Wednesday, January 30, 2008


One of my favorite things about this stage in Ty's development is figuring out what's in his head and listening to his budding vocabulary.

He learned a new word today, as he looked out the window and realized there really wasn't a chair on the outside. He said, "Hey! It's not a chair outside! It's a shadow! And now it's discompeared!" I said, "Yes, it's a reflection, and when you move around, it disappears!" You could just see the wheels cranking as he repeated reflection over and over again, as well as disappear.

Later, we were listening to one of his favorite CD's, Superstar Kids, and I had to smile when I heard him yelling out these words:

  • To the song, Sk8er Boi, he sings, "They had a problem cause the baggie was closed" instead of "They had a problem with his baggy clothes."

  • To the song Allstar, instead of "Hey now, you're an allstar" he sings, "Hang out, you're an arm spa."

Isn't it such fun to see children start to make sense of their world? I love it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top Ten Reasons We Love Grandma and Grandpa Visits

10. Experiencing snakebites and hurricanes at the Texas State Museum--catching the Spirit of Texas!

9. Finding out of the way places to eat, like the Old Bakery in Austin and Texas Grill and Deli in Bulverde. Yum! (And let's not forget their first tastes of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla)

8. Telling Ty not to listen to what Grandpa says, because it's all teasing.

7. Grandma and Ty making up songs in the backseat: "Tyler is a little (whoops!) girl (whoops!) Big Boy!

6. FHE with Spencer and Sara, sharing testimony and family stories.

5. Harmonizing with Mom at choir practice.

4. Part of a Catholic mass in a Cathedral, the Alamo, a boat ride on the River, BBQ sandwiches, stale cookies, and a drive by the temple on Saturday.

3. Comfort, TX: not what it's cracked up to be!

2. Reading old letters, talking, laughing.

And last but not least:
1. Grandma and Grandpa kisses. "What time is it?" "It's half past kissin' time, time to kiss again!"

Thanks for the fun and the memories, Dad and Mom. Come again soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

He's Okay

I know his life really wasn't in danger. He had a blessing that promised he'd be fine and that the surgery would go well. But I let my mind wander today as I kissed him goodbye and watched him being wheeled away to the operating room.

Note to self: don't read WebMD's list of possible complications for any particular surgery anyone you love might be having soon.

Possible complications for sinus surgery:
Voice Change (huh?)
Brain Damage

We decided worse things could happen than one eyed blindness, plus we could probably get a nice settlement if the doctor somehow missed the sinus and hit the eye, so that was off the worry list, but brain damage and death? Come on!

I made him promise to haunt me (we've talked about this before, but needed a refresher course), and we decided on some "signs" that he could cause to happen, so I'd know he was there.

My favorite moment was in Pre-op, when the doctor asked if he had any questions, and with complete sincerity he asks, "So, how are YOU doing today? Did you have a good night's sleep? Your hands feeling steady?" She just laughed, started shaking, and said, "I'm doing great!"

After the surgery, he took a little more time than usual waking up from the anesthesia, and after he did he was NAUSEATED! Just kind of weird, this man who does such a great job taking care of me and Ty (we're spoiled, really) in a flimsy hospital gown with tubes all over, his coloring off, goo in his eyes, not able to stay awake.

He's doing just fine now, and hopefully I'll do as good a job taking care of him as he has for me the past eight years. Sometimes a little scare is a good thing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I'll never forget my cousin Lauri telling about a time that she, her parents, and siblings sang in Church. Apparently they hadn't practiced all that much and the parts were a bit complicated, and it was a struggling performance. In fact, in the middle of the sloppy note-finding nightmare, one of them muttered "This is Brutal!" As she recounts, after the meeting few people made eye contact with her, and the ones who did had looks of sympathy on their faces!

I had a "brutal" moment today in Sacrament Meeting myself! Let's face it: I love to sing, but I know I'm not a great soloist. I prefer to melt into a nice alto part, finding harmony. So I was fine when the music director asked me to sing a duet. Give me an alto part and I'll be okay. Only problem: the other person she asked me to sing with is also an alto with an even lower voice than my own. Yikes! We compromised on a song where there were two solos and then a duet at the end.

As I sang my too-high-for-me melody solo, I looked at our ward choir director in the audience--also a vocal coach--and wanted to hide. Only you can't hide when you're singing a solo. I ran out of breath before the end of the phrase and everyone could hear it. I sang the wrong word on one part, and I couldn't even really hit the C nicely. I felt naked. It was brutal. After the meeting I tried to leave as soon as I could to avoid the "pity" compliments.

