Friday, August 31, 2007


I am a horrible goal keeper. I start out trying to accomplish something consistently, and I do ok for a little while, and then a small road block shows up, and everything comes crashing down. So, since I find it easier to make goals and focus on them when I have someone to account to, I am going to account to my blog. And all four of you that read this.

I also have found that I get overwhelmed quite easily, and so I'm going to start out with just a few things so that my head doesn't explode while I'm trying to do a million things. (I'm also not very nice to my kids when I try to do too much, so we want to avoid that too...)

1. Stick to the chores that I already have for each day of the week, and also add something small to each day. With a focus on decluttering my house, and getting ready to move in a few months.

2. Go to bed before midnight and get up before or by 7.

3. Exercise everyday.

4. Read my scriptures in French, and also focus more on my spirituality.

These may seem very simplistic, but getting to bed before midnight is so hard for me. I get little to no time without children around me, so that quiet and the opportunity for me to watch my shows and to do something I enjoy kind of takes over everything else. I am doing pretty good exercising, but I get lazy. I am determined to lose at least five of the pounds I gained once my teeth got fixed. I haven't been reading my scriptures at all, and I also haven't been working on my French like I should, so I can combine the two with the last one. Housekeeping is what I am the absolute worst at. I grew up with a mother that I felt cared more about how the kitchen and the bathroom looked than a lot of other things that were way more important. (I'll have to write a post someday about my thoughts on housekeeping) So, instead of following in her footsteps, I do the exact opposite. Its not that I don't want a clean house, I'm just not always willing to put forth the effort it requires. I find myself yelling more, and irritated more when people mess it up. So, why do all that effort just to get upset??? But I have to work on that too.

I am hoping to check back in weekly, so that I (hopefully) will be able to see some progress. And not that any of you actually care, because all of you are working on your own things, but at least I know someone else is reading, and hopefully that thought alone in my head will push me to accomplish all of these things. And if you struggle with these things too, then you know that you aren't the only one that has a hard time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My family

So, I know I already shared with all of you that my youngest brother is going to Paris on his mission. There has been other big news in my family recently.....

First of which is that my dad will be having his prostate taken out very soon. They found malignant cells in two of the four lobes of the prostate. He is very young, and they caught it very soon. This is one of the slowest moving cancers around, and it hasn't metastasized to anywhere else. So, in the end, things are good!!

On the other spectrum of things, my middle brother just called about twenty minutes ago to tell me that he is getting married to his girlfriend. The one that I told him to just suck it up and ask her out!!! (older sisters know EVERYTHING!!!) They will be getting married near the end of December in Colorado. I will be moving to who knows where at that exact time. I guess it will depend on if I'm on the east coast or in the great plains of the United States that will tell me if I will be able to go. Anyone have a free place to stay in Colorado???? Miles that they want to give to me??? Just kidding. Reality is that I won't be able to go. I'll just have to visit them afterwards and subject them to days and days of me and my kids....


There is a new show on Nick Jr. It starts at 9:30. The name of it is Yo Gabba Gabba. Usually, I like the shows that they have. Dora, Diego, Blues Clues....I may get annoyed with them, but they are good shows for the kids. This one on the other hand, I have a bit of a problem with. To me, it is just weird. Strange monster/animal things jump around and have odd voices. The hosts outfit is a bit strange, and his hat....I have no words for that.

What do you think? Have you watched it? I would love to hear others thoughts about this.

And, by the way, my water finally came on around 9. Ever used bottled water to brush your kids teeth in your own home??

Water and the lack of it

We are having work done in the alley behind our house on the water system in our area. We got a notice about it last week. We were also told that we would be notified of any water outages. They broke a water main today. We have been without water since around noon, and its almost 7. Luckily I bought some water at the store a few days ago. Otherwise, we would have had to go out for dinner. I had to use my bottled water to pour into the broccoli to cook it and into the red potatoes to boil them. And into the dish I cooked our salmon in too. Too bad you can't use it to flush a toilet or to shower. This is at least the third time since we've lived here in Texas that our water has gone out without notice. I'm done with my water going out.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I seem to be having a hard time focusing on one subject per post lately. So, don't expect anything different this time.

Still DO NOT HAVE COMPUTER!!!! I called four times at least today. I will be calling again as soon as they open tomorrow. I have no patience, can you tell??

Matt had to take his laptop with him to school, so I was without Internet all day. I am surprised I made it through without any breakdowns. I did do the laundry start to finish, exercise, shower (I always include that in things that I have gotten done because sometimes it doesn't get done), dishes, planned and made dinner, picked up Andrews medical records that finally got here from Walter Reed, did some church stuff, took the kids to the park, cross stitched, read my current book A Year in the Merde (fabulous by the way so far), and gave Lucy a bath while Matt cut Andrews hair and gave him a shower, and now I am finally able to spend some time on a blog.

