Friday, April 30, 2010

And This is Sammy...

While we wait for the school bus, Sammy enjoys some roaming around time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sister Love

Potty Woes

Well, Callie was potty trained. I have no question about that. She would go to the bathroom herself -- we'd be outside and then she'd disappear, only reappearing to let us know that she went potty by herself. And she had. She had been going diaperless on errands, to church, everywhere we went. And there was never a problem.

But then, one day, something went terribly wrong...and we're not sure what that was....but she has never been the same. She is completely terrified of the potty. She panics and refuses to go. The look of fear is beyond what I have ever seen on her face before. We've had accident after accident after accident.

This has been frustrating for many reasons. One -- we know she can do it. She's been going to the potty all by herself for awhile now, and at her own free will. Two -- taking steps backwards is just a frustrating thing. You think, "Why? What could possibly make this happen? And all this work for nothing?" (And then, of course, this makes me think of my friend Maren who experiences this nearly everyday with her daughter.) And, it was just so nice to have my 2 year old potty trained. Less diapers, less money...she's more independent. I was very comfortable with the situation, and now, we've reverted back to 6+ months ago.

We've debated back and forth about what to do...just be consistent and push through? But when we did that, she was holding it in for so long and the way she was acting -- I was afraid she was going to start getting bladder infections. Go back to diapers? I've heard so many people say they regret ever doing that.

But alas, we have put her back into diapers for the time being. We can't bring ourselves to push her through something that is so traumatic, and I'm afraid we're causing more damage this way. She is terrified. We considered that this may be a control issue...but after only a couple days, we're pretty certain she has some serious fears. Now it's just trying to figure out what caused it.

Anyone else been through this?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Death by Running -- Part 2

Yep. I'm still convinced I may die a grizzly death this Saturday when I run the 1/2 marathon that I'm very ill prepared for. I just got back from running 6 miles, and at one point I'm pretty sure I was looking like this furry friend pictured above -- eyes wide open, struggling for breath as my hair flopped around me. Ok, maybe it wasn't that bad...but still. Whatever picture I was, it wasn't pretty. I ran the 6 miles in little over an hour, but I'm not worried about my time as much as if I'll need to amputate my legs following the race. I may be in critical condition and that's all they'll be able to do for my suffering soul. Anyway. If I'm preparing for death, I might as well have an updated soundtrack. I'm sick of what I've been running to, and I'm thinking something new will mix things up and give me that added umph that I'm so desperately in need of.

Any suggestions out there? What's on your running/workout play list?

Friday, April 23, 2010


Two thousand, one hundred and ninety days.

Three hundred and twelve weeks.

Sixty months.

Five years.

Fourteen birthday celebrations.

Ten states.
(Washington, Utah, California, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon)

Eight months of anticipation for Callie.

Seven nieces and nephews.

Six dinners at Outback Steakhouse.

Five different residences.

Five anniversaries.

Four Christmases.

Three computers.

Three cameras.

Three rings.

Three months in Michigan waiting to bring Callie home.

Two family pictures.

Two kids.

One on the way.
(via adoption. No, this isn't a big announcement)

Two BYU graduations.

Two internships.
(Springville High School and Spokane Mental Health)

Two temple sealings.

Two neurologists.

One plastic surgeon.


One surgery.

One birthmom.

One mom.

One dad.

One camping trip in Arches National Park.

One big trip to Disney World.

One PhD.

One half-marathon.

One car.

One on the way.

One car broken into.

One really cold snowy winter.

One pregnancy and birth.

inspiring Samantha.

One adoption.

One radiant Callie.

One awesome family and One amazing life.

One perfect match.

hopes, dreams, hugs, kisses, friends, smiles, laughs, tears, prayers, hospital visits, therapies, sleepless nights, tired mornings, groggy days, pushes on the swing, trips down the slide, hands held, books read, movies watched, miles driven, and hours spent in pure happiness.

Five down, forever to go.
I love you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Love This

I stumbled across this picture again this evening...and it just makes me smile.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

She's With Me

Well, my friend, Maren, had me bawling again. Thanks Maren. The timing couldn't have been more perfect though. It was a rough day for me. I wasn't feeling my usual peppy self -- ha -- and Samantha has just been downright m o o d y the past few days. Today was no exception for her, and I was just...blargh. I put up with it, of course, I mean really, what's my option? But my neck and arms are scratched up from holding her throughout the day -- and though it's not intentional, she really scratches pretty hard.

