Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Family is Family

Today I talked with my mom. During this conversation, I learned that my uncle is dying. He wasn't expected to make it through last night, so they aren't sure how much longer he has. I think the last time I saw Uncle Bob was at my grandma's funeral...that was 10 years ago. Though I haven't seen him in years, family is family. He is my uncle. I have a lot of memories getting together with them when I was younger. I adored my cousin, Lori. Over time, we didn't see them as much and they moved further away. All my grandparents have died. That was horribly sad and hard for me. I have dealt with death before. But it's a different story when an uncle or an aunt dies. Grandparents are "old." You expect them to die. It's sad, but it happens. My uncle? It's closer to my parents. He's not that much older than my mom...though I think his lifestyle was harder on his body. And then the thought occurred to me that this isn't just my uncle, but he's my mom's older brother. I can't imagine losing Ted. I look up to him. He, with my sister, paved the way for me. He protected me when I was younger...and though we don't talk everyday, I know he's still got my back if I need him. He's my big brother. I don't know the last time my mom talked to Uncle Bob, but he's still her older brother. He's her Ted. And that breaks my heart. Tomorrow she and my dad will be driving up north so she can say goodbye. I wish I could be there. I wish I could say goodbye, thank you for helping create some of my childhood memories, and I love you. No matter the circumstances, the distance, the past -- even if filled with regrets, family is family. You love them and grieve them when they are gone. I love my family. So, for what it's worth....I won't be there at your bedside tomorrow, but Uncle Bob, goodbye, thank you, and I love you. I'll see you again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our Little Sammy

Sammy has been sick and upset for awhile now. I was telling Marcus that it seems like Samantha just isn't happy anymore. Ever. I was sad because it really did seem like she had grown out of her happiness or something. It had just been so long since she's been happy and not screaming during the day. Well, today we got a glimpse of our old Sammy. She was in a good mood for the majority of the day, which was nice. Tonight I started looking through some old pictures, and I got a bit emotional (I have been all week when it comes to Sammy. Post on that later.) I haven't really looked through pictures in a long time, and it was fun to see some of our old favorites. I know I'm her mom, but really, Sammy has the cutest smile. It's infectious. What a sweetheart my little Samantha is. I realize it's overkill, but I know some family who may be interested in seeing these again.

Only a couple months old maybe. She was sitting up and then tipped over. She just looks like a little doll.

Perhaps not the highlight of Samantha's babyhood, but she looks so cute in this after-surgery shot. Sammy Green turns Russell Crowe.

I love those blue eyes.

A nurse at the BYU Health Clinic had her daughter make Sammy a headband. This is the one headband that has ever truly fit Samantha's head, and she looked so cute in it -- it looks like she's just starting her '80's aerobics workout, all smiles and full of joy.

This is my all time favorite of Sammy. It's her little smirk that makes me smile. And as her hair grew back in after her surgery, it grew in the perfect pixie cut. I love this picture!

Just watching the cars go by.

I'm not sure what it is about this picture...I think it's more the memory of it because she doesn't look particularly cute. It was a long day. Callie had been sealed to us, we had lunch at the Kelly's, and we were headed home. From the temple to our apartment, approximately 1 mile away, she peacefully fell deep asleep. She rarely sleeps in the car.

Later that day she was all giggles. I guess she just needed a wee nap.

Walking and feeling confident.

Walking on grass is a little different, but she figures it out.

Before surgery #2.

I know I'm biased, but I have the cutest little girl.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Interesting Article

Marcus showed me this article the other day. I found it very interesting. Worth reading.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Preschool Already?

Camera update: camera has been sent in to Nikon to be looked at. It's under warranty, so we may be getting it fixed, or a new one, for free. We should know in about 2 weeks. So, until then...here's an old picture of Sammy.
Wow, I can't believe Sammy will be turning 3 in June. Really? Three years old. That seems so old, but to me she's still just my little girl -- partly, because she is so little. Yesterday I had an appointment with the school district to get her set up for preschool. If we are still in Spokane come September, Sammy will be attending Madison Elementary School in a self-contained special ed preschool class. The class has no more than 12 students, 3 adults (1 special ed teacher and 2 assistants), a full time nurse, and will receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy once a week. If it's not too much for Sammy, we'll keep her private physical and occupational therapies as well. The cutest part of it all was when they told me a school bus could come and pick her up at our home! Ha! Can you imagine a 3 year old Sammy the size of my 15 month old Callie getting on a school bus!? Because of her size, she said they'd have a car seat for her. I just started laughing during our meeting thinking of Sammy on a school bus, in her school clothes, maybe even with a bag that I pack for her. AH! It is quite a sight to imagine that brings me an incredible amount of joy...but then hours later as I thought about it again brought tears to my eyes. Sammy's going to school 4 days a week from 9-11:30am. Ah...rip my heart out!