Found out from my friend that my ring did not cost as much as the one I found on ebay (thank goodness), but I don't really care, because it is an awesome ring, and no one else is going to have one. Ok, someone else in the world might, but not a whole lot of people here.

While we were at the hospital picking up Andrews records, I decided to go and visit someone. Her son was injured and is in the Burn Unit here. She is staying at the guest house (she is actually on orders which is awesome for her and for him) and she will be here for at least another two months or so until he is more able to do things for himself and is an outpatient. Kids under 16 aren't able to go into the ward, so we just waited for her in the really nice waiting room. I've never gone anywhere but family practice and Peds at our hospital. As we were walking into the ward, there were two guys that were leaving. Both of them had been injured, and the only thing I really really remember about them is that one had an eye patch and only one arm. The other one had injuries too, but I don't recall if he was missing an arm or leg. Lucy saw the guy with an eye patch and started saying "pirate". I think its from watching sponge bob. Anyway, these boys were young, and were good looking guys too. I just wanted to hug them, and say thank you, and I almost wanted to give the one guy my arm.

Last night was the finale of Army Wives. Two husbands deployed, and had to deploy earlier than expected. I'm sitting on the couch cross stitching, and tears are just rolling down my face. I was crying more than the actors were!!!! I guess because its a reality for me, and they are just playing a part. I hate crying by the way. I usually do it when no ones around.

I'm going to focus on staying more focused on my blogs....I hope.

Friday, August 24, 2007

An amazing gift

Last night my friend Dinah came over. She said she had something for me. She had told me a while ago that she wanted to get something for me to say thank you for working hard on Girls Camp. She also said she needed my ring size. I just figured a CTR (choose the right) or something like that would be what she would give to me. When I opened the box, I found something that looked like this ring. Mine is an oval shape rather than a tear drop. This one I found on ebay for $71. It is Murano glass from Venice Italy. I love this stuff!!!!! I have two watches that I bought from an Italian Vendor at a Bazaar that the military has every year on post. I always get compliments on them. This ring is huge, but I love it!!! I only gave her some candles. Granted, they were really nice, fairly expensive candles, (she loves smelly candles) but that is nothing compared to this amazing ring!!!! I have no idea where she got it because I can't find one like what I have online anywhere yet. And this is as close to it as I found on ebay.
This is one of the most unexpected gifts I have ever received.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I finally found one!!!!!!!!!!

I have been on the quest for a new tankini. I have been looking on all of the modest swimsuit websites I have been able to find. And if I found one, it was way too expensive.

I had been looking a website called Layers Clothing. They have dresses, shirts, and tankinis and one pieces. But I couldn't spend $60 on one thing. Just couldn't. Well, recently they went on sale. Down to $48. That was a little better. And this past weekend, I decided that if I didn't get it soon, there wouldn't be any left. I put it in my shopping cart, and low and behold it had been marked down even further to $35!!!! And only $5 for shipping. I knew then that it was destiny for me to get this suit. So I did. It came today, and it is awesome!! It fulfills both my criteria and my husbands. You can see it here. Now I won't have to be so embarrased when I take the kids swimming....

My name
LogoThere is
person with my name
in the U.S.A.">How many have your name?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My computer and other stuff

My posts have been pretty lame lately. I was lucky to post at all on that crappy laptop. Right now I'm using Matt's brand new beautiful laptop. Our computer is still at the computer doctor. They are still working on it. At first they thought it was the mother board, but they replaced that and it still won't boot up. They are going to call me tomorrow with any updates.......

So, I have a neighbor across the street that we've been helping. He is 22, has PTSD, his leg was blown up in Iraq, his wife recently left him and took their son and his truck. He is really struggling. I feel bad for him. We've given him rides these last few days. Matt went with him to see Rush Hour 3 (he didn't like it) and I've brought him dinner several times, and talked to him quite a bit. It is hard, because I want to help him, but I need to be here for my family too. And my sister was here until yesterday, and I wanted to hang out with her as much as possible before she left. Its just a hard balance. Wanting to help, yet knowing that my first responsibility is to my own family.

I will admit this: I just bought a Spice Girls CD. I know, I'm crazy. But I love the first two songs on the one that is white and then just has SPICE across the front. I also bought a Robyn CD. Can't go wrong with "show me love". They are in preparation for the lovely 6 plus hours that I am going to have in my van with my best friend and her two boys next month. We are going to pretend that we are 20 again (even though there will be four kids sitting behind us) and we're going to yell out the windows, giggle like teenagers, and listen to the music that we used to. We are both really excited about it. We haven't had six hours together in probably five years.

