole finger is inside of him." Jere whimpered and the doctor said "That's probably not something you should say right now?" Sigh. But the answer to the questions was....No, not just no, but HELLLLLLL NO! There is no way that my overly squeamish stomach could handle packing this "wound". He asked me again if I could, I said AGAIN, NO! I assured him I'd call my cousin the nurse, or some of our friends that are nurses. And his wound was packed and we were o n our way. On the way home I placed my phone call to my cousin Wendy and told her of our little situation, and she was totally willing to come and help us out. So, below I'm going to share some pics with you.

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! Hideous picture of Jeres gaping hole underneath. Run away now if you can't handle it. Loves to you!

This is my dear, dear cousin Wendy who so willingly traipsed herself and her two young cuties over at 8:45 a.m. to pull out the old and pack in the new. I heart her so for being willing to do this!!

Welcome to Jeres "hole". It really is far grosser in real life, if you can believe it. On the upside, he feels a lot better now that the infection is out. He is practically bouncing around in his walking.

And here is Wendy working hard to re-pack the wound. Unfortunately she did not have many or ANY proper supplies to make it work, so it was a bit more difficult for her to do. But, after a lot of effort, she got done what she could....all with a smile on her face. Not only that, but she's willing to come back tonight and do it all again.


So, there you have it, the latest news on the surgical front. Oh that, AND the fact that he's now lost 29 lbs. in a week. AWESOME!!

Gaping holes and packing gauze,


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jere: A FAT Story

Ok, finally, here it is, recaps and thoughts on Jere and his surgery. Don't anyone worry, as is par for my course, there are WAY to many pictures. So, just bare with, I promise it'll be alright.

There once was a boy named Jere, his virtues were many and very. He liked to eat, he always liked to eat. He was a BIG baby, a chubby kid and a "thick" adolescent. And in spite of always being a "fat" guy, he was always active and able to move and do whatever he wanted. But at some point, when you CAN'T wedge yourself into an airplane seat, or resteraunt booth anymore, when you run out of breath just walking into work, or when you wake up one day and realize it hurts like hell to be alive you know that SOMETHING has to be done. There MUST be some way to gain control of your life again. When I met him he weighed around 280 lbs., so yeah, a big guy, but not so out of control either. He could still buy clothes at Target, which I call buying at a normal store. In the course of our THREE years of dating and 7 years of marriage he gained over a 100 lbs. To be fair, so did I, and then I got to have gastric, and he stood by the wayside, WISHING he could have it too. Clothes were a HUGE (no pun intended) burden. The only place we could shop was the fat mans store, and do you have ANY idea the rape they perform there? A t-shirt was apt to cost you $40.00. Pants were close to $100.00 half the time. It was painful and awful. He was up to 5X shirts and even then sometimes those didn't fit. He wore 60 waist pants. Neither of these sizes were easy to come by. Hence why he wore the same 3 pair of pants and same 5 shirts allllllllll the time. And just so you know, he said it's ok for me to divulge this info. There is something magical about getting the gastric, you suddenly don't care if everyone knows how much you weigh or what size you were. I guess it's because you know that you'll never weigh that or wear those sizes again. It's like a wierd badge of honor to say, I USED to weigh, or I USED to wear....Anyway.

Jere LOVES ice cream. He lived for ice cream. Bummer for him that he'll never be able to enjoy it again, not to this degree anyway. I still can't eat more than a couple bites of ice cream, or I get icky feeling. Anyway, this picture is just a great representation of Jere and his love for the food.

There he is in all his glory. The night before surgery, we took these BEFORE shots at a glorious 400.5 lbs. Tragically, he was still 42 lbs. LESS than I was to begin with. I know, super fatties here!
Anticipation was high, but Jere was excited for the surgery. He got a great blessing from my Dad and our home teacher Kale. We knew that all would be fine, and were ready for the big day.

