Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Gun Show

Yeah, I know, my muscles are huge. But if you can, try to take your eyes off of my huge arms and down to the elbow. Sweet scar, huh? Yeah, all the thirteen year old boys think I rock. :)

About a month ago I went in and had an ulnar nerve transposition surgery. For a few years I have had a "claw hand" where I couldn't open my fingers all the way. My pinky finger and my ring finger would stay curled. Since the ulnar nerve runs between two bones in your elbow (its what hurts when you hit your "funny bone") it is prone to getting trapped. Cubital tunnel syndrome is like carpal tunnel syndrome, but it happens to a different nerve in the arm. Basically the surgeon opened up my arm, cut away the scar tissue around the entrapped nerve, and moved the nerve to the fleshy/muscle part on the inside of the elbow.

My arm is healing well. I still have a lump on the side of my elbow, but I figure it's only been three weeks and they did open up my arm and shove a nerve into my muscle, so it might take a while to get back to normal. The scar is about 4-5 inches, and it is still healing up. It freaks me out that I can still feel the lumps where the sutures were. **Shiver**

I still can't straighten my arm out the whole way, but I'll start PT here pretty soon. As in, as soon as I schedule it... (I'm an awesome patient).

So yeah, other than the Frankenstein scar on my arm, everything went well. Yay for modern medicine.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Eddy Hughes

picture from

There is an article today in the Desert News about a good family friend. He is currently battling cancer for the third time in six years. He's a wonderful man and has an incredible family.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

18 Month-er

So it's official. He's really a toddler. I know, I know. He has been for awhile, but I could usually reason out of it. There's no denying it now. A lady at the doctor's office was like, "Now all he needs is a baby sister!" Uh-huh.....

We had his 18 month appointment today and here's the stats:

WEIGHT: 23 pounds even. 12th percentile
HEIGHT: 32 inches. 36th percentile
HEAD CIRC: 16.53 inches. Less than the 3rd percentile

Here's the things that he's been doing:

Running everywhere! He laughs so hard he can hardly walk when we chase him.

Saying animal sounds. Recently he spent the week with my parents, who have a cat, and came back saying "meow" for every animal. When he's in a good mood he will now correctly respond, but if he's feeling lazy, it's still just "meow."

He now can say too many words to list, but he's still working on putting them all together. He does say, "No Daddy?" when he realizes that Daddy's not home. And today he told the Doctor, "All Done!" after she did each part of the physical exam.

Turning on and off the lights, air conditioners, and anything else with a button.

Let's us smell his stinky feet. He thinks it's hysterical when someone reacts with, "Ewwww. Stinky feet." He'll belly laugh and then lift up his foot so you can smell it again.

Gives other babies pacifiers. I thought this was so cute when toddlers used to do this to Caleb as an infant. Now when he sees a crying baby he gives them a paci.

Says names. Especially Aubrey's. Every morning he looks at me and says, "Auuuuubeeeyyyyy." He really loves that girl!

Sleeping in a "big boy bed." He crawled out of his crib in about 15 seconds flat each night, so we bit the bullet and got him a bed. He loves it! I thought it was going to be a nightmare of a transition, but it was so easy!

I'm sure there's more, but it seems like each day he's doing something new. As for his medical situation, it looks like that is all resolved! He's taking two daily medications which control his acid reflux (which was causing ulcers and thus the bleeding) and his chronic bowel issues. We've been hospital free for over a month now and it feels great!

Now I just have to learn to say that he's one instead of saying the number of months... weird!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yumm Yumm

I could just eat him up, he's so cute!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh Philly...

Dear Philadelphia Driver:

Thank you for hitting my car today while my child was not in it. I really appreciate that. Thanks for hitting it in a spot that's pretty easy to fix. That was very considerate. I do have one suggestion... next time, could you stop after you hit my car? Even if you are not going to leave insurance information-- even if you don't have insurance information-- it would be nice if you would at least stop and look.

That's all. Other than that, good job random Philly driver!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Honoring the Honorable

There's a special place reserved for my Dad in my heart. I started calling him "Pops" when I was about 15 because I thought it absolutely hysterical. He would look at me, obviously wondering if I was really his child, and smile. He would always look at me and smile. He still does. It's a, "You know you're pretty special to me, right?" kinda smile.

I have a friend who lost her father in high school. I cannot imagine what that must feel like. I know that everything she did, she did to honor him. She once told me, when I was ignorantly and rudely complaining to her about my dad (not that I would ever do that, Pops. I only ever say nice things about you!),

"Losing a father is like losing a blank check. You'll never understand the full amount of what you've lost. You'll always wonder what it could have amounted to. Most of the time a blank check might get you hundreds of dollars, but every once in awhile, a blank check is worth millions. But when you're father is alive, you determine the worth of the check. You, and you alone, get to write in the value."

Pops would let me tag along with him as he visited other wards in our stake when I was in high school. He was in the Stake Presidency and he always had places to visit, people to interview. I was obviously going to see the Young Men in other wards and my dad knew it, but still, he amused me and let me pretend I was doing it to have some "Daddy-Daughter" time.