Last night I heard a noise while I was sitting on the couch. So, I looked up, and sitting on a picnic basket that I put my cross stitch in was a nasty cockroach. So, I start saying "Matt Matt get in here!!!!!". He comes running in and I tell him about the cockroach and he says "oh, I thought it was something important." So, I tell him he needs to kill it. He goes and gets a washcloth and chases it a bit around the area and finally gets it. Then he totally egxaggerates (I know that word is spelled wrong, but spell check has "no suggestions", and everything I'm trying isn't working. Anyone???) squishing the washcloth, and then he twists it like he is wringing water out of it and you can HEAR THE CRUNCHING OF THE COCKROACH! So gross!!! At least it was dead, but I could have been spared all of the theatrics. I seriously feel sick to my stomach when I see them. I would not survive in South America with all those huge bugs.

I also need to catch up on my blog reading. I haven't been able to read much lately, so I plan on catching up these next few days. Hopefully I will have my computer back soon, and Matt can play Chessmaster 10,000 on this one while I read my blogs on the other one. It is hard having to share a computer.......

Monday, August 20, 2007

High School Musical 2

Last night my sister and I finally watched High School Musical 2. I did not have high hopes of there being good acting, or any character development. The songs weren't bad, and of course the dancing was very good. Her never ending irritating laughing whenever she was with Troy just about drove me crazy. And since the first one was just Grease without the sex and bad language, I was glad that HSM2 wasn't like Grease 2. I just hope that there isn't another one, and that Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale get some acting lessons. Or maybe it was the genius writers of HSM2. Some of the things that Vanessas character says are so so lame and dumb.

We went to the commissary and the checker told me that my "daughter" looked just like me. Well, I know I look young, and Camille looks even younger than she is (she'll be 21 this year, but could probably pass for 16) and I could conceivably have had her if I had given birth when I was 14 or 15. But no, the reality is that she is only 8 years younger than I am. I thought that was kind of funny. And I let the checker know that she was my sister, not my daughter.....

Friday, August 17, 2007

The sun came out

It really did. Camille and I went to the Alamo, and then to the riverwalk for a few minutes. But we were starving, so we went home to get some food. I got some really good pictures of stuff around the Alamo, but since I am still using crappy laptop, I cannot upload the pictures yet. I also heard German being spoken in the gift shop, and then as we were leaving and walking back to the car on the outside of the Alamo, there was a class of kids, teenagers, and they were speaking French!!! Now, to me, the Alamo is kind of boring. I grew up with missions and all of that sort of thing. The Alamo does hold a greater significance than most of the missions, but it still is small, and you can see it all within a half an hour or so. I guess I just don't see why Europeans would want to visit Texas when they live in EUROPE!!!

Update on our computer: it is still with the computer doctor, in hospital one could say, and we got an update today. It is the motherboard. It needs to be replaced. They don't charge us for things that they tried, and still worked. They only charge us for things that they find that don't work. So, now, I'm hoping that Monday will be the day that our computer comes back to us. This one freezes, and it also will just close the screens all by itself as I'm trying to click on something else. I suppose I will survive until Monday...

We also saw the Bourne Ultimatum tonight. LOVED it. Matt Damon is always awesome, and I thought Julia Stiles was much better in this one than the others. I do believe that she has grown into the role a bit more. And I'm fairly certain that next summer there will be another Bourne. I will not tell you my sources, but I know that they filmed in le Jardin de Tuileries, which is in Paris, and there was only about five minutes in Paris in this one. SO..... I'm assuming there will be another one. Can't get any better than Matt Damon and Paris....

Hurricane Dean is supposedly headed our way after it takes out Corpus Christi. We were kind of hoping to go swimming tomorrow....... Pray that it hits another area of Texas where there hasn't been as much rain. There was a lot of flooding around here. Not too fun to drive in.
Ok, nothing much left to talk about. Oh, its Tax Free weekend in Texas!!! Yay for shopping!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Holy stinking rain!!!

Never have I ever seen so much rain in one day before. I drove to the outlets in San Marcos today with my sister, and we could hardly see because of the rain. Of course once we got there it stopped.

If it stops raining before my sister leaves, we will be going to see the Alamo and the riverwalk. She laughs at the things that the kids do. Since she isn't around them, almost everything that they do is funny to her. How Lucy says things, and how Andrew talks to her just cracks her up. It helps me to laugh a little too, and remember to not get so irritated at them. It is way too late for me to be blogging, but my fingers wanted to type so, here you go. I hope it isn't raining where you are!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My husbands life is spared

I just called the computer doctor, and they had good news!!! My hard drive was able to be backed up, and they are in the process of fixing a few things with some things that he said, but I don't remember because I was so excited that my pictures weren't lost. And we'll only have to put out around $80 or so to have everything fixed!!!!!!!!

