Thursday, June 29, 2006

Time travel

In this post we are taking a trip down memory lane.

I was pregnant with Harry so I was a hormonal mess. The first anniversary of Evan's stroke was fast approaching and I was very worried about his continued lack of progress with his left hand. I was feeling worried about Evan's delay in talking as well. Needless to say I was a wreck and questioning every little thing I was doing, worried that I was some how ruining Evan's chances at a "normal" life.

The big reason that I was so obsessed with Evan's lack of progress with his hand and the approach of the first anniversary of his stroke was that I felt that time was running out. When Evan was in the hospital for the stroke the Neurologist had assured me that it would only take a year for all the effects of the stroke to be invisible. All it would take was physical therapy. The silly thing was that I actually believed him, so when things were not progressing I blamed myself for not pushing Evan harder.

To add to this stress I had visited a friend a few days earlier. Her son is also in physical therapy and the appointment started while we were there. I saw the therapist eying Evan and told her about his stroke. She then did an impromptu evaluation and started telling me about electrical stimulation therapy. She told me all the wonders it did for children like Evan and how I could be selling his future short by not trying it. I was not sure that I wanted to try something like that with Evan but her tone was such that I would be a bad mother if I didn't try it.

In the midst of this turmoil Evan had an appointment with his pediatrician for a well child check up. I ended up pouring my guts out to the pediatrician, expressing all my worries. My fear that some how I would ruin Evan. My feeling of being overwhelmed with the new baby and my having a lot on my plate with Evan. Dr. D was amazing. He managed to calm me down and ease my fears. He helped me feel like I was a competent caregiver again.

I have to say that I have been very lucky in my choice of pediatrician. I picked him out from a list that my OB gave me. I didn't interview him or anything but I sure managed to pick a winner.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It is paranoia if there are really people out to get you?

My husband is a complete and utter wierdo sometimes, well actually a lot of the time. He is totally convinced that some how I have done something to one of our computer games so that it favors me over him. Chuzzle is a fun but simple puzzle game. It is best played when tired because if you over think moves you don't do as well. I of course am frequently tired so I tend to do well.

We have the full version on our computer which means that our high scores are recorded for all to see. I bet you can guess who owns the high score board. My husband can briefly get on it now and then but I am able to quickly stomp that score down. I think the competition makes me a better and more motivated player.

We brought the game with us when we were on vacation and my husband swears that he beat my high score on my parent's computer. That is the basis of his claim that I have tampered with the program. As if! First off I am in no way a computer programmer. I would not know my way around the code. It has tempted me to look online to see if there are cheat codes for this game. I would love to really mess with his paranoid mind.

More Pictures

Harry with all his aunties.

Harry checking out the goats at the petting zoo we visited

Evan feeding the goats. He thought it was super funny when they ate out of his hand.

Evan in jail with his Auntie. I am not sure what they did but I am not bailing them out!

Evan's shiner. I had a hard time getting a good picture of it because he wanted to play with the camera.

Evan's first pony ride. He was annoyed that I was holding his hand until the ponies started moving. He did get pretty tired of it after awhile and it took a bit of persuasion to keep him on for the entire ride.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pictures from our trip

Hanging out on the hotel bed after a long day of travel.

The make shift IV stand that we had to make do with in the morning so that Evan could have his tube feed.

Checking out my parent's living room. Evan tried to roll the cannon replica but it was way to heavy for him to move. He had to try though.

Harry enjoying the Jumperoo that Evan was playing in last time we visited Grandma and Grandpa.

Evan trying to chase the geese at a local park. He even had fun throwing the bread that we used to feed the geese. Some were cheeky enough to get very close to us.

Honk! honk!

Evan getting ready for the Scottish festival.

Evan playing with the beads that were passed out to festival attendees. He didn't even have to lift his shirt to get them! What you can't tell from this picture is that it is pouring rain outside and Evan is actually walking on a table top. We had a wild time.

Harry trying to eat his Auntie.

The knee was too big of a bite so he went for the nose.

"Hmmm, maybe instead of being eaten I should turn the tables and eat him!"