I would sleep the whole way there (sometimes close to 2 hours), but in my defense-- he did have meetings starting at 7, which mean we would have to leave by 5. OK-- not such a great defense after all. It was the rides home that meant the most. Fully awake (or as awake as I was going to get) at this point, Pops and I discussed everything. Which cute boys I talked to that day. Theology. Literature. Poetry. Politics. Cars. Cooking. NPR vs. Conservative Talk Radio. How I could be a better daughter to my mother (another post for another day). We talked about disappointments and successes. We talked about fears and hopes. We talked about the crazy Religious Programming on the Radio (You can be Saved for a donation of $49.99!) and how our lives are just not that simple. But mostly we just talked. We made plans for camping trips that we never actually went on, we discussed careers we'd never actually have. We created memories I'll never, ever forget.

Then I left for college, got married and began my own family. I watched my father, my beloved Pops, go through one of the hardest times of his life. Years of difficult choices, health problems, moves and changes in the family all came down on Pops, all at once. Hardship after hardship fell upon him and I wondered if I would ever have the relationship with him that I developed in those car rides again. Had that all been the ease of childhood? The ignorance of the ignorant? We didn't talk as much-- he was busy, I was busy, etc. etc. etc.

On Friday I went to the Washington DC LDS Temple to attend my cousins wedding. My Bala watched as Pops took Caleb and they laughed and played. With tears in her eyes, she said, "You guys, you know, you're kids have one great grandfather. You are so lucky. He's going to be the best grandfather around."

Suddenly, all the worry about having that connection with him vanished. I don't even really remember why I had it. He looked back at me and I knew, I was pretty special to him. He told me. In his smile.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Check it Out

Here's an article written about two of our friends here in Philly.  That's right.  We have two friends :)  

Beloved, the singer, is one of the smartest guys I have ever met.  Seriously, he knows something about everything.  The other guy, Dalyn (the artist), thinks he knows something about everything. Just kidding... {that's just to get back at his anti-Pittsburgh comments:)}  Dalyn also has a pretty cool blog where he talks about race issues and posts some of his artwork.  You can check that out here. 

These guys are awesome!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More Importantly...

More important than any vacation update is the fact that the Pittburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup! 

A few things to note:

1. Pittsburgh won Superbowl XLIII and the Stanley Cup this season.  With the Phillies winning the World Series, Pennsylvania is pretty much the place to be.  Now if only those '76ers....

2. Anyone else notice that Pittsburgh has won Superbowl XL and the Stanley Cup in Detroit?  "Detroit, where Pittsburgh goes to win Championships"  I think it's a catchy slogan. 

3.  My city could beat up your city.  There.  I said it.

We'rrrrrrrrrreeeeeee Backkkk!

Here's the pictures from our trip to Puerto Rico.  My arm was in a splint and Pete's not much of a picture person, so they are few and far between, but here's what we got:
On Sunday, before our flight, we were able to attend church in an area where Pete served for almost a year out of his mission.  He taught Tomas and his wife (in the picture above) right before he left to come home.  Tomas is now serving as the Bishop.  Pete says he didn't do much with the conversion process, Tomas pretty much jumped in the water.
This is the view from the fort.  It's pretty much the biggest tourist attraction in San Juan.
Pete in front of the cemetery.  I've never seen more crosses in one place in all my life.  
Me, with the fort in the background.  It was pretty impressive-- it took 250 years to build! (Awesome arm bandage huh?  I decided I knew better than the doctor and took my cast off when I got to Puerto Rico... hope that doesn't come back to haunt me!)
The cathedral right outside our hotel.  We stayed in an old Convent-- which sounds weird, but was absolutely beautiful!  It's one of America's Historic Hotels, which is ironic, since when it was built the Spanish were defending themselves against the Americans, but eh, no big deal.

Notice that Caleb was not in any of the pictures?  That's because my glutton for punishment sister, Katie, watched him for us while we had a childless vacation.  But don't feel too badly for him-- he flew to Hawaii the next week.

Hawaii pictures will have to wait awhile.  I couldn't drag my Rebel through security with a half broken arm and Caleb, so I got a disposable camera when I got there.  That means I actually have to develop pictures (like real, 35 mm film....) before I can post any of them.  Strange. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hola and Aloha!

Well, Pete survived-- at least physically. I cannot vouch for his mental state at the moment. Anyway-- see you all in about 2 weeks. Pete and I are headed to Puerto Rico and I fly off to Hawaii right after that.

Yeah, it's hard being me :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


A few realizations:

1. I don't really need anesthesia. Just dose me up with some Benadryl.

2. Apparently, I am allergic to Vancomycin. (Thus the Benadryl.)

3. I don't like Percocet.

4. My husband and sister are wonderful!

5. And big thanks to Julie for keeping Katie sane. I'd write you a thank you note but my handwriting is not legible.

6. Last, but definitely not least, thanks to Chaci who can bring me dinner any time she wants to! Yummm!