At the literal BUTT CRACK of dawn we were up and getting ready. We had to be AT the hospital by 6 a.m. for check in. Tracie was MORE than kind enough to come over at 5:30 a.m. to stay with the kids all day. Seriously, don't know what we'd have done without good friends and family willing to help us out.

They took Jere back and got him in a bed and began getting him ready. They let us come back about a 1/2 hr. later to hang out with him, meet the drug doctor and his surgeon, etc. In no time at all he was being wheeled away for the big deed to be done. He was ALL smiles and jokes and happiness, which is important to remember for later. I should mention that Jeres Mom, Peggy, was a trouper and was there with us the ENTIRE time. While he went off to surgery we went and ate, isn't it ironic. Then we hung out for a long time in the 5th floor waiting room, which I might add here is quite nice. They've made it like a little home library, there is a computer for your use, seating areas, decorated shelves, etc. Well, we were expecting about a 2 1/2 hr. surgery, and we expected wrong. Anyway, at around the 3 1/2 hr. mark I was getting a big antsy...what was taking so long? At the 4 hr. mark I was REALLY agitated. Luckily, at that point the surgeon walked in and told us all was well. Apparently there was an extra lot of "inner" fat for him to fight through, but he was able to do it and the surgery went exactly how it should. With that news to relieve us of any fears, we set off to eat some lunch while he "revived". As I was eating my pizza and salad, I thought "wow! this will seem like lightyears away fro Jere." I remember feeling like I would never be able to eat "normal" again. Oh silly, it's really not that long. So, after an hour or so in recovery Jere was FINALLY wheeled in to his room. When we got to see him he was still rather loopy and in LOTS of pain. Oh, there is SO much pain upon waking up from this procedure, SO MUCH! He kept saying "My shoulder hurts. My stomach hurts. I'm too long for this bed. I need to go to the bathroom." Over and over in a continuous loop he'd say these same 4 phrases, as if he'd never said it before. Call us mean, but we were laughing so hard. He totally hit on his nurse, which was also hysterical, and by "hit on" I mean, he told her she had great hair and asked if she was married. She thought he was so funny. Needless to say, he was pretty out of it and in a lot of pain for that entire first night. I had to leave and relieve Tracy and Dixie for awhile, but thankfully his Mom and our friend Tim stayed the entire day until I got back at 8:00.

This is a shot of Jere going for his 2nd walk. He was in so much pain, it was really more than he could bare to be doing this, but he was a trooper and did as he was told. All the happy and joviality was gone, and remained gone until at least Friday.

He had to do this breathing thing all day long to make sure the lungs stay clear, etc. Unfortunately, he was forced to keep his catheter in until Tuesday night at 9:30. It was very painful and uncomfortable, but he wasn't putting out enough fluid, so they were watching him closely on that. Oh, I should mention that by the second day, he was up to 421 lbs. Yep, you get to gain weight before you lose it here.
I spent the night both nights on what can only be described as Hells little torture trick. It was literally a board. The first night I was sooo exhausted that I slept hard through the night with no interuptions. That was nice. However, the next night, SUCKED! Talk about body pain and lack of sleep, OY! Oh well, the things we do for those we love, right? The Tuesday was spent walking, breathing, walking, breathing. His surgeons do not allow the patient to be in their bed AT ALL between the hours of 6 a.m and midnight. So, he had to sit in a big recliner chair or be walking. He was pretty sure he might be dying, just suffering through the pain. However I will say, I think he's tried rather hard (and succeeded somewhat) to be brave and strong and not whine too much.

This is Dr. Sprunger, Jeres great surgeon. He's removing the drains so Jere could get ready to go home. Well, more importantly so Jere could FINALLY take a shower.
After getting his discharge papers, taking a painful shower, with my help and packing up we were ready to go. Thankfully we got out by 11:00, which wasn't any too soon. I was soooooo ready to be home. He was scared to be home, but also ready.
This place doesn't believe in "wheeling" the patient down to the car. Nope, no siree bob, they make you WALK all the way down to your car. Jere thought he might die, but he did persevere. I was proud of him. You will note the wheelchair, it was finely utilized as our carrier for our plethora of crap that we brought to the hospital.