But I will have to use the crappy laptop until Matt hooks up our other computer that we have, but just don't use. Which is probably slower than our other one, but is light years faster than the one I'm using at the moment. I should have my computer back by Friday or Saturday!!!!!!!!!!

Computer issues

Our computer is at the doctor right now. I'm using a junky laptop that won't let me (or maybe it's yahoo, I don't know) see my email. And it is slow as molasses. Please pray that my other computers hard drive isn't completely gone. And if it is, pray for my husband that he survives my wrath......

My sister is in town, so I won't be posting terribly much. And because using this laptop is just plain irritating. Have a good week everyone....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

TV (and some other stuff too)

Since coming back to the states, I have discovered what TV is supposed to be like. In Germany, we only have the Armed Forces Network. The shows that we see are provided at little or no cost at all to the military, and so our shows are constantly changing. We didn't get American Idol until a day after and other shows like it were always a little late. I didn't really care that much about that. I did watch a lot of movies while I was there.

When we arrived at our hotel here, it was amazing how many channels there were!! I could watch Law and Order almost anytime I wanted. The kids had good shows on almost all day. (we were in a hotel for two months. unfortunately there isn't a whole lot to do in a hotel room with two little kids and no car) We watched the History channel, Matt discovered Man vs. Wild, and I found What not to Wear. Since then, I have discovered many other shows.

In the last few weeks, I have discovered Burn Notice. Now, I watch this one purely for the enjoyment of watching good looking people. The acting is pretty good, and I do like the story line that ties it all together. For me, its kind of like an almost Jason Bourne, but without all the baggage.

The other one that I have recently found is Army Wives. Now, being an Army wife, was what first got me to watch it. There are several things that I find are true about the show. When things happen, it should be your unit that is there to help you out. When a family member is having problems, or the family needs help the FRG is supposed to be there to help. (officially the name is Soldier and Family Readiness Group, but usually it is just referred to as Family Readiness Group. Which doesn't really seem right for all of the single soldiers out there.....)
And from what I've seen on the show, what goes on amongst the wives, does seem about right. There can be and is a lot of gossip about people. There are also great friends to be made. And people that were family to us when we were overseas together. As I have only been an Enlisted wife, I really don't know much about being an Officers wife. Hopefully, it won't be much different than what I have done in the past. I have a very good friend who's husband is a commander of a unit. And the part that she plays is huge within the unit. It really does become like all of you are married to the military. There are a lot of people that cheat on spouses while either their husbands are deployed, or while the husbands are deployed they cheat too. And it is really hard on the wives when their husbands are new to the service, and they don't know anything about anything. I like how they show that on the show with Roxy's character.

For me, being an army wife hasn't been easy at all. Matt has had to be gone a lot. I gave birth to Andrew without Matt being there (he met his son when he was five weeks old) and sometimes the short notice on things has been a hassle for us to rearrange our lives. Chain of Command doesn't always work how it should. People do not give you the information that you need. It is so different than any other job in the world. At the same time, Matt has had opportunities that he would never had access to outside of the military. Being able to be in Physicians Assistant school is huge for him. He was able to perform with the United States Army Europe Band and Chorus, and he has traveled to Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Iraq, and to Washington DC. He took advantage of the online classes and other college options, and got himself accepted into the PA program. We have amazing health care. I could keep going , but you would all get bored....

I have always been proud to be American, (as much as I LOVE France, I do still want to be American) but I didn't really feel it until my husband and I made the decision to join. I have another friend, and her husband recently joined the Air Force, and she made the same comment to me.

TV shoes are usually just for entertainment, and sometimes for educating people. But sometimes they put thoughts into your head. If you watch Army Wives, just keep in mind that if something seems a little strange, maybe how involved Claudia Joy is with her husbands job, or how some husbands are gone a whole lot, believe that those things are true. And if you have a question about the reality of living it, you can always ask me. I'm pretty honest about it.

And if you live in a place where there isn't any active duty military, I hope you can understand a little more about our lives by my blog. It was so foreign to me when we first joined, and I was very ignorant about a lot of things. But if I can help change that for others, that would make this blog worth while, just for that.


I have always gotten goosebumps easily. I discovered, once I started dating, that breathing, kisses or any other thing on my neck gave me goosebumps all over! I also get goosebumps when I'm cold. I get cold really easily.

When the door is open to the bathroom while I'm showering its bad. The cool air and the warm water combined always give me goosebumps, and I always seemed to get goosebumps right before I need to shave my legs. And anyone that shaves their legs knows that isn't good. I don't have that problem anymore, but every now and then I get it.

I don't like goosebumps. It makes my hair on my arms stick out, and they take forever to go away!!