Thankfully, there is one fact I know to be a Universal Truth: people don't think about you as much as you think about yourself. In other words, I am not the center of the world. While I may analyze every note and breath, most everyone else has already forgotten all about it. So I didn't sing so well. So what? I can still sing my alto part and enjoy how music makes me feel.

But please don't be asking me to sing another solo any time soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Vay-Cay for Mitt

Here's a fun little video of the Romneys on a summer vacation
My favorite part is the end where they're doing fireworks and he calls his son a moron!

Autism Speaks

Another forward? What's going on?!? I couldn't resist this one from my SIL June, though. I've checked out the website and it seems legit.

Click HERE to see a short 3 min video about a sweet little girl with autism, and approximately 94 cents will be directly donated to Austism Speaks.

What gets me all teared up is that this website has hundreds of videos like the one above, all from desperate parents trying to get help for their children that seem to be slipping away by the minute. As one quote from the comments on that site says, "There is nothing more fierce than a parent fighting for their child."

A little bit about Austism Speaks:

"At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.

We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.

Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Autism Speaks. It's time to listen."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Things

I'm not one that usually forwards those emails that say stuff like, "Pass this on to seven friends and you will get a million dollars from Bill Gates! This is real!"

Every once in a while, though, there's one I like. This one is pretty simple: Happy Things.

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket.
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail.
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake (vanilla or strawberry).
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling.
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
18. Looking into their eyes and knowing they Love you
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke
24. Friends.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29 Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips with friends.
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38 Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Knowing that somebody misses you.
43 Knowing that somebody's praying for you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I'm sure no one else ever does this, but sometimes Brad and I tune out a little bit when Ty just talks and talks and talks. The little guy has been talking since he was eighteen months and he's barely stopped for a breath!

Last night we were driving to the church and Ty, as usual, was chatting away a million words a minute. Both Brad and I were kinda spaced, not really paying attention. By the tone of his voice, we could tell he had asked a question, so Brad just nodded his head and said, uh-huh.

All of a sudden, screams from the back seat! Crying and sobbing, snot and tears flying this way and that. It was then that I tried to recollect what it was that Ty had asked. I know he had been talking about monsters for a while before that, and then at the end of the latest question I know I had heard "at the church?" After Ty calmed down enough to talk, we realized he had asked us if there were monsters waiting for him at the church. And here's Brad nodding, and saying "uh-huh"!


No worries, though. We were able to convince Ty that there were no monsters at the church, only nice people. And thankfully, he's a forgiving soul. I guess we should start listening a little more. At least before we say something!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Eve

Thanks to Sara and Spencer (truly cheapskates after my own heart), we all got an insane deal for a Year's Passport to Six Flags Fiesta Texas here in San Antonio (the same as a one-time entry!) So we spent New Year's Eve riding fun rides and enjoying being together. And also realizing that all too soon we'll be there in the heat and humidity, not in our coats and gloves!

Ty liked meeting Taz, the Tazmanian devil.

His first time driving a car!

Addy + Ty = BFF

Yes, I went on this. It's called Scream. I did. A lot.

Here's Spencer and Brad right after the ride. They're happy and excited. I'm just trying to recover!

Our family in front of the "Tallest Tree in Texas!"

Holy Cow, Texas!

After a perfectly enjoyable evening, we came home just in time for the countdown--which in itself is a pretty funny story. We decided to watch the Downtown San Antonio one instead of Dick Clark's, since Dick was an hour ahead of us, and thus not live. After going on about how great the committee was that put the thing together, and how they went to extensive measures to make sure the clock was exactly on, we watched with excited as the elevator went up the Tower of the Americas. Only someone didn't know when to start the countdown, so this is what was said: "One...Oh...Happy New Year." It was hilarious! Maybe you just had to see it. But talk about taking all the drama out of the New Year's Moment!

So immediately after the New Year, we realized a big difference between Utah and Texas. In Utah, we would probably hear some small fireworks at a couple houses. In Texas, despite the fact that we do live within city limits, thus making it illegal, our entire neighborhood started lighting up firecrackers that are easily worthy of LaVell's Stadium of Fire. To get firecrackers of this magnitude in Utah would have taken some strategic planning and several hours in the car. Here, they were sold at the corner stand. I have no idea how much money these people spent, but it had to be a lot! We were starting to get worried for our house, as teens were irresponsibly lighting these things and they started exploding under cars, in the middle of people, and on another house! And it went on forever. We probably would have gone to bed earlier, but we had to stay up just to make sure we didn't need to hose down some spark.

I know it sounds like I'm overly dramatic about this, but we were both just so awed at how many different firecracker parties there were, and how large they were! It was just crazy.
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