He made it into the car. However, it was a bit of a dramatic ride home, because apparently EVERY bump, divet, crack in the road can be felt by surgery recipients. We got home and put him right to bed, 'cause you know how it goes...when you're in the hospital you NEVER get any sleep. So, we put him down and he slept for 6 hours. Unfortunately, when he woke up, and needed to get out of the bed, YIKES! There was no way for him to get out of the bed without wreaking havoc. He thought he died, but somehow he got off the bed, still alive. It has gotten better each day, though I feel the progress is a little slow.

I'd like now to give FAIR WARNING....below is a picture of his large tummers and the incision sites. If you ask me, this looks rather tame, compared to the AWESOME open surgical scar I had. But, we're not comparing, right? So, I warned you:

So, here we are. This is where Jere is currently spending his days...sitting on the chair, in discomfort, waiting it out. He's been very good about getting up and going for his "walks" and drinking his water all day long. He's also a total rock star on the breathey thing and can now get higher than he did before the surgery. As I said, each day brings a little more healing and a little more mobility. I can't wait for him to feel all better and truly be on the way to his new life. Each day, each pound lost feels like a new sense of freedom. The ability to move freely again, the ability to wash yourself, to bend over, tie your shoes, whatever it may be, all feels sooooo invigorating and wonderful as you start the magical journey downward.
Can't wait to start breaking out the bags of his clothes that we had to put away because they were too small. We should be covered for at least a good 60 - 70 lbs. then after that, well maybe we can buy cheap stuff at "normal" stores.

Just for the sake of being on record. Maggie was confused by our absence and kept asking for us. When I would be home with them, before going back to the hospital I would tell her Daddy was at the hospital, 'cause his tummy had some owies. So, when I brought him home, and she was so excited to see him, I had to stop her and explain Daddy was hurt. So now, every day, if she asks him to hold her, and he says he can't, she says..."Daddy's tummy owie?" She'll repeat that over and over again. She's been really amazing about understanding that and leaving him alone and not touching him. She does ask to see Daddys' tummy owie at least a couple times a day. She's such a good little girl, I'm so grateful for her and her smart little self.

Many, many, MANY thanks to Tracie, Julie and Jessicah for spending the nights and or days at our house while I was there with Jere. It was a huge help and a relief to know that our kids were well taken care of in our absence. You'll never know how much we appreciate it. Thank you to Peggy for literally spending the ENTIRE day with Jere and I on surgery day. And thank you to everyone for your prayers and offers of love and support.
Here's to a long and skinny future!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One Special Day TWO Special Ladies

Today was an exciting and very special day for not one, but TWO of my favorite ladies in my life. We spent a lovely morning in the Temple and then an afternoon at two soire'es (look it up if you don't know what it is, haha) visiting with friends and family and enjoying yummy food. Well ok, Jere didn't enjoy any such yuminess, he only smelled and winced, but he got out and did it. THAT was a big step for him. Anyway.....

This is my stunningly beautiful sister Dixie and her man Shane. She found true love and a GOOD man the second time around. They were married a year ago last week in San Diego. It was a "long" wait for them, but they're finally sealed forever and ever and ever. It was exciting to see them in the Temple together, and I was so glad I could be a part of witnessing their eternal union. They really do make eachother so happy, and it makes me SO happy to see my sister finally and truly treated and loved, like she deserves.

This is our good friend Nancy and her man Dave. Nancy found love for the first time, late in life, at the age of 40. They were married a year ago in February, and today they had the beautiful and amazing opportunity to be sealed for time and all eternity. And not only were THEY sealed, but then they were sealed to Daves two children. I'm overjoyed for them and their kids.

Congrats to both of you beautiful women for meeting the man of your dreams and making it a FOREVER deal!! We sure love you all!