This post isn't very interesting, but I don't have a whole lot to say about goosebumps.

Go over to Sunday Scribblings for more on Goosebumps.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Showers and Weddings

No, its not mine.

I have a very good friend from high school that is getting married in September, and I am going to California for it. I am very excited as I am combining other things in this trip. Anyway, back to the wedding.... Her registry has many things that are white, silver, and overall very elegant. Nothing with a lot of color. Another friend that is also going to this wedding, and I, are trying to get a shower gift and a wedding gift together for her. My friend is in the DC area and I live in Texas, while the wedding is going to be in California. So, just our locations are presenting a bit of a difficulty as everything has to be done on the phone and/or email.

SO, after that way too long explanation, I was wondering if any of you out there had any idea's that we could use in our gift. This friend of ours is always the best gift giver. She actually gave me an engagement gift. No one else did. Her gifts are always beautifully wrapped, and the corners never look as messy as mine always do. She would send me an anniversary card for our anniversary for a few years. She is very on top of the social etiquette stuff. Whereas I am totally backward, and I actually hate wrapping gifts. Not a lot of her baking stuff has been bought yet from her registry, so we were thinking of having a baking themed gift. But I would also like to include things that she wouldn't buy for herself and/or things that are hard to get or just plain creative.

Point me in the direction of any cool stores online, or maybe an Etsy shop that you've seen. And we may not do baking either, but any help from all of your creative minds would be a huge help!!

And I am way excited for this wedding. I get to be with my friend from DC. And she and I haven't had any decent time together for at least three plus years. And I also get to see my family while home, and hopefully go to a beach, find the biggest H&M possible to go shopping at (I think it is on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena), hang out with my best friend and her boys, go to In-n-out, go to Trader Joe's, maybe even go to the LA county fair. I love that place!!

Any input would be appreciated and hopefully I will remember to do a post about what we end up actually giving her. Thanks for your help!!!!

Church stuff

For all of those that do not live in Utah, and are LDS, President Faust passed away this morning. I"m sure if you go to the churches website, they will have more information.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New blogs

I just went through all the blogs that I have bookmarked, and realized that I have been missing out on some good reading. So, I will be updating my blogs that I read on my sidebar. If you're bored, and need something to read, feel free to come to my blog (all four of you that read my blog) and click away. I'm sure there will be something that will interest you.

I forgot to mention that I cut my hair last week. The lady that did it cut and styled it in 20 minutes!! Too bad I won't be living here for the rest of my life!!! (OK, just for the record, I would not survive and/or become very grumpy if I lived here for the rest of my life) She is great, and I am planning on going back to her before I leave for where ever it is that we're moving to in December. That is still under discussion. In fact, that is a whole post of its own. Maybe tomorrow...


Since being in Texas, I have seen more bugs than I did my entire two and a half years in Germany!! We had a few cockroaches in the house, and I had to kill them both. So gross!!! I cannot stand them. I was talking to a friend who also lives in Texas. She told me about these amazing things:They give off some kind of ultrasound that we can't hear that disrupts the nervous system of most pests in the house like spiders, roaches and all kind of other nasty things. And some come with a nightlight, and all of them come with an outlet on them so that you can still plug things in using that outlet. I got mine at Walmart. They were only a little over $18 for a package of four. I am loving them so far. Worth the money if I don't have to squish anymore cockroaches, and I don't get anymore spider bites.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Someone at church just got orders to go to where we just came from. Heidelberg Germany!!! I am so so so so jealous!!! I wish there was a way that I could jump into their unaccompanied baggage so that I could go too!!!! I talked to her for two hours on Saturday giving her the wealth of information that I have that is of virtually no use to me now, other than to tell her. (can you tell this is a constant theme in my blog? the never ending quest to get back to Europe......)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My best friend

My best friend I have known since we were about 8. I moved into the church that she was going to, and our parents kind of were friends too.

We lived in different school districts, but we still stayed friends. She moved and lived in a different ward in the same city. Then she moved to a far away city, but I still managed to visit and spend the night there. She moved back sometime in Jr. High or so. Our freshman year of high school was a crazy year. We were going to church dances, to the youth conferences at church, boys were becoming a big thing. We would talk on the phone about all kinds of stuff. I moved into a different house, and we weren't in the same ward anymore, but that didn't seem to matter much. We were still hanging out. My first boyfriend was a good friend of hers. She got her license first, and boy did we have fun with that. I would always spend the night at her house. We would teepee boys rooms that we liked. She had a boyfriend and while she was on the phone with him she would give me the phone and I would start to talk to him and he had no idea. I would even call her house and her mom would think that I was her. For our Senior trip she and I and her cousin went to Santa Barbara for the weekend. She became friends with my friends and vice versa. She got a job at a restaurant, and I applied and got a job too. When she went away to college, I went to visit her. When she would come home, I would be over at her house.