One of the ratlings. Evan adored them but they were not too sure about Evan.

There are more pictures but the kids are awake from naps so I will post more later.


I have been feeling out of sorts lately. I have been wanting to write an entertaining post but when I started one last night I got interrupted by my husband. He just had to have the computer (it was an hour before he normally goes to bed) to get some studying done for an advancement test that he was taking today. What totally floored me was his rude way of demanding the computer and his lack of preparation in general. We had just gotten back from a nice long vacation and he had not studied a bit while we were gone despite the fact that he had emailed himself the address of the test preparation link before we left. He had to wait until just before bed time to cram for the test.

Needless to say I am grumpy this morning and doubtful that he will pass the test due to his lack of preparation. This is not the first time he has done something like this and I find it very irritating that he makes his lack of preparation my fault. He will even try and blame his lack of study time on the kids, claiming that he HAS to take care of them. Oddly enough when I was getting dinner ready he was playing a computer game instead of watching the kids or studying. It kind makes you go hmmmm.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Vacation is over

My husband, being the macho man that he is decided that we would try and do the drive home in one day. We managed to do it suprisingly. Even with all of our stops we made super good time and the kiddos were pretty good.

I has been very weird coming home. This is the longest that I have ever been away from home in a really long time. I am glad that we took the time to clean before leaving so that we came home to a spic and span ant free home. I am already missing all the free babysitting that I got. This was a true vacation because I actually got a nice break from caring for the children for 24 hour every single day.

Utah was starting to grow on me again. It really is not such a bad place. Sure it is a bit behind the times but there are a lot of friendly people there and the shopping was excellent. It was also fun visiting some of the places that my husband and I used to go to when we were dating. I know that Evan will miss my parent's backyard and his Auntie's rats.

Tomorrow we will be back in our old groove. The one thing that I am super glad to have back is our DSL and our computer.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What a day

I have a head ache. Today we did a two hour drive to spend two hours with my husband's grandmother and stepgrandfather. We had the same conversation over and over with his grandmother (she is getting senile) and I had to stop Evan from dragging around the 102 year old grandfather. Evan has developed a very annoying habit of taking the hand of any handy adult and leading them to places, generally places that he should not be going. Harry in the mean time was spitting up on me and refusing to nap.

Once we finally got home I had a horrible headache that was later cured by advil. Sadly that cue did not last because Evan puked on me in The Olive Garden. My mom had decided that she did not want to cook so we went out to eat. I was giving Evan sips of my frozen lemonade. He coughed a lot after one drink so I stopped giving him sips for awhile. Sadly I had a horrible lapse in judgment and at the end of dinner gave him one last sip. He coughed so hard that he ended up puking on me. That is when the headache returned.

I didn't do a Father's Day post on purpose. My husband has done his typical thing of ruining a nice time. We had a wonderful anniversary which included a stay at a bed and breakfast. It was heaven not being awoken by a crying child. Later that day at his niece's birthday party he acted like his two year old son and is now in the dog house. But hey I will always treasure that morning of sleeping in.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Five Years

Today is my fifth anniversary of my marriage to my husband. Time sure flies fast. It seems like yesterday that we were nervously waiting for the ceremony to begin.

It was a crazy day that started early. I was super excited and scared so I did not sleep well that night. The morning was quickly filled with a flurry of last minute things that needed to get done. The flowers needed to be picked up, my hair needed to be one, the tent for our reception needed to be set up in my parent's back yard. Before I knew it was time to leave for the ceremony.

I rode with my husband to be because he had the room in his car to carry my dress. We followed my parents in their van. On the freeway when we were almost there we saw them swerve around something. We did not have enough time to do the same and ended up hitting a metal object. Running over this object caused a flat tire. My husband, in his suit, had to change his tire on the side of the highway.

We were late getting to the Salt Lake Temple but they built in a lot of leeway time. My husband to be had gotten his shirt very filthy so he ended up having to borrow one. Once we got all dressed and ready we were ushered into a very beautiful waiting area while our family was settled in the sealing room. It was amazing looking around and realizing that everything had been done by hand.