Brides and bows,


Friday, April 17, 2009

A Heartfelt Thanks

I just needed to send out a HUGE and heartfelt thank you to all my ladies (and anyone who was there and or contributed reads this blog) for making it possible for us to get to my son's 6th, nee SIXTH month of life before we had to go and buy ANY of these:

No really, you have NO idea how grateful we are. Max is so delighted, can't you tell? I mean, I just can't thank you enough. And to be fair, my Mom was incredibly generous and her gift to me/us was a box of diapers a month for the first year, so this was her first box having to purchase. So really, she's probably thanking you too, 6 months in she gets to start the purchase. MAN, I am so blessed! And thank goodness for hers and YOUR generosity, because yesterday I had to go and do this:

That my friends, coupled with buying formula, that is painful. Not gonna lie, might have shed a tear. $100.00 later. OUCH!! Babies are expensive little buggers. But you know what? They're SO worth it!!!

But really, please forgive me for my HUGE lameness of never getting my thank you notes out for the shower. It's embarassing really, and I have no great excuse. Ok, truth be told, Dixies and Jenny D's are written and in the envelope, have been since the hospital, just never handed them to you. UGH! Just let it be known that my heart is overwhelmed at the love and generosity of my friends and family. I am MORE than grateful for ALL you do, have done and continue to do for me and my little family. Thank you so MUCH for all the gifts. Max is a studly little fashion plate because of YOU!

Diapers and divas,


Scenes by the Wayside

For the record, this is my FOURTH attempt at posting these pics. For whatever reason, whilst at the hospital with Jer (thoughts and post forthcoming) the pictures would NOT load. It was all rather irritating to say the least. However, in the spirit of what this post is about, I'll let it go.

Max's debut as Baby Jesus was a very good learning experience. The first few nights he would be fast asleep, or giggling, or happy as a clam in my arms, just moments before going on stage. But, as SOON as they wrapped that blanket around him and "Mary" took him out, he would scream, and he would scream uncontrollably (except when he was shown the lamb, and looked up at the fire) the entire time. Then, the MOMENT they handed him back to me, he'd stop crying and usually fall asleep. However, he turned a bit of a corner the next week when pageant came around. He was usually sound asleep, and would wake up and just lay there cooing at "Mary and Joseph" and was so calm and happy. Not gonna lie, much preferred those performances. He is apparently the biggest baby Jesus they've ever used, but he was loved by all backstage. And I mean, c'mon, what is NOT to love about that face? Have you SEEN him? All in all, it was a really cool experience for Max to have. How many kids get to say, they were baby Jesus?

On the last night, we went down early to meet with "Mary and Joseph" and take a few pics. The backstage people were so cute, they pulled the manger and the special blanket out and had them waiting. That was a cold and very rainy day, so the stage was dripping and wet. But, we managed to get some good shots. AND, I was lucky enough to happen into Robert (the man who portrays Jesus, and to me embodies what I think Jesus looks like in every way) and got a couple of fabo shots with him. So, without further ado......

Robert and Max, "Jesus" at each end of the spectrum. He truly is such a wonderful man. My FAVORITE part of being in pageant last year was the "healing and teaching" scene. I am telling you, it literally felt like you were watching Christ do those things. It was very moving, and I would generally cry each time. I can't imagine pageant without HIM in this part.

This is sweet and adorable McKay Tucker, who played "boy Jesus" this year. He is the best, as is his wonderful family.

Christ in the three important phases of his life. I felt so clever for getting this picture. Hooray me.

Who is that child in the swaddling clothes, lying asleep in the MANGER? Have I mentioned that I might love this child more than is humanly possible to love ANYTHING?

Sweet family portrait, except Max was D-O-N-E by this point and totally screaming. No more serenity for this picture.

This guy (Jeff) was really the nicest guy. He truly loves his pageant experience and loved Max with so much gentleness each night.