I decided to go on a mission for our church. It just killed her that I was going to be gone for so long. While I was gone, she got married, and I am still sad that I wasn't there. I came home, and when I got married she was there. We emailed, and called when we could. My grandma died and she came to the funeral and then drove up to the cematary with me. I got pregnant, and Matt went to basic training for the last few months of my pregnancy. She arranged her work so that she would be near by so that I wouldn't have to deliver without someone there. (she had recently gotten pregnant and was so sick that the day I delivered she was in the ER getting an IV)

I was in her area when she gave birth to her oldest. Shortly after, I left for Germany for two and a half years. When I found out that I was pregnant with Lucy, it was very hard. I didn't want to be pregnant at that time, and I just cried to her on the phone. Two weeks later I got a midnight phone call with her crying to me about the same thing. We ended up delivering our babies one day apart in two different countries. While I was in Germany we talked often, and emailed often. She sent me packages, and I sent her stuff too.

This past February my grandpa passed away. I called her up and said "well, I'll be in California for two weeks, can you come down??" I hadn't seen her in almost 3 years. I'd never met her youngest and she hadn't met mine either.

We've cried together, vented to each other, traded potty training idea's and parenting ideas. Once I threw her a "surprise" birthday party when she turned 15 or 16. I can't remember. And boy did I get in trouble from her mom when she had found out that she had known about it all along. Its funny how we are still friends and our lives been in many ways parallel, but in so many other ways completely different.

Not sure why I'm writing about this tonight, but it just seemed like a good idea. You know who you are. Up for 20 plus more years of this??

Sunday, August 5, 2007


This post is for Sunday Scribblings

(this is kind of long, just to warn you)

When my son went in for his year well baby exam, everything went well. Except for one thing. The shape and circumference of my sons head was off the charts, and they wanted me to go to the Kinderklinic (we were in Heidelberg, Germany at the time) to get a few CT's on his head to make sure that things were OK.

The first one was horrible. Matt couldn't come with me, so I was by myself. My son isn't a chubby kid at all. Never had rolls or anything. But these people could not get a vein in him at all. They were really deep. They wanted to put some contrast in him so that they could see the brain fluid and make sure that it was doing what it should. So, after a long horrible time of watching my son scream, and helping him holding him down, they decided to stop, and just do the CT without the contrast fluid.

They gave me the stuff to knock him out, and he went out really fast. The hardest part of all this was that he couldn't eat anything. I had to leave the Kinderklinic and walk over to the Kopf Klinic to do the CT. I went to the wrong place (because everyone around me spoke German, and I didn't) and a nice doctor that did speak english got me to the right place.

We did it, I went back to the KinderKlinic and waited for him to wake up. Gave him some juice and animal crackers, and waited for the doctor (who not only spoke english incredibly well, but wasn't bad looking at all!) to come and tell me what the CT showed. It showed that there wasn't anything in his head that was foreign that was making his head the way it was. (when he was born, the back of his head was very pointy, and when you laid him on his back, his head would never just lay there, it rolled to one side. But that doctor told me his head was fine. I have issues with that doctor.....) Thank goodness. So there wasn't any tumor or cancer or anything like that. We went back to our pediatrician. He wanted us to do another one that focused on his skull, to see if it was growing correctly. So, about two months later (it took a while for the German hospital to get their information to our American hospital) Matt and I took Andrew in for another CT. Everything went pretty much the same (except I didn't get lost this time) and of course they couldn't get any contrast in him at all again. We went back, and waited for him to wake up, and for the doctors to tell us what they saw.

They took a long time in coming to talk to us, whereas the time before, once I had given him the film, it was really fast. So, I was very nervous when they came to talk to us.
Diagnosis: Sagittal Craniosynostosis.

That means that the Sagittal suture (the one that goes down the middle of our skull) had prematurely fused together, which was causing his head to grow in an odd shape. The sutures in our skull aren't supposed to be completely fused until our head is done growing, when we're about 12 or so. He came out with it already fused.

I was just sick. These doctors said that he would need surgery to fix it for sure.

I called up the pediatrician to talk to him. He had actually given me his cell phone number. Getting a hold of him through the office wasn't going to be as quick as me calling him this way. He told us that we could have it done at the Kopf Klinic in Heidelberg, and he put an order in for us to go and talk to the Insurance liasons that would call the hospitals and get our appointments for us on the economy. They all spoke German, and they would give us all the paperwork that we would need.