I'm sure people think that I let my daughter abuse me because she really swings her arms, hitting and scratching...but it's just because she doesn't have the control. Ohhhh How strange we must really look to people. Sometimes I notice it more than others -- people looking at her strangely. Last night at the grocery store, 2 little girls noticed how rosy Sammy's lips are, not the fact that her head was tiny, but that her lips were so red. I was kind of thankful for that because I wasn't sure if I was up to explaining to this 4 and 3 year old why Sammy was so small. And it occurred to me, that this little girl was just about 6 months older than my tiny compact kiddo, and I wondered. What would Sammy look like and be like if she were...different. I can't help those thoughts from coming. Sometimes, I just wonder. I've actually been thinking a lot about her as we've been looking for a minivan. I think about the space we'll need for a wheelchair one day. I think about where the best place for her in the car would be. And then I feel such love for not only her, but for Callie, who I ask so much of. At only 2 years old, I expect her to be more sensitive and tender than most kids her age...but she's that way anyway. I have to remember she's only 2.

Sammy, she seems to perpetually be 2-3 years old in my mind. But my big girl's turning 4 in a couple months! And no matter how old she is, I will proudly carry her wherever she needs to go. And I'll gladly be scratched up. And I'll love that little girl with all my heart...more and more each day (even when she's a little pesky).

Today despite the screaming and crying, we had a few moments of calm. Callie, Samantha, and I were on the back porch, enjoying the sunshine. I was tired and laid down...Samantha just sat on my stomach. Callie was laying down next to me, insisting she was sleeping with a dragon (she's got such an imagination), and I looked up at Sammy. With the sun shining behind her, she gave me the biggest smiles when our eyes met. It seemed so appropriate that my little beam of sunshine (though today for Sammy it was pretty overcast with scattered showers) was enveloped by the sun.

I often wonder what's going through her head. I know she may never be able to tell me, but one day she will. And she'll say "I love you Mommy." That will be pretty great.

Back to all these thoughts I had today, and then I read Maren's blog, and I hear this song for the first time. Collin Raye, one of the few country singers that I really do like, has a new song out called "She's With Me" about his little granddaughter who has a neurological disorder. It's not only a beautiful song, but it really hit home. It so perfectly wrapped up my thoughts and feelings about Samantha. And I was a mess as I listened to the song. So, for all of you brave enough to endure....enjoy.

She’s With Me
I proudly tell the maitre de as we arrive
He seems surprised
In a clumsy moment as he looks for room, for her blessed chair
A table stares, and their eyes show only pity
as they try to sympathize
Oh, how difficult that must be, look away
Day after day, they’ll never see, the joy you bring
Only happy at the times I know that she’s with me

I wear it like a badge of honor at the mall
I hear her call, the only way that she is able with a cry
Time to go bye bye, she can’t say why
Maybe tired, maybe hurting, god I wish that I could tell
Do I ever make her happy for awhile
To see her smile, makes my week,
Though she can’t speak,
She let’s me know she feels my love when she’s with me

I know just what heaven looks like when I see that perfect face
For no other mortal heart could be so fair
I myself so weak and weary, so imperfect as a man
How could I be the one you chose to care for our girl
Never done a single deed to earn the right to share her light
Though it’s such a painful road we walk each day
Lord you have your ways, this I pray
On the day I stand before you, she’ll stand right by my side
When you look upon me, head hung down in shame
I’ll feel the blame, she’ll look at me,
And then she’ll speak, in that precious voice
Don’t worry ‘bout him my lord, cuz you see,
He’s with me

Monday, April 12, 2010

Callie Callie Callie

Callie no longer stays in her crib. This can be a problem. In fact, we recently (this morning) decided it was a big problem. This is a big problem when a 2 year old is living in her grandparents' home and she can climb out of her crib, open the door, and do whatever she pleases because her parents don't know she's roaming the house finding any and all sugar she can find, turning on faucets and not turning them off, and just getting into little troubles here and there. Oh boy. Today was my father-in-law's birthday, and he woke up to Callie's pitter-pattering as she ran up and down the hallway. Happy Birthday 'pa-pa. This was roughly around 5:30am I am told. He had to put her to bed...TWICE. At 6:30am I hear Callie in the kitchen. I jump up, and there she is. "Oh, hi Mommy. I was just looking around, checking the place out, doing whatever I please. How was your sleep? Did you have sweet dreams?"

