Sunday, November 30, 2008

Heart Update

It's currently 5:35 am. Why do I sit here? That would be because I can't sleep. Actually, I haven't slept since 3:23 am. I've been googling. (Is that a word?)

Left ventricle. Heart dilation. Left ventricular dilation. What does this all mean anyway?

We've spent the past three weeks at doctor offices. It's a change of pace for Courtney to be the patient, and me the moral support.

Only I don't know that I like the role reversal.

You see, I worry.

And I don't know what the heck they're talking about.

I don't like being told by a cardiologist that the stress test results are definitely abnormal. That what he's seeing tells him that if my husband has a heart attack, he won't survive it. That he has no choice but to get an angiogram. That if he chooses not to get an angiogram, he should go home and lie down and take an aspirin a day until he decides to.

I don't like hearing all of this.

I don't like seeing my husband in a hospital gown. Not that he doesn't look cute and little boyish in it. I don't the nurse coming and asking me if I'd like to kiss him goodbye before they take him back. I don't like sitting in the chair next to the hospital bed which my husband is lying in. I'd rather be in it. I don't like worrying about him. I don't like that the same Dr. who scared me a mere six hours earlier has now told the nurse to tell me that in a few more hours we can go home. No more explanation. Don't worry.

Not that I'm not ecstatic that everything looks fine.

But you just said six hours ago that it was not fine! Not fine at all!
(I don't say that, because I never get the chance. Dr. has since disappeared into the hidden recesses of the office, and I have learned that there is no way to get past the nurse to ask the doctor a few questions. No way.)

So, here's the scoop.

There is none.

I have a husband who is having chest pain. He feels like someone is pushing on his chest. He wakes up at night with his heart racing. I've heard three doctors use big words to tell me that something is wrong, and then follow that up by telling me that everything looked fine. Nothing to worry about. I wish they'd make up their minds.

I don't understand them. I have no idea what they're even talking about. But my husband is still having chest pain.

Not to sound too dramatic, (which I know I always am). But I'm a little worried.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mom, What Do I Have Today?

Emmy has decided I am boring. It seems that almost anything and anyone is more exciting than spending an entire day with me while the girls are gone to school. Each morning, first thing, Emmy asks me, "Mom, what do I have today?", followed by "Mom, what do I have tomorrow?" Unfortunately for her, what she usually has is a day with me. I try to sound enthusiastic about all the fun things we get to do, but this does not seem to comfort her. She wants to be on the go! However, being the "industrious" gal that she is, she has found a few avenues to keep her busy.

Emmy's favorite thing to do as of late is to go to work with Bop. She doesn't seem to mind what he has on his to-do list, she wants to help him. Each morning at approximately 8:00, she calls Bop on his cell phone and proclaims, "What are you doing? I want to work with you today. Can you come and get me?" Some of her favorite days are spent alongside Bop, washing trailers, detailing cars, and delivering vehicles to various destinations. She knows everyone at his work, and pretty much has them all wrapped around her finger. She gets paid in treats. In fact, the other day she told me that Bop was going to hire her instead of Jill (who oversees the detailers), because she doesn't charge as much. Then she said, "but Jill and I will still be best buddies. She's not mad at me." She also likes working with Matt, a younger guy that also works in the shop. She calls him "Uncle Matt" (he's not).
Emmy gets pretty disappointed when Bop has to travel to California, which is quite often. This week, for instance, he left on Tuesday for California and doesn't return until Friday evening. She begged me to take her to the shop to work anyway. It went something like this, "Mom, pleeeeeeeeaaaase? I will listen to everyone reeeeeaaaaally good! Jill and Uncle Matt will watch out for me! Mom, I would REALLY enjoin (enjoy) it! I would REALLY enjoin it! Mom, I would REALLY enjoin it!" (Emmy believes everything is more effective if it's said an half million times.)
The other day when she found out Bop was leaving for the week, she said, "Oh! California? That's one of my favorite places!" I could just hear the wheels turning. When Bop is gone, she puts in offers to go with anyone who calls or visits our house. The other day, the girls' adopted grandma Tracy was at our house. Emmy asked her, "What are you doing when you leave here?" Tracy replied that she was going to clean her house, to which Emmy quickly responded, "Don't you think I should come with you?" Soon, she was out the door, holding Tracy's hand.