The neurosurgeons that we spoke to, told us that they wouldn't do the surgery, to wait and see if it got better. They didn't speak english very well, and we just didn't feel very comfortable with the possibility of having it done there. Our other option was that the army would fly us to Walter Reed Medical Center and we could talk to the doctors there and then, if we decided to do it, have it done there.

That is what we ended up doing. I had no idea what we would go through before we got back.

We saw Dr. Moores the day after we arrived. (it was superbowl sunday, and people in the next room to us in the hotel kept us up!) We felt REALLY good with him, and he explained everything to us, what he would do, the risks that were involved, and what Andrew would look like when he got out. So, we had to make this decision for our little boy who was not quite 18 months old. I know that other small babies have surgeries much much younger than this, and things go well. But this was classified under elective surgery, and his head would look really strange, but he wouldn't die or have any behavioral issues if we chose not to do it.

We chose to do it. They would make an incision from ear to ear, in a wavy line. They only shaved the hair where they did the incision. Then Dr. Moores would open up the suture, he would take some bone off of the back of Andrews head to take away how much it was sticking out. He would push his brain in just a little bit, and then put a plate on the back of his head that the bone would grow around. The risks were that there is a huge vein that runs up the back of our heads, and if it got pinched, or anything else, Andrew could have a stroke, and all kinds of other things.

It was the longest six or so hours of my life. We sat in the OR waiting room with the others who were waiting for their loved ones to come out. The hardest part was when they took him away. I just sat and cried for a bit after they took him.

They updated us fairly often, and when it was done, Dr. Moores came in and showed us a picture he had taken of what Andrews head looked like when it was done. It was amazing how different his head looked, and how round and almost normal it was. He stayed in the PICU for the first two days or so, and then moved him to the Peds Ward. He had bruises, where the blood had settled, and he had a hard time eating. He had two IV's in, one in his arm, and one in his leg. And a catheter. His head was wrapped up, and it was very tricky to hold him. But he was doing very well.

We ended up staying in the DC area for just over 3 weeks. While he was in the Peds Ward, he got the Rota Virus, which was horrible!!! It has its own scent, and we think he got it from playing with some of the toys that they had. So, after he had gotten out of the hospital, we had to go back in for a few more days because the Rota just dehydrates you. His BM's were completely liquid, and he wouldn't hardly eat a thing. So, another IV. But overall, things went very well. It was hard living in a hotel for that long, and having to take turns staying the night at the hospital when he was in there.

I do not regret the decision that we made. His head, even though still not normal, looks a lot better than it would have. He doesn't have any problems, and as far as I know, doesn't even remember having the surgery. It has been about two and a half years since his surgery. I'm in the process of getting him looked at again, to make sure that things are still doing well, and to find out if any more surgeries are necessary.

It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do so far. During this whole process of finding out what was the problem with his head, Matt went to Iraq for a week to perform for the soldiers during Christmas. So, that was a little rough. Then shortly after Christmas, I found out I was pregnant. I didn't want to be pregnant and having to deal with Andrews surgery. Luckily for me, I haven't gotten sick either time. In fact, I have very uneventful pregnancies. So, it was high stress for us, or at least for me. And Matts unit had to fight for him to be able to come with me. We only had orders for Andrew and I to fly. His unit didn't think that was right, so they fought and fought for him to be with me. They knew that he would be useless if he stayed. We were very blessed to have been in that unit as they were very aware and very willing to make things happen.

There is a movie that I love: Sliding Doors. If you haven't seen it, it shows the main characters life and the difference it made when she caught the tube, and when she didn't. In one the mother decided to move her child so that the main character made it to the tube, but in the other one, the child wasn't moved. And she didn't make it. And how different her life was just on the fact that she had made or hadn't made it onto the tube.

I often think where I might be if I hadn't decided to go on a mission, to marry my husband, or if we hadn't had kids yet. Or where we would be had we not decided to join the Army. There is no way to know, but I'm not unhappy, and I have very few regrets.

Edited: The last two paragraphs don't seem to flow very well. The subject was Decisions, and I was just continuing with that theme, but I didn't address it very well. Basically, decisions are important, and completely change the direction of our lives, and others lives. So, just pretend that I made it flow a little better. Still working on this writing thing.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Four things Meme

Jen at Lords of the Manor tagged me for this one. I liked it because I didn't have to think too much about my answers so it was pretty fast. Thats what I like!!