I wasn't sure if I wanted to start Sammy in preschool quite yet. I was thinking of keeping her home for one more year and keeping her private therapies running. I wasn't thrilled with the information I had about the schools. Most of the families I know who have special ed kids go to Regal Elementary, and something just didn't sit right with me with the information I had, and I was told that Regal was the only option. I went to the meeting with the school district anyway. When I found out that Sammy actually is in Madison's boundaries and I heard about the school, I was filled with so much peace. Since then, I've heard some fantastic things about the school from people who I really trust, and who have worked there.

If we stay in Spokane, I'm completely happy and thrilled with the direction Sammy's schooling and therapy is headed. Hooray!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Veggin' Out

We are currently living in a situation where we spend more than we make. This usually is not the ideal situation. In fact, it never is the ideal situation. However, several years ago we knew this would be the case and did our best to prepare for it. And even though I had those several years to prepare for this, it still hurts knowing that our savings is dwindling. I still somehow believe that we can change it and actually save money. Saving money may be impossible right now, but I know there are things we can do to not dip into our savings quite as much each month. It's just finding out what those things are. And believe me, I've gone over our monthly expenditures thoroughly. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Recently I started grocery shopping for a month at a time. Thank you Launi! I basically followed what she suggested and I love it. This is genius. Not only does it save me time when I prepare our dinners for a month, but it saves me a lot of money. By a lot, I think it's been about $20-$40 a month, and to us, that is a heckuva lot! It still gives me flexibility in my cooking, which I need, but I love the plan. I'm finding that the older I get, the more structured I like my life. Schedules, itineraries, plans, etc. Am I crazy? I remember reading baby books that say that babies and generally all humans are pre-wired and do better with schedules. I'm getting off track.

Not only are we planning meals for a month, but we are also eating a lot more vegetarian meals. Vegetarian?! you ask. Yes, vegetarian. It's really not all that bad. In fact, it's rather good if you find the right recipe. This also reduced our grocery bill quite a bit. My monthly grocery bill is normally between $150-$200. Then I do a quick run to the grocery store for milk and some fresh veggies and fruit. But, my big monthly shopping trip this month was $100! Are you kidding me!? Are you FREAKIN' KIDDING me?! That's amazing! Here are some examples of our vegetarian meals: Black Bean Burgers (don't go in thinking they'll be like hamburgers, but they are pretty good -- thanks for this Emily), Lentil Tacos (and thank you Emily again), Enchiladas (just use a refried bean base instead of the meat), and last night, I made Launi's Chicken Enchilada Soup -- which we adore! -- and replaced the chicken with lentils, kidney beans, and barley. It was a rather meaty soup and tasted great.

Are we going vegetarian? No, though Marcus said he'd be all for it. It is rather healthy, and you'll find that those areas who have the healthiest populations eat far less meat in their meals than Americans, if not 100% meatless meals. But I still love my yearly Queen Victorian Filet from Outback Steakhouse and I love love love chicken. I could give it up, but I just don't want to. But will I give it up just a little bit in order to be healthier and save some cash? Certainly.

By the way, Sammy looks adorable today in this red and white striped gym suit and her hair in a white bow (which Callie has tried to pulled out numerous times) but alas, we still don't have a camera. Grrrr

Monday, March 16, 2009

Our Very Own Clue


In the dining room.
With the force of her body weight.

Background: Callie has a tendency to bother Sammy. Samantha does put up with it quite well, but nonetheless, Callie frequently can be seen hanging on Sammy's high chair tray, trying to feed Sammy, crawling over her, etc. Ya know, basic sibling stuff.

Scene: Witness put Sammy in her high chair and gave her some croutons and apple slices. She began eating. Callie, being the roamer that she is, also ate apple slices ("aaaapo") and croutons while she was on the go...roaming in and out of the family room. Witness proceeded to get dinner ready.

Victim: Sammy the older

Culprit: Callie the wild

Witnesses: Mommy was present, though denies seeing too much. The following is the best assumption of what happened.

Crime Description: Culprit surreptitiously approaches her victim while victim happily eats her food. Witness is unaware in the kitchen, cooking lentils. Culprit wraps her little fingers around the edge of victim's tray and pulls downward, causing the high chair to plunge forward. Witness turns and sees victim's face as she plummets to the ground. Victim looks stunned with eyes wide open as she continues downward. Luckily victim is protected by her tray which hits the ground before her head or body does, but unfortunately her body does hit the tray. Ouch. Upon impact, victim remains sitting in high chair and cries out, while culprit is pushed to the ground from falling high chair. She, too, begins to cry out. Witness runs to the rescue, pulls victim out and tries to comfort her. Enter culprit for sympathy and possibly to apologize? Unlikely.