Other places that Emmy has traveled this week are: Monday, she hung out with Grandma C during the morning. On Tuesday she caught a ride to Salt Lake with Grandma C & Aunt Andrea to doctor appointments. Wednesday she spent the afternoon at Grandma Tam & Grandpa Lloyd's while I went to a doctor appointment. Thursday she happened to answer the phone when Aunt Andrea called, taking advantage of a chance to ask if she could come to her house for a "project". Friday morning, she called Grandma T, hoping for a chance to come play,which unfortunately she was unable to arrange. She's already got an evening hooked up with Grandpa J for tonight. She's hoping to pitch in for chores, watch a movie, and eat lots of OREOS. It doesn't get better.

I've been told that Emmy is taking after her Uncle Shawn. He was (and still is) always up for an exciting adventure! Lucky for Emmy. . . It seems she has the genes of two of the most fun people in our families. She looks a lot like her very fun and beautiful Aunt Haylee, and loves to be on the go like her Uncle Shawn, one of my favorite people.
I snapped these pictures the other day of Emmy while she was waiting for Bop to come and get her for a day at work. She was so excited about his arrival, jabbering a mile a minute about what the day held in store for her. I just watched her and listened and then had the strongest impression to grab my camera to catch that moment. I'm so grateful for that impression- for the gift I had that day of really being "present" with her at that moment, basking in her excitement for life. Looking at these pictures makes me realize that with this little one of mine, I need to really take hold of each of the little moments I get with her. They may not last long. With Emmy, I always feel like she's just beyond my grasp, alive with joy and excitement, off and running to tackle the next adventure life offers her. I've wondered many times about how I can tame her down a bit, to help her learn to be a bit more calm, to stretch her attention span a bit. I think I've been missing the boat. Instead, maybe I need to learn to pay attention when I have a moment with her, and really live in that moment. Because if I don't, she'll not wait around long enough for me to pay attention. She'll already be on to the next adventure.
I love that each of my kids teach me. Emmy is teaching me to live the moment. To love the moment. Hopefully I'm learning.
What a gal! I have a feeling it won't be long until I'm asking her, "Emmy, What do I have today? . . .What do I have tomorrow?" I can't wait to see what she has in store!

Where does she get that?

I came into the dining room the other day to find Emmy, bundled in her coat, eating sherbet out of the carton. Now, I ask you, where did she get that idea?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Moments To Remember

Moment #1:

The other day we were driving to Grandma & Grandpa J. Ryenne was annoying Emmy by laying her seat back as far as possible, thus seriously trespassing into Emmy's space.

"Ryenne, I am losing my temper!" (Each word gets gradually louder).

Ryenne giggles.

"Ryenne, I am losing my temper!" (louder still).

Ryenne giggles.

"Ryenne, I am LOSING MY TEMPER!"

Ryenne giggles. Dad suggests to Emmy that perhaps her temper is beyond the mere "losing" stage.


Ryenne giggles.

Moment #2:
Today Kate was helping Dad change Claire's diaper. As she (reluctantly) took the wet diaper to the garbage, she related a wise observation to me,

"That's the gross thing about having a baby."

Tis true.

Moment #3:
Today after church we all stood around the table eating ice cream out of the carton. Mud Pie. Ymmmm. Courtney and I mused whether this might be one of the "unrighteous traditions handed down by the fathers to their children" spoken of in the scriptures. Kate was enjoying herself along with the rest of us. Perhaps even more, as she ate ice cream out of the carton wearing only panties, knee-highs, and her Sunday shoes.

I promised I wouldn't post pictures. (Bummer for you.)

