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.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pros and Cons and Props

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

-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!

-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!

What does Santa Say?

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 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 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)

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

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

...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!


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!