Soon it was time for the ceremony. After the words were said that bound our lives together for eternity my mother started crying with joy. I started crying a bit too. It was kind of strange knowing that now I was not just me any more but I was now a wife.

We had a ton of pictures taken, our photographer was great. We sent the rest of the family on ahead to our wedding dinner because we wanted some extra shots of just us. That turned out to not have been the best decision because once we got into the car and on our way to the dinner we got caught in a horrible traffic jam. The freeway was backed up for miles. We tried getting off and taking the back roads but by the time we got out of it so much time had passed and it was no time for our reception.

I had decided to go cheap so our reception was in my parent's back yard. I had not actually even wanted one since neither of us had grown up in Utah but my husband's grandma had decided to schedule the family reunion on the same weekend as our wedding so that more family could come to it. He had a very odd assortment of relatives let me tell you but it was pretty fun. My husband's stepgrandfather who is now over 100 was there cracking everyone up.

It has been a frustrating, wonderful, frightening insane and loving five years. I am glad that I picked my husband as my partner. He is a very good and kind man and I am lucky to have him.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


That accident that stopped traffic on our way over had three fatalities including a pregnant teenager. I am feeling sad about the fact that I was so annoyed with the whole incident. People died and I was merely inconvenienced. It really makes you think. If we had left any earlier it could have been us in that accident.

Evan now has a shiner thanks to his cousin. We went to my husband's brother's house to spend a bit of time with them. We are not too fond of them and the life choices they make but we are cordial. Evan was playing with his cousin when the cousin took Evan's arm and pushed him into a rocking chair. He apologized after but I was still a little gumpy about the whole incident even though I know that when you get two toddlers together things like this happen. It also looks so bad only because of Evan being on blood thinners.

My sister-in-law makes me feel like an over protective parent. I was getting very antsy when Evan wandered off with his cousins in the yard. I try not to obsess but I just feel so much better when I can see him. I did give Harry a toy that had fallen on the ground much to my SIL's chagrin so I guess I am not too obsessive.

Tomorrow I go to get my hair chopped off. I am very tired of having Harry grabbing my hair and it is so hot during the summer that I like to have a shorter cut.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

But it is a dry heat

I am dying here. I have never enjoyed warm climates so one would think that I would be wise enough to avoid the heat of summer in Utah. My dislike of heat started when I was young. We lived a few years in Oklahoma and I would get horrible nose bleeds in the summer if I was out in the heat of the day.

My parents have air conditioning but because they want to have the smallest possible energy bill they keep it set at 80 degrees. I sympathize because our first married apartment had central air and we had some huge bills just cooling a two bedroom apartment but I am also secretly wishing that they would crank that sucker to 60 degrees. What really kills me is that my sisters are wearing sweat shirts and huddling under blankets because the house is so "cold". Maybe I am just wired or something but there is no way that I am feeling the least bit cold right now.

To make things worse, normally bone dry Utah is being very humid because of the thunder storms that have been happening on and off all day. The humidity only adds to my misery. I think that if we ever moved to the south I would be in big trouble. I have decided that I am probably only going to be perfectly comfortable in Alaska. Nice cold winters followed by reasonable and short Summers. The next best thing to that is the wonderful Northern California weather.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

On Vacation

Isn't the internet wonderful? We are in Utah on an extended vacation yet I am still in the same place online. I won't be able to blog too much or read my favorite blogs because my parents have sucky dial-up internet. Plus they have an awful computer that has a horrible monitor. All the websites I go to are wonky, all the colors are different. The pictures that are on the computer look pixelized. The keyboard needs to have the keys hit harder than I am used to so I keep messing up with spelling.

The drive over here was quite an adventure. We took it in two days because I wanted to take it easy on Harry since it was his first long trip. In Reno we go behind a guy that had a pick up truck filled with household items that were improperly restrained. One rug that came flying down the road almost took out the car in front of us. The next one hit us, luckily it hit low so instead of blocking our windshield it went under the car. I was annoyed when we finally managed to pass the idiot because I saw him busily chatting with his passenger and not even paying attention to the accidents he almost caused.

