Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!


Can you say blackmail? There's no better way to ring in the New Year than a Guitar Hero III party with your family! As we speak there's 5 minutes to go and we're all cracking up because my brother did an encore to 'My Name is Jonas' by Weezer, (his last name IS Jonas, my maiden name..) He'll probably regret this in the morning. Maybe not quite blackmail material though, because it was all his idea. Click the video below, you'll understand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahyu3m1ewUo

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pros and Cons and Props

Pros and cons to having my right hand out of commission:

Cons:
-Can't do dishes!
-Can't change Jane's poopy diapers! (easily, anyway)
-Can't give Jane a bath
-Can't DRIVE
-Can't pick up Jane with my strong arm
-Can't do my hair!
-Can't do my makeup! (Easily, that is! Try for me to put on Mascara with your left hand and good luck!)
-It takes forever to get dressed (It's impossible pulling up pants with one hand! And most of my shirts I can't wear because the sleeves are too skinny for my cast!
-Couldn't wrap my Christmas presents!
-Can't type easily and use the mouse! This is taking forever although my 5 left fingers are getting faster.
-Can't open JARS or bottles or anything that requires 2 hands and some strength!

Pros:
-Can't do dishes!
-Can't change Jane's poopy diapers!
Oh, wait - those were supposed to be cons. I guess they're a little of both.

People frequently ask me when they see my cast, "Oh, no, are you left-handed, I hope?" "I am now!" I say. I'm at about 3rd grade level with my handwriting. Pretty impressive how the mind can work things out when it has to. The first 2 weeks I was pretty useless with my left hand and now I've figured ways around certain things. Writing thank-you letters to the wonderful women in the Relief Society that joined together to make meals for us the first week of the accident was a joke - it took me all afternoon and my 7-year old could have done better! Eric offered to write them but it just didn't feel sincere to me to have someone else write my thank-you letters. I could have typed them but that too, felt insincere. (Thanks again and props to Sheila/Richelle, Ruth, Carol, Colleen/Cynthia and Becky!) My great visiting teacher Becky came and painted my good nails and sister-in law Anna brought me dinner and came to do my hair! And of course Audria, who helps me take care of the kids, what would I do without her?
Some days are better than others - I go from being very angry and upset about the situation and the pain, and then others I feel very lucky and blessed that it wasn't any worse. I feel burning, stinging pain in my fingers 24/7 but I keep telling myself to feel grateful for it because it's much better than the alternative of having no fingers or sensation at all! Phew- my fingers are tired!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Patients and Patience

Just what we wanted to do the day after Christmas.....yep! You guessed it- sit in the waiting room at the Dr's Office for 1 1/2 hours! Do you think that's why they call us 'Patients' or is it 'Patience'? Especially when all I'm going to hear is, "Yep, your fingers look like two badly charred pieces of black chicken!" Poor Eric is walking Jane up and down the hall for the 35Th time trying to keep her entertained. He's the one with patience! I hope this long appointment isn't keeping him away from his own patients at his office!

OK, after our hour and a half wait, Dr. Patten said they are healing well but still have a ways to go. Ouch - my fingers always burn and sting worse after the Dr. messes with them. I still did not look at them. Can you say denial? I do know now however that I've been having what's called 'shadow' or 'phantom' pains. The most painful area other than my fingertips is the right side of my middle finger. I did learn today to my shock that the part that is injured most is from the tip to half way down the first knuckle. The most pain I feel though, is below that. The good news is that the part I've been feeling isn't even injured but the bad news is that means the part that is injured at the top is so bad that there is no nerve sensation at all and that creates the phantom pain all around it. He prescribed physical therapy at TOSH - oh boy! More Dr. appointments and even more waiting! He needs to prescribe for me more "Patience!"


As if this appointment wasn't enough for poor Eric to sit through - he also was in the emergency room at the same hospital or 4 hours early this morning with Easton! He's had the flu and he woke us up at 6am with terrible chest pains - scared the heck out of both of us. He was having a hard time breathing and grabbing his heart in cramping pain. We had him drink another glass of water and Eric took him in. I was so nervous for him and wanted to go but the other kids were still asleep. After running every test imaginable on him it turned out to be just what we thought - plasma dehydration and the pains were his intestines and stomach. That's the kind when water won't even help - believe it or not after them giving him IV fluids they said Gatorade is the best thing for him. Eric brought him home just before 10am to turn right back around and go to his office to take care of his own patient at 10am, then to turn back around and bring me here to this appointment! You know it's been a long time waiting when I've typed this whole thing on my phone with my thumbs. 6 hours at hospitals before lunch the day after Christmas...Eric gets the 'patience' award for the day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve is....