Moment #4:
Sacrament meeting today. I'm not sure who was most irreverent, Courtney & I or the girls. Ryenne laid across both of our laps. (This might not be so bad if she wasn't 8. I suppose we'll need to curb this before she's 16). Courtney & Ryenne spent the meeting trying to trick eachother with riddles, which brought on several giggles. Ryenne then took the flower off her headband and clipped it onto Dad's tie, hair, shirt pocket, etc. We all giggled like it was the funniest thing ever. Emmy and Kate sat on the neighbor man's lap and ruined any hopes he had of getting anything out of the meeting. At some point, Courtney looked at me in desperation and asked, "Doesn't it seem like this meeting has lasted FOREVER? I think it's gone way over." Not so. We have just developed a serious case of SMADD (Sacrament Meeting Attention Deficit Disorder). Kate and Emmy ask if they can go get a drink. Usually we say no. Today I say yes. They walk out (very reverently, mind you- arms folded and everything. They look like angels). However, they are side tracked in the lobby by admiring ladies. They are soon showing off their twirly dresses for everyone in the lobby. We sit by idly and watch, along with everyone else in the meeting. The topic is gratitude. The meeting finally comes to a close. The closing song is unfamiliar. (Our chorister is into those. Every single verse of those.) Courtney looks at me and says, "I guess it's 'Be Grateful for the WHOLE hymnbook day.' Again, we giggle. We're so funny.

At the close of the meeting, we conclude that if nothing else, we are performing a service for everyone else around us. In fact, they may clamor to sit around us. Then, they can spend the rest of the day patting themselves on their back regarding their own parenting skills.

Just trying to be of service.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

better together. . .

So, I should probably be cleaning my house. But here I sit.

I've been thinking.

Sunday evening I was laying in bed and laughing with my boyfriend, (aka husband) when he tells me something like this . . .

"I thought I better tell you something. I don't want you to be alarmed. There's been something that's going on for a little while, and I think you ought to know. I just don't want you to worry too much. . ."

How's that for a conversation starter?

Turns out he's been having a bit of chest pain. For about a month or more. He thought it would go away, but not so. Seems it's stickin' around. So, of course, what do I do? I get a little alarmed. Heart disease kinda runs in his family.

Monday morning, I call and get him an appointment. The doctor asks him lots of questions, which he answers as vaguely as possible. I try to clarify and fill in some of the gaps.

This morning, we go to the hospital for a scheduled stress test. Again, lots of questions by doctor #2. Again, very vague answers.

Example #1"

"Do you exercise? How fit are you?"

(Very cute little grin). "Well, that depends on what time of year."

(Confused look). "How about this time of year?"

"No. Not really."

He makes the impression that he walks around the block every few months when and if he's feeling ambitious. He does not mention the fact that his work alone makes him more fit than the average individual, or that he competes in triathlons. (He doesn't want to over exaggerate anything.)

Example #2

"Any heart disease in your family?"

"No, not really."

"Heart attacks? High cholesterol?"

"Well, both of my parents are on medicine for cholesterol. My grandpa and great- grandpa had heart attacks in their early sixties."

Now you see, this is one of the cutest things about this little boyfriend of mine. He downplays himself. A lot. He hates making a big deal of anything, most especially himself. Instead, he has this cutest little grin that his mom and I are pretty good at picking up on, which means, "There's a little more going on than I'm telling you."

Did I mention that this grin is very cute? However, sweet darling, we're talking about your heart here, not a hangnail. When I spoke to him about this later, his comment was, "You mean it's not something I can just wrap a papertowel and a little electrical tape around to fix it?" (Again, cute little grin.)

The doctor kept repeating, "I'm sure this is going to be normal, because you're only 32." . . ."You're so young, I'm sure we're not going to find anything."

Come to find out, the test showed some abnormal readings. We'll be going back on Monday for another test where they insert dye into him to see if there are any blockages in his arteries. He's frustrated at having to miss work again. After all, he's only 32. And heaven forbid, we don't want anyone to be "alarmed".

I'm trying not to be alarmed. (The truth is, he probably will be if he reads this.)

They told him to "take it easy" this weekend, and make sure to get into the hospital if anything gets worse.

He came home and went right to work.

I told Him this earlier, but I'm just making sure Heavenly Father knows this about me and my boyfriend. I need him. I do. We've done this together for a while now. And it's just that I've learned we do it pretty well together.

Hopefully, this will turn out to be a lot of worry about nothing. It better, because he'll be really, really mad if he has to miss more work.