I went out to buy a childproof door lock thingamabob, but that doesn't seem to work for our door. We may just have to go out and get a new doorknob. My in-laws may be reconsidering us staying here. I think I would if I were them.

Callie's been getting out of her crib for awhile least 5 months. But I often find her in bed with Sammy, not running around the house. Oh brother. With all of this, we've also decided to move her to the big girl bed. I mean, if she's not staying in there anyway...why not transition her? Right? So, any advice on the switch? I bought a side rail that we'll put together and use.

On a quite happy note: Callie is pretty much potty trained. We had an accident the other day during her nap, but she goes to the potty all by herself. She tells me she needs to go, and then she goes on off to the bathroom and takes care of business. No more treats needed, but boy do we still cheer for her. She's so proud of herself!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Death by Running

How would you choose to die if you had a choice? I have always said "In my sleep." It says a lot about me no? I don't want much work to have to go into it. No pain. Just nice, simple sleep. I've never even considered death by running, but it may be in the cards for me, because, you see, I'm scheduled to run a 1/2 marathon the first weekend of May. I was doing well, running. Then two weeks ago, I stopped. Things got really busy, weekend trips, sickness, holidays, and birthdays...I stopped running. Today, I ran again. I ran 5 miles -- well, I would say I successfully ran about 4 miles. I'm not sure how this 1/2 marathon will go.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today's Pro-Smoking Campaign

I wasn't alive back in the early years of smoking popularity. But, I'm pretty sure if I saw these ads, I would have dropped all my morals, standards, and common sense to light one up. I mean, after all, more doctors smoked Camels. If doctors are doing it.....

and clearly they make you stay younger. Forget the premature wrinkles and ugly teeth...I wouldn't get a double chin if I started smoking. When tempted, just reach for a lucky. Furthermore, it'll protect your throat against coughing!

....and Good 'ole St. Nick smokes, just to keep his throat from feeling all scratchy in that bitter cold winter air.

and let's not forget Betty Grable and Micky Mantle. I mean, there's some weight behind those advertisements.

All sarcasm aside, this is completely silly and ridiculous, right? I'm not sure the reason behind these ads. I don't know if it was because it was popular, or if there were those saying smoking was bad, and these ads came out to try to convince the public that there are benefits to smoking...other than looking cool, you stay thinner, younger, and don't get bothersome troubles like itchy scratchy throats. Now, tell that to someone who's been smoking for 25 years and has had cancer or is speaking through a hole in their throat. Now, we look at these and see how plainly ridiculous this is. There are very few people who would now say that there are any worthwhile benefits to smoking. Most people who smoke say "I know I shouldn't."

Recently I saw these 2 ads on tv. And I immediately thought of the smoking ads of old. As a way to defend the products "safety" and the backlash on high fructose corn syrup, the Corn Refiners Association has felt the need to come up with these commercials. Oh CRA. This, to me, just makes you look worse. Perhaps it's true, that in moderation it's ok. But can we honestly say that the American diet is one that does a great job of being moderate? When it's in everything, it's hard to eat it moderately. High Fructose Corn Syrup has been associated with obesity and diabetes. And I hardly think at this point that billions of dollars are being lost because people want to eat less high fructose corn syrup...however, if that's the case, we Americans will be healthier for it.

Jenny Gets a Hair Cut

Oh was it ever time to chop off my horribly dry ends.
Yes, I got a hair cut, and I feel so much better. Amazing what a cut will do.

Callie's not looking so sure about me about to leave for my haircut.

With bangs.

And bangs swiped to the side. Oh the versitility is empowering.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

School Bus

I'm really behind on my I'll do my best to catch-up. Marcus got a job (details forthcoming) and Scotty and Annie had their baby (pictures to come)...but today, I talk about the school bus.

Sammy has started taking the school bus. I cried the first day she drove off, but it really has been a good thing. I feel like I've already talked about this. I'm sure I have. Anyway. I was driving 32 miles a day -- back and forth, back and forth to and from school. It was getting old. It was messing up Callie's sleep. And once therapy started (which it has) that would be just a ton of driving that I wasn't too keen on. So far, it's gone really well. Sure there are days when she's a little fussy, but she's fallen asleep on the bus, talked/yelled to her heart's content, and even picked up a new friend -- Harrison. We like little Harry. So, without further ado, here's Sammy, all strapped in on her first bus ride.


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