We usually spend Christmas Eve evening at my parents home in Park City. When we left today to head up there, we were in the midst of a complete blizzard! Needless to say, we headed back home and enjoyed an evening making soups, wassail, and christmas goodies. Here's a quick video with some of the fun moments! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJgeuUK_5o4


What does Santa Say?

video

My Christmas Angel

We woke up to quite a lot of snow this morning in Utah! What a beautiful morning! Eric took the kids to school in a hurry so didn't have time to snowshovel the driveway. I heard a strange noise a while later and to my surprise, my awesome Uncle Scott took it upon himself to do off my snowy driveway! What an awesome Uncle!!


Jane loved to watch him!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God Whispers Before He Speaks


....and next time He whispers to me, I'm gonna listen.


I've been meaning to blog about my accident for the last week, but to put it mildly, it's been an incredibly rough 8 days. And, typing with 5 left hand fingers really blows. I'll rewind to the week before this happened just to explain.


As if getting ready for Thanksgiving wasn't hectic enough, the weekend was incredibly busy (but fun! Go Cougars!). The next week at work was just as crazy; constant meetings, not a minute in between each one to catch my breath. I mean literally, not 5 minutes to spare from one thing to the next. We all experience that, right? The evenings were even booked solid; client skating party Wednesday night, (see blog below!) kids piano and visiting teaching Thursday night, Bonneville Christmas Party Friday, (see below also!) then crazy Saturday with a birthday party, Brandon's indoor soccer game, a funeral in Bountiful, and a United Way Future Leaders dinner at The Depot. Sunday with church, church again for a family baby blessing in Provo, and Easton had a Scout Court of Honor that evening at Church. During this whole time, I kept second guessing myself...feeling and knowing I had to slow down soon and that I was doing too much. I needed to look at my calendar and just start deleting things so I would slow down. Say no once in a while. These were Heavenly Father's whispers to me.
Back to the hectic work week. Don't ask how late I'd been up doing laundry, cleaning, and all the other fun responsibilities we all have to do. Monday and Tuesday were crazy as usual. The KSL Radio Sales team had a service project planned at the Happy Factory in Sandy building wooden toy cars for needy kids. It sounded really fun but I wasn't planning on going - I had reports and proposals due that afternoon as well as appointments in between and besides, I did my service project the week before at the food bank. And hey, I needed to delete things off my calendar and I was feeling like I should not go with all that I had going on. That morning I got the phone call asking if I was planning on going and would I go, and so being the obliging crazy woman I am, I rearranged things and went. I wondered why I was ignoring myself and when was I going to listen to Heavenly Father's whispers to "Slow down". I think it was Oprah I heard say, "God Whispers Before He Speaks."


At this service project, the Happy Factory employees set all of us up at different workstations (power tools) working on the wooden cars. I was put on a router saw, routing hard edges off of the cars. I was having fun and being incredibly careful and did this for 20 minutes or so. I was focused and envisioning the kids that would end up with the toys. I was pondering how much less stressful a job like that would be. (sh-yeah!). I was proud of the work I was doing and thinking I should add woodworking expert to my resume (lol). Then in a split .0005th of a second, the router caught a knot in the wood, sucked in the car and....to spare you the gory details, let's just say the middle and index fingers on my right hand lost the battle. I mean, they're still there, but will never be the same I'm told. Without being too gross, from what I know so far it took a good chunk of the right side and underpart of each finger including some bone. Ok that is gory, sorry. (you're wincing and grabbing your fingers, aren't you!)


There's lots of details in between I'll spare you, but 2 hospitals and 55+ stitches in surgery later, I don't know the extent of the lasting damage and probably won't for a while. All I could deal with at the hospital was the pain - and believe it or not after the shock wore off I stayed relatively composed and never cried. But when the Doctors were discussing details with anyone I made them talk outside the room. I just didn't want to hear the extent of the damage. At the end of the long and horrible night after the hand plastic surgeon finished piecing my fingers back together as best he could, he said to me, "You're one tough girl. I know that pretty hands are important to girls, and I'm sorry you won't have that anymore."
SCREW THAT! I'm hoping to prove him wrong over time, I just don't know how yet. And right now, I still don't wanna know exactly what's wrong. I sure as heck can feel it, though.
Needless to say, I've slowed down. Actually, I've come to a complete STOP! I haven't left the house in 8 days except to go back to the hospital for the Dr. appointments. I have no idea yet how long my recovery will be. All I know is, God Whispers Before He Speaks. So I'm listening from now on. I'm just sayin!