Verdict: Hugs for everyone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Child Called "It"

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer is one of the saddest books I've read. Samantha has had a very rough weekend, and yesterday she just kind of passed out in my arms. I held her while she slept for 2 hours. Luckily Callie was sleeping too. During this time, I read this book. Many of my students read this book and I thought "why not?" as I passed it in the library. I think reading this book is a different experience than had I read it before Samantha was born. It was shocking to read such horrendous things, and then look down to see a little angel sleeping in my arms -- so peaceful and calm. I just can't imagine being so angry at another human being, a child -- so innocent and pure, that it would make me react in such a way. I know I have no authority to judge, but I believe that Judgement Day will be a very scary and damning day for people who take out their anger and frustrations on their children. The horror that little David Pelzer experienced as a child is just atrocious. I can't imagine someone being so cruel to even think of some of the punishments that he received. It is just so sad. However, I am impressed that Mr. Pelzer was able to take his life experience, with all its ugliness and pain, to help others and try to create a better world for those also suffering from abuse. I don't think I would recommend the book unless this is a topic that you are interested in. I don't plan on reading the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy, but I will probably find out the rest of his story on-line. He is a remarkable man whose fighting spirit saved his life and has impacted thousands of others.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Poor Little Baby

People often ask me how I handle Samantha's seizures. I tell them that you get used to it. This morning, though, I realized that I'm not really used to it and I possibly never will be. All week Samantha hasn't been feeling well. I'm not sure why, but her crying all day is a good indication that things aren't right. As a result, she hasn't been sleeping too well either. At 4:30am I heard her crying. At 5:30am I got out the ear plugs. Perhaps this seems insensitive, but I've been sleeping with her on the couch at night and in the early mornings, and I just didn't want to do it this morning. Plus, knowing her cries, I knew she wasn't informing me of any urgent need, rather, just telling me she was awake and wouldn't mind me being in there with her. Callie also woke up early this morning -- and Marcus, being the great husband and father that he is, got up with Callie...and apparently Sammy woke up during that time too. I got to sleep in until 7:30am. Nice.

Callie was tired and cranky, so Marcus put her back to bed and I laid on the couch with Samantha. At 9am, she began convulsing. There was no warm-up to this seizure and she was convulsing so strongly that, I admit, I was a little panicked. Normally her seizures start small and escalate to a point before stopping. If she was starting at this point, how far would it progress before it stopped? I ran for her medicine, which we use when a seizure lasts 5 minutes, ready to use it immediately. But Sammy pulled out of it. She fell asleep in my arms. Samantha woke up once to vomit and fell back to sleep.

Sammy woke up at 11:30 this morning and is now quietly sitting on a chair chewing on a pacifier. I'm grateful for that because my arms needed a break, but really all I want to do is hold her all day long and comfort her. I want her to know that I would take it all away if I could. My poor sweet little baby girl. I love her so much.

Monday, March 2, 2009

you've got to be kidding

Ok, I'm embarrassed to be doing this, but I admit...I've been watching The Bachelor this season and all I can say is REALLY? Really?! Melissa was a great match. Molly? Really? I don't think he loves her. Had he chosen Molly to begin with, he'd now be with Melissa. I'm so pathetic, but I'm not taking this well -- it's as if he broke up with me! Yikes! I've stayed up way too late to watch this horrible show. I feel so deflated right now. Serves me right. Poor Melissa.

Also, I find it interesting that his ex-wife, pictured below, and Molly have a bit of resemblance. He must go for the high maintenance type. So sad. His good guy image has been destroyed for me. (I really do realize how pathetic I sound, but am I the only one out there? I don't think so.)

Creativity Envy

So, there's this thing going around the blogosphere. A giveaway of sorts. You know what I'm talking about...the one where the first 5 people to comment on the post gets something handmade from the blog poster. The catch is that you have to do the same thing on your blog. This is all very noble and good. It creates a chain of gift giving, which I am a full supporter of. I have wanted to do it every single time, but I can't. It's not that I'm too late to post a comment. In fact, because of my wonderful Google Reader, I would be the first or second commenter, thus insuring my free gift made by many fabulous creative friends. But I just can't do it. I have NO idea what I'd giveaway on my own blog. I'm just not a creative person. I have creativity envy. I do. So I can't possibly join in on this wonderful giveaway from the heart. But for all those participating, know that I really did want to comment...especially you Marse. I would have been your first comment and I would have LOVED to get whatever you were giving...but as much as I wrack my brain, I got nothin' to give -- at least nothing that you can send in the mail. I can't babysit your kids in another state, I can't package a hug, and I'm pretty sure a lasagna won't ship too nicely. So all you creative wonderful ladies out there, do your magic and know that one day I hope to be like you.


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