We stayed the night in Battle Mountain Nevada which is known as the arm pit of America. I can't say I disagree with that assessment. There wasn't much there. The mattress in the motel was rock hard and we ended up with a room that had two double beds so sleeping arrangements were a bit tricky. Evan slept in the bed with me and Harry ended up with my husband. I think my husband got the better end of the deal because I woke up several times with my bottom hanging out of bed because Evan had pushed me over.

We thought we would get an early jump on the day. Sadly only a few miles out we ended up being stopped in traffic because a semi took out two cars and it blocked both lanes going east. We were at a stand still for a good hour before the highway patrol moved us off the road and on to the frontage road to bypass the accident. Shortly after we were stopped I heard Harry grunting. Then the smell of the diaper hit me. I didn't want to chance changing it in case traffic suddenly started moving again. The smell got too bad so I finally ended up doing a super quick change in the middle of stopped traffic. We put the diaper in the trunk so it could get nice and ripe when we later took out our luggage at our destination.

The kids did pretty well on the trip. Evan did much better than Harry. Harry would not sleep for anything but was obviously tired. I ended up having to give him some Benedryl to help him sleep. Evan was happy as long as he had his Baby Einstein videos playing when he started to get cranky. Most of the time he was happy just watching the cars out of the window.

I am tired but very glad that we will be sleeping on a nice pillow top mattress. Tomorrow we go to see a park with ducks in it, Evan is going to be thrilled.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

But will it bloom?

My husband got some orchids about a year ago. A coworker was giving away part of his collection and my husband got two plants, kind of on a whim. My husband is a huge plant lover so we have an odd collection of greenery. He just can't seem to pass up a new or different plant. I was doubtful about the orchids since I was not sure we had room for them or even a place with half way decent lighting.

My husband finally convinced me that we should put them in our room with an old fish tank acting as a bit of a terrium (fish tanks are another of our hobbies) to help keep the humidity up. I was very hesitant since I was not sure that there would be enough light and I just was not sure that he had the finesse that it took to even grow orchids in the first place. I had witnessed my mother kill many orchids before she found her groove with them so I was pretty sure that these would bite the dust.

I was looking at them today as I was packing up for my vacation and I noticed that they were putting up flower spikes. That showed me that my husband, despite my doubts, had the orchid touch. It is not difficult to just keep a plant alive, if they have the bare minimums they will cling on to life. The true test is if you can get the plant to bloom. That shows that the plant has the right amount of every thing and has the energy to reproduce. I am excited to see the blooms and I am happy that I was wrong about my husband's endeavor.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Evan's heart FAQ

I have had a number of people ask me questions about Evan's heart defect so I thought I would do a FAQ so everyone could get to know his heart better.

Q: What defect does Evan have?

A: There is no real name for his defect because he has several different ones. As you can see Evan has a number of different things going on with his heart. His main defect is his single ventricle so that is what he is usually classified as but his is a little more complicated than most single ventricles.

Q: Will he be having any more surgeries?

A: Yes, he will be. In mid August or early September Evan will be having the completion of his fontan (this is discussed in the link about single ventricles), that of course is if his remainder of his ventricle wall is not causing issues. If that is the case then he will be having another surgery at a yet to be determined time. Evan will also have to have surgeries to replace his pacemaker. Right now because he is so young and his heart rate needs to be higher than an adults the pacemaker battery will not last as long as it will when he gets older. At the rate he is being paced currently the pacemaker will last roughly three to four years. Of course the surgery for that is very minor compared to open heart surgery so it will not be as huge of an ordeal. There is also the possibility that he may have things pop up unexpectedly and then all bets are off. Update 1-23-07 Evan sailed through his surgery and had only minimal complications. His pacemaker had to be replaced sooner than anticipated because the surgery caused swelling which made the pacer wires have to use more electricity to work which drained the battery. Now we are concentrating on file with out surgery hanging over us.

These are the main questions that I have been asked. If you have one let me know in comments and I will add it to this post.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A game

This is an artist's (Evan's surgeon) rendition of Evan's heart at birth.
This is an artist's (me) rendition of a heart.

How many differences can you find? I will post the answer later and discuss how unique my son really is. The Answer