PS. Just to clarify. I'm not trying to say God wanted my fingers hacked up to slow me down and teach me a lesson. I'm just saying things happen for a reason and you need to find the lessons in them. After the last 8 miserable days, that's the only logical one I can think of.

Hanging Sweaters 101 with Rachel Coleman

You won't understand most of this post unless you're a Signing Time fan and laughed like crazy with us in the weekly chat tonight (Wednesdays from 7-9pm).
But, I will teach you what we all learned from Rachel tonight.....how to hang a sweater!

1.) Take your sweater and fold it in half so it looks like half a sweater
2.) Turn it so the arm pit is facing you, you are looking at an upside down V
3.) Now drape the arm and the body on one side of the hanger while the neck hangs on the back side
4.) The hook of the hanger is in the armpit V
5.) Sweater perfection!

HERE is how it's SUPPOSED to look:
How to hang a sweater
This is a great tip from her wardrobe expert Marcus!
Anyway- I was trying to figure it out during the chat and quickly posted a pic to see if I was right...
First try: NOT RIGHT (go easy, i'm disabled!)
2nd try: NOT QUITE
THIS IS RIGHT!! (Thanks, Rachel!)
Ok, I think i finally got it. The 3rd time is a charm!Thanks Brandon (7 years old) for taking the pictures and thanks Rachel for the tip! Now, if I could just use my hand I'd go hang all my sweaters this new way!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

At KSL Radio, FM 100, and 103.5 The Arrow, we have a Client Christmas Family Skating party every year in downtown Salt Lake City at The Gallivan Center. We enjoy an evening with our coworkers, clients, and their families for a night of all things Christmas...Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hot Cocoa, Chicken Soup, Christmas cookies, Ice Skating, Christmas lights, and Christmas music (on FM100 of course!) This was my 6th year at the party, and it has become a Christmas tradition and memory for the boys. Brandon's first time ice skating was at this party 6 years ago and this year's party was Jane's first time ice skating!



Jane absolutely loved ice skating! She cried and cried when daddy's back couldn't take it anymore and it was time to stop! (sorry, the video is sideways)

video


Brandon has only ice skated once a year at this party and is so good!

video


It's fun to look at pictures of the past with the kids at this party to see how they've grown. Here's last year:

...and the year before that (2005) Same Santa and Mrs. Claus, pregnant with Jane, same glasses, and I was wearing the same sweater as this year. How tacky - I hope no one noticed...lol.

...and the year before that! (2004).


Another Christmas tradition for us is Bonneville International's (KSL's parent company) Christmas party. It was last Friday night at Little America. We especially love it because President Hinckley attends and speaks to us during dinner...what a treat! There is also a musical performance and I've been able to discover my favorite Christmas artists like Peter Breinholt and Ryan Schupe that way!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's officially December....

What's my favorite Season? All of them. Today was positively the most beautiful snowstorm I've seen since I lived in Park City. The snow fell straight and blanketed everything so perfectly. The Christmas lights look so beautiful sparkling light and colors through the snow! I was amazed at how perfectly draped everything was, and took some pictures when Brandon and I went out to build a snowman!
Changing seasons in Utah is amazing. These pictures show you the difference in seasons with just my front porch!

December

April (tree not quite leafed out yet)

Backyard - December

Backyard - May!
We ran out of light before we could get a snowman finished. We got a late start because we had a crazy day...a birthday party, soccer game, a funeral, and a United Way Future Leaders benefit dinner downtown. Hopefully tomorow sometime after church, driving to Provo for Eric's cousin's baby blessing, visit teaching and Easton's Code of Honor for Scouts, we'll work on finishing the snowman. Somehow I think I should be in bed instead of sitting at the computer. I need sleep!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

FINALLY some snow! We were so excited for it that we let Jane play in it for a minute......she loved it!



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Brandon Singing Himself To Sleep....