This is Kelly (Mary), isn't she beautiful? Well, it's not a question, she really is very, very pretty and such a sweetheart. Max was a bit bitter for this picture, but in the end, he really did like Kelly.
In related not even 2 year old TOTALLY knows who Jesus is. I am NOT saying this to point out she's genius, or to say that we're such the righteous and holy parents that we taught her so well. I'm saying this more in total shock. Frankly, I can remember exactly ONE time that I actually pointed to a picture and said, "This is Jesus." I'm saying this because it is truly amazing, and somewhat scarey how much these little minds pick up on, and or remember. The other day, when Gramma Peggy was dropping Maggie and Max off, something got said, i can't remember what, and it set Maggie off. She kept pointing to the picture we have on our wall of Jesus and the children and saying "Bampaw (for whatever reason she gave up saying gamma, and only refers to all grandparents as bampaw) that's JESUS. BAMPAW, it's Jesus." She'd point to it over and over, and try and get as close to the picture as she could. I was so amazed, because as I said, i really had NOT done my civic and parental duty of teaching her about him. Then, today I was on facebook earlier, and on the sidebar was something about, He is Jesus Christ and a picture. She pointed at it and said, "Jesus Mommy." Seriously, I love that kid and her quick mind. I'm thankful that she has gleaned a little something, and realize that I have so much more that I need to do to be an example and to teach her. Oh, to be as a child.
Pageants and prayers,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Grumpies and Happy Bunnies

So it was Easter right? There was candy, there was grass and eggs and baskets and toys. These are good, no? They make children happy, or so it seems. However, MY child, my pretty, pretty Princess looked more like THIS:

This is Easter Grumpies!!!!

And THIS is Happy Bunny. Would you LOOK at this kid? He was nothing but smiles and sweetness all day!

It all started out so well. Maggie woke up chipper, and was pleased as punch to see her basket and check out its contents. Yeah, it was just Maggie and I, Jer and Max were snoozing away. I mean really, I only made a basket for Max to make it known that there are TWO children. Not like he wanted it, or even ever saw it. But you know, I like to be equal with the kids.

Happily showing her basket goodness. It wasn't long after this that she discovered there was CANDY inside the eggs. This girl LERVES her some candy. She'd eat it for breakfast everyday if I'd let her. On this EAster, I did let her. She had jellybeans and peanut butter m&m's. Don't be jealous of my parenting skills. However, I should have known we were in for a doozy when she started yelling "NO DRESS" and running away. Every time I mentioned the dress, or showed it to her, she hit it and yelled again, "NO DRESS." What the? I don't have a daughter that doesn't love her dresses. She usually picks them out, and gets excited the frillyer it is. So, something was definitely off. I of course wrestled her into the dress, all the while she cried and fought. I got the tights on, the panty cover, the shoes, the hair done, but it was a battle. So not used to this.

We managed to get ONE smiling picture of her, only after I stood off to the side acting like a total retard.

This picture is indicative of the rest of the day. Holding to me for her dear life, looking concerned and bothered. At least I look decent. I had to sing in church that day, AND teach Relief Society. What did I sing? Well, I sang His Hands. This marks the TWENTIETH year of me singing that song. I know, sort of creepy huh? I'm pretty sure I'll be 60 and this ward will be calling me and requesting that song. Anyway....

Really? Can you even stand it? The adorableness of this whole ensemble and the look ofher walking in was just too much to take. But, church was nightmarish. She insisted on being with Dixie, or just yelling at me, or running up to try and get on the stand, or crying. I spent a good amount of time in the hall with her. Happy Easter, how bout that spiritual feeding? UGH!
After Sacrament Meeting I wanted to at least get a couple of pics with the kids together. This special trio of shots is what we got. That's ALL we got.

please Maggie, just let me hold you

Really Mom? I'm trying to be nice, she won't sit with me.

Max is so trying to do his part. And this my friends is one GRUMPY princess.

This is how we had to leave church that day. That is one Easter gone awry. Here's for hoping that NEXT Easter brings hoppyer (oh really, I slay myself, my cleverness is legendary) princesses and just as sweet bunnies.
Hope your Easter was grand!
Frownie faces and bunny ears,