Four jobs I've had:

1. Server/hostess/cashier at Pinnacle Peak restaurant

2. clerk at Hallmark store

3. secretary type of person. I was horrible at it. He was just being nice letting me continue to work there

4. Piano teacher

Four places I have lived:

1. Santa Monica, CA

2. Glendora, CA

3. Tarbes, Angoulême, Orléans, Pau, Limoges FRANCE

4. Heidelberg, Germany

Four favorite T.V. shows:

1. Burn Notice

2. Law and Order

3. CSI: Vegas

4. Colbert Report

Four favorite foods:

1. Non American Chocolate

2. almost any ice cream

3. food in France (specifically their ham which is way superior over american ham, their gouda and their bread obviously)

4. Burritos that we made on my mission, when we made everything from scratch from the tortillas to the beans.

Four websites I frequent:





Four places I'd rather be right now:

1. France

2. Germany

3. Somewhere on the east coast so that I could get a hop over to Germany to visit and only have to pay $25 a seat.

4. At a Southern California beach. Balboa would be really nice.....

Four Movies I love:

1. Pride and Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth)

2. Sons of Provo (because it is SO Utah, and the fact that they are making fun of it is awesome)

3. Bourne anything

4. Sliding Doors

Four Bloggers I tag next: Anyone that has come up with a blank for what they want to post today. Let me know if you do it so that I can read it.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Matt and I sat down to watch a movie together tonight. We haven't been to an actual movie theater since last summer, and that was a military one, and I think we only paid $3.50 for each of us to see the movie. Matt went and saw Disturbia in April, and I haven't been to one at all. I really don't think I'm missing out on much other than paying way too much to see a movie.

We watched Breach. The story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen. I remember reading about it in Newsweek when it all came out. At the end, the movie goers find out what was the motivating factor for him: his ego. (and of course, this is according to the movie. I haven't read anything since I read that article in Newsweek). And I got to thinking about it. The reason why bullys bully other kids at school is to make themselves feel better, to stroke their ego. The reason that girls spread mean rumors about others is to make themselves feel better.

If that were true, that he committed espionage, to make himself feel important, what kind of an ego did the man have?? What are we capable of doing just to make ourselves feel better, or feel that we are better than others? Osama bin Laden is the same sort of person. He commits acts of terrorism to make himself feel better. Hitler, Saddam Hussain, and others have done horrible things to protect their ego, to get power, and to put others down.

Our ego must be really important.......

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Last summer, I told Matt that before we left Germany, we had to go and visit Orléans. I spent six months of my mission there, and I was dying to go back. So, last August, Matt took leave and we went!!!
A friend was in the states and was letting us borrow her van for the 6 weeks she was gone, so we drove that to Orléans. It took a little while to get there, but I was so excited that I could hardly stand it!!!

Here are some of our pictures of our trip. It was our longest family vacation/trip we've had with the kids.

Lucy is the one in brown, and Marianne (the daughter of a friend in Orléans) is in purple. They look a lot alike.
Trying to get a picture with all of the kids.
With Patricia, Marianne, Paul, Lucy and me chez La Famille Le Floch. They invited us over for lunch after church on Sunday. I knew Patricia on my mission, and I was there when her now husband was baptized.
Patricia, Marianne, Paul, Thibault, Lucy, Me, Andrew. Matt was taking the picture. I love this family. The next time we go there we are going to stay with them.

Our little family in front of Jeanne D'arc. (she liberated Orléans. Every year in May, they have a huge Fête de Jeanne D'arc for two weeks to celebrate it.)
La Chapelle St. Mesmin was next to the Loire River, and we would ride our bikes past it a lot.
The view from La Chapelle looking out to La Loire. Can you see the Cathédrale?
The view of La Loire from our apartment. We would run/jog/walk/ride next to the river almost every day.
Andrew in front of a fountain in Place de Martroi. Can you find the Cathédrale in this picture?
This is Lucy in front of La Chapelle St. Mesmin. It is an old church that we used to ride our bikes by.
This is Matt with the kids in front of the Cathédrale in Orléans. It is huge!!
This is a picture of our balcony to our apartment that we lived in. It is the middle one.
This is a picture of the whole building of our apartment conplex. When we lived there, the parking lot wasn't paved.
This is my favorite store in Orléans. Palaf. I got a pair of Doc Martens on my mission there for only 200 francs. Which is about $30. And we got all kinds of other cool stuff there for hardly anything.

This is Andrew and I on a carousel that was in La Place de Martroi. It was an old one, and it was really cool!

Me standing where I fell on my bike. My tires got stuck in the rails and I took my companion down with me!! I had bloody knees and everything. It was pretty cool.

(below) Me and the kids sitting on the steps of the Cathédrale.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Hello all. I have a request for those of you that live in the San Diego California area. A friend from high school just recently had her first child. She was born with a hole in her heart. There is a shortage of donated blood in that area, and this little girl has used quite a bit already. If any of you in that area were able to give blood that would be great! Email me at terinaj at yahoo dot com if you would like the name and other info regarding the situation so that the blood can get to her. The little girl had surgery on Monday, and will have several more throughout her life. Thank you in advance for your help!