I just experienced one of the funniest and cutest moments I've had in a long time. After tucking Brandon in to bed tonight, I went back to his room about 10 minutes later to pick up his dirty clothes. As I walked to his room I heard noises so I stopped because I thought the boys were talking to each other from their rooms and I wanted to eavesdrop. Instead, it was Brandon singing this wonderfully random made-up song as he drifted off to sleep. I quietly ran to get the camera and tip-toed into his room. Can I mention how incredibly hard it was not to laugh uncontrollably? It was so hard keeping my composure because I didn't want to get busted and ruin the whole thing! It was pitch black so all this video has is audio. Turn up your speakers, it's worth it. One day he will hate me for this (when he's 16 and I'm playing it for his first girlfriend) but until then, enjoy a wonderfully random bedtime song courtesy of a sweet and wonderful 7-year old! For your listening pleasure, I transcribed the words because it was so incredibly cute and funny. So here goes, allow me to introduce to you, Brandon Francis, singing "The Whole Entire World." (his own made up song!)

video

"But, the whole entire world knows and they think I have a smart brain.

But it is not true……

And, I always love my stuff I will never forget them!
But the whole entire world is…… mine and everyone’s.
Even the President’s!
AND!…. the whole entire space.

Even the real, the whole world
Could beeee a better place.

Eveeeennnnn the whole entire world
Could beeeeeee a better place

Half girl side
Half boy side
Half teenager side

Happy…then the whole entire side of the whole world issss fooor everyooooone

BUT….. the whole entire world could be anything that we imagine!
But everythiiiiiing went out right as I planned,

But, the right as I planned was so I could beeee the BEST person in the world!
And… the whole entire world is a whole great place around the whoooooooooole place of the whole entire world.

But, my whole entire room is the only thing I could live without.

But I still love it.
If I didn’t have a room I woooould be cryyyyyiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnng (falling asleep)

Buuuuuut the only place for meeeeeeee is to go is the…………."

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz(asleep)

The end.
Brandon Francis, 7 years old, 11/18/07

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Magic Happens To Those Who Believe In Fairies!

...at least that's what it says in Jane's room! We finished her 'nursery' at the end of September and I'm finally posting a picture. She was trying to climb out of her crib so we made the big jump from the crib to the toddler bed. We couldn't resist, it had butterflies on it! Jane loves flowers, butterflies, fairies, dolls and princesses, so her room has a little bit of all of that mixed in, including my vintage Strawberry Shortcake dolls from my childhood. She loves Disney Charachters so we have a few pictures of her with them at Disneyland sprinkled around and she loves to look at those. I'll post more pictures of her finished room soon!


Friday, November 2, 2007

Gettin' our Disney on!

Wow- what a whirlwind week it's been! For that matter what a whirlwind few weeks! We just got back from a fantastic trip to Disneyland. Both Jane and Brandon had their first plane rides! (Brandon had a one-way flight from San Jose to SLC when he was 6 weeks old when we moved here, but does that count?) In preparation for our trip, I scoured the Internet for survival tips on how to get through Disneyland without having to stand in horrendous lines with my 18 month old. I knew she wouldn't hold still for more than a few minutes and we'd all be miserable. Luckily, I was able to really study up on how to leverage the fast passes and some other tips & tricks. So really, we didn't stand in lines hardly at all! Example? OK, we walked by Splash Mountain to pick up a fast pass. The regular line was 90 minutes long. I noticed a girl in a striped shirt and figured I'd see if she was still in line when we came back. We left, had lunch, went to get the kids their traditional mouse ears hats with their names on it,
..went to Winnie the Pooh,

...met the characters,


....shopped for Jane's Minnie Mouse baby,

...and then went to Splash Mountain to use our Fast Pass. The boys went first because Jane was sleeping and I got a baby switch pass.

The boys rode the ride with Eric, came out, we switched and the boys came with me again. (a HUGE benefit to having a baby at Disneyland! Don't forget to ask for the baby switch pass! Yes, even if you already have a fast pass!) Low and behold, we got right to the front of the line with our pass, and there was the girl with the striped shirt, still in line with several minutes to go. Why do people stand in line when they just don't have to! I just don't get it!


BTW - Splash Mountain was awesome - the drop at the end is the best butterfly at Disneyland. The picture they snap of you right at that climactic moment turned out awesome of us. Complete with Rock On! signs and OMG scrunched faces as we plummeted down Splash Mountain. I wanted to buy it, I just wasn't willing to fork out another $12.95 for one 5x7 after I just spent $30 on lunch, $32 in Mickey Mouse Ears hats, and $20 on a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal in less than an hour and a half. Hmmm...maybe the girl in the striped shirt is wiser than I after all. So THAT's what the fast passes are really for! (Brilliant, Disney!)