And I'll be really, really alarmed if he leaves me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Four Super Cute Sisters

Just got the girls pictures back. I thought they turned out great! Claire had been dragged around as usual that day and was tired and hungry, so we didn't get any of her usual smiles- she's normally always smiling! Bummer.

Nicole Nelson (Pixie Dust Photography) took the pictures and was so great with the girls.
Enjoy. . .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Fun!

What a fun holiday! We had an entire week of Halloween fun.

Our Celebration kicked off with our 2nd annual W Family Halloween Party. This party exists as an act of bribery by Mom and Dad to get us out of the elementary school pumpkin walk. The pumpkin walk really is fun, but it's the night before rush to decorate the pumpkins in the class theme that wears me out. (The funny thing is that when Ryenne was in kindergarten I was a room mother, and was in charge of creating a display and setting out all of the class pumpkins for the walk. I felt so sad for the kids whose parents didn't help them participate. It all seemed so fun and important. In only 3 short years, see what I've deteriorated to?)

Anyway, we had a great time at our little party. We played "pin the nose on the pumpkin", which always brings a few good laughs. This was followed by the donut on the string game, after which we decorated a haunted gingerbread house. (It didn't look anything like the finished one on the box, of course, but the girls and Courtney had a great time.) Dad was in charge of applying the frosting, which he pretty much threw on and then let the girls stick candy everywhere. Afterward, the girls teeth were blue from eating the candy that came in the kit.

I love this picture!

The next day, Emmy and I decorated her pumpkin while the girls were at school. After we finished carving, she took markers and made her pumpkin into Pocahontas.

We had a great time at the Elder's Quorum Halloween Bash. It was actually nice to have it the week before Halloween, because it forced me to have the girls costumes prepared a little ahead of time!
On Halloween day, the girls were excited to wear their costumes to school. I arrived just in time to see the traditional costume parade, which is always a good time! It's fun to see all the kids and the creative costume ideas.

Ryenne chose to be Ashoka from Star Wars Clone Wars. This costume took a little ingenuity, the internet, and help from a talented seamstress in our ward to create. She was excited with the result, but got tired of everyone asking who she was. Apparently a lot of people are about as familiar as I was with Clone Wars. Although I've only seen pictures out of a book, I have to say she looked very close to the real thing. She won the funniest costume award in her class.
Each year at the costume parade, these two very tall men creatures show up for a peek. They are almost as tall as the school and a little bit freaky!
Kate was the cutest scarecrow on the block, of course!
Emmy the cheerleader was, as usual, filled to the brim with enthusiasm!

We started our trick-or-treat run at Grandma & Grandpa C's. Bop had just arrived from a Harley ride when we got there. The girls were quite taken back by his skeleton mask. When he asked Emmy if she was scared she answered him by laughing.
The girls were so excited to have cousin Kalli join us for trick-or-treating. Especially when she showed them around the coolest treats in her town. We were amazed at the reports of Caramel apples, amazing spider cookies, haunted houses, and homemade donuts! R town is definitely a trick-or-treating paradise! It made the bucket of laffy taffys I left outside my door look pretty lame.
From Riverside, we traveled to north to visit Grandma & Grandpa J. Claire the bumblebee (who was obviously very impressed with her costume) was excited to see Bridger the chunky monkey.
The girls had a great time, and the weather was perfect! After an adventurous night, we brought the girls home, watched a movie, and had a "Kalli sleepover" in the family room. What more can a girl ask for?
Did the fun end on Halloween night? Oh no! We stretched the party into Sunday, when all of the C cousins gathered together for a little costume parade of thier own. It was a pretty fun sight!
We were so excited to see our newest little cousin! Jonnie, Shanna, & Whitney brought their new little addition (he doesn't have a name yet!). He is such a cute little guy! He arrived just in time for Halloween, weighing in at a whopping 9 lb, 2 ounces!All of the excitement just wiped little Claire out!

All in all, it was another successful Halloween. The girls made a haul, which I am trying to buy from them. I even offered $1.oo for every 7 pieces of candy. They weren't very impressed by my offer, and couldn't believe I was just going to throw the candy away. Needless to say, we still have way too much candy around here. Oh well, it will probably be gone soon. . .just in time for Christmas candy.