Speaking of the $30 on lunch, let me speak from experience that although they say you can't bring food and water bottles into Disneyland, you can. Trust me. Plenty of people passed through the security line with strollers full of water bottles and crust free bologna sandwiches. I had some very hidden snacks and 2 water bottles strategically hidden in Jane's Diaper Bag but it was a waste of time. So the 2nd day we strapped a cooler to Eric's back full of food (ok, not quite). I just really have a hard time forking over $2.50 for a Dasani Water. No problem however, paying $4.95 for a Pineapple Whip at the Tiki Room. Soooo worth it.


One of the highlights of Disneyland for us was definitely the Jedi Master Camp. I screamed like a little girl when Brandon was picked out of a huge crowd of screaming and begging children to get up on stage and get trained to be a Jedi Master and fight Darth Vader. I was literally closing my eyes and trying to use 'the force' to make the Jedi pick him. It worked! I'm Princess Leya after all! video

The boys loved Tomorrowland, especially Star Tours, Space Mountain, and those dudes that bang on the garbage cans with cleaning equipment just plain old rock. Jane's favorite was hands down, Nemo. That was our very first ride of the day - everything I found on the Internet said to go there either very first, or very last. Just be prepared to wait. If you're going there first and you were at the park right when the gates open, RUN. Like the wind. We sure did, (run instead through Tomorrowland go by the Matterhorn, it's faster). We still waited for an hour but that was the ONLY ride we waited long for.

My favorite was hands down Soarin' over California inside California Adventure. It was pretty much the coolest thing I've ever done. Eric's favorite was the Ferris Wheel in California Adventure. You spin inside of the wheel - I can't explain it other than it was so freaking scary but fun. We all laughed so incredibly hard as we were spinning, we couldn't breathe. We should be spanked for taking our poor baby on that ride. Poor Jane clamped on to me so tight you couldn't pry her off with a crow bar. But it was sooo fun.

The first day there we were there from before it opened at 8am to close at 12am. We were so exhausted at the end we could barely walk and were falling asleep standing up. (seriously). Brandon literally could not walk and we had to put him in Jane's stroller and carry Jane. The next day we were rarin' to go and stayed until they closed at 9. Our feet hurt so badly but it was so much fun. We met Eric's sister Tami and her family and had so much fun with them!

Disneyland was decorated so beautifully for Halloween. I can't imagine it at Christmastime. We're going back for a 4-day trip next December and stay at a hotel inside the park. We already can't wait! To hear the uncontrollable laughter from the kids on the rides was the best for me and I can't wait to hear it again. Disneyland is truly is the happiest place on earth!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween


'Twas the Night before Halloween, 10/30/07, 8:50pm, just flew home from Disneyland.

Mom: "Brandon, let's go get your Darth Vader costume ready to go so in the morning you'll be all set for school."

Brandon: "But Mom, I don't want to be Darth Vader anymore, I want to be a JEDI MASTER like I was in DISNEYLAND!"

Mom: "But Brandon, it's too late. All the stores are closed and we already have your Halloween costume!"

Brandon: "Well then just call Muga (Grandma) and have her make me a Jedi Master costume!"



Well, I'm sure you know how the rest of the conversation went. A few more changes of his mind led to him wearing his brother's Karate gear the next morning. At this point, I didn't even know what I was going to be yet. And that is a carnal sin where I work. Halloween is a very, very big deal at Bonneville Radio. Primarily because it's the big bosses favorite holiday. You must show in your costume severe forethought and creativity. The past 6 years I've been everything from Daphne from Scooby Doo, Wilma Flintstone,


Avril Lavigne,



Beth the Bounty Hunter (Dog's Wife),


and a Flapper Dancer.

So of course you must out-do yourself every year but this year I just didn't have it in me. No plans with anyone else on a group theme, and just returned hours earlier from a Disney Vacation. So first thing in the morning before I entered my closet I took a big breath and crossed my fingers that as usual I can do something on the fly at the very last minute and have it turn out smashingly. Well, as luck would have it I threw on the black Ostritch cowboy boots, a leather vest, a Harley Davidson bandana, a few of my more edgy accessories and became a Harley chick.


Or Biker Mama, Biker bitch, Harley Ho, whatever you choose. It got me through the day. The hit however, was sweet baby Jane, in her butterfly costume. Pretty much the only thing I've paid full price for in my entire life because I just couldn't resist..............

What was Easton? A really scary, 13-year old boy dressed as himself. Too young to ditch trick-or-treating all together but waaaay too old (in his estimation) to actually get into a costume.