Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blue & Gold Wolf!!

Tonight was the Blue and Gold Banquet for Jake's Cub Scout pack. It was really fun. It was a Luau, with fishing, Hawaiian games, and food. The boys really enjoyed it. Last month Jake got his Wolf, but the Cub Master wasn't there and they forgot the traditional "Wolf" rite of passage. It's when the boy who gets his wolf, gets to stick his head in a bowl full of whipped cream and "Wolf" it down while all of the Pack chants "Wolf, Wolf, Wolf, Wolf"!! Since he missed it last month--they did it tonight! Such fun!!

Pinewood Derby Cars!!

These are the boys Pinewood Derby cars. Jake's is the Dragon and Grayson's is the Phoenix. The Dragon is the Grand Champion of the Pinewood Derby last Saturday. Grayson hasn't gotten to race his car--but he certainly had a good time making it! Next year--he may use this one for his 1st Pinewood Derby-but honestly--I think he'll want to make another one! That's just Grayson!

Leap Day Memories!!

Today is the last day of February! Well, next year it won't be! I LOVE Leap Year! I don't know why--it's not like it's a really big deal--but so much in my life has happened on that one little day that pops up every now and again!

My parents first laid eye's on each other 27 years ago on Leap Year. Of course, we celebrate--oh, I guess I should say --they celebrate it on the 28th, but still every 4th year--it's kind of a fun anniversary to have!

I got my mission call to Japan on the 29th! I can still remember it as though it was yesterday! I was going to surprise my mom with my call-so I arranged to have it sent to the neighbors house. Normally, a mission call comes the Friday after you turn it in-but due to some scheduling conflicts--mine came 3 weeks later. What a long 3 weeks those were! Anyway...I took off from work early that day and headed home to wait. We started talking about cool places to go, and my mom (for the second or third time in 24 hours) said how much safer Japan is than most countries. Well, the neighbors finally called--and my mom and I headed over to get my call. Oh yeah--I guess I should point out-don't bother trying to hide such a huge thing from your mom--it NEVER works! So we see the neighbor out at the end of her driveway so I take off running. As I'm running back to my mom, I was opening the letter. We got together in the middle of the street, and read line by line by line. I was called to serve in the Japan Nagoya Mission. We started to cry and hug and jump around! The neighbor was waiting at the end of her driveway--and we had lumps in our throats--but finally managed to yell back where I was going! Japan! That was 15 years ago!

That is amazing! What a great day the 29th is, huh!!

Travel Blog!!

Today my goal is to not only clean my house and keep my kids happy, but I would like to convert my "family" blog into a fun and exciting new site all together! We had so much fun redecorating a template yesterday--that I'm itchin' to do it again! So I think I'll sit down and go through some of the amazing, exotic, beautiful and fun areas of the world that we've visited and add them to a new "travel" blog! Talk about some of the resorts around the world, tell you some of their secrets--you know--just fun stuff! But I will work on that blog a little later this afternoon!

Tonight we have Basketball camp and the Blue and Gold banquet for my son's Cub Scouts. He finally got his Wolf rank last Pack meeting but they didn't have him take part in the "Wolf" right of passage--so he'll do that tonight! Plus, they are going to be able to run the Derby again. Jake won the whole thing last Saturday morning--but Grayson didn't get a chance to race his car--so tonight will be his chance to go up against his brother!

Times Have Changed!!

There is something very strange about being part of a family where there is such a vast chasm in ages between my kids and the other grandkids. My oldest is 9 whereas the next youngest grandchild is 18. Talk about a generation gap! Birthday's, Christmas', High School Graduations--these are all gifting moments that aren't that easy for me to 'gift'!

When I was their age we didn't have any of the hi-tech gizmo's that they have--and their lives seem to revolve around! We had very "old" computers in my high school--old fashioned typewriters, and the beloved Sony Walkman!! Have you seen what these kids carry around lately? Of course you haven't! They are so small-so thin-so compact--but they can each hold like 600 songs! If I wanted 600 songs traveling with me--I would have needed a backpack to carry all of my cassette tapes!!

Sansa e280 MP3 player is an example of what I'm talking about! It's very thin at 0.5"--I don't know how any teenage keeps track of something so small--have you seen their bedrooms?? The nice thing is that it runs on replaceable and rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, and offers up to 20 hours worth of battery life. This is a flash based player that provides everything you need for music, photo and video clip playback! If you need more memory there is an expandable memory available through a MicroSD memory card slot.

I guess it isn't too hard to see why these MP3 players are all the rage! Kids really do have some pretty good knowledge when it comes to their music equipment--just like we were with ours!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's Coming!!

I talked to my mom today. She lives in Utah-and it turns out--it's snowing there! Now why is this blog worthy you ask??? Because--what ever weather they get-we get 1 week later. And according to the weatherman in Utah-their storm should last about a week. So in one week, we will get more snow, and it will last for a week! I HATE THAT!!

My parents are heading out to Chicago for a visit at the end of the month. I can never wait for these visits. Even though I just saw my mom in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago--I can't wait to see her again.

We are heading into Anniversary season. My parents have been married for 27 years this July--and they still celebrate their little anniversaries. The first time they laid eyes on each other, their first date, their engagement and of course, their marriage. My dad is such a gem, that my mom and I were just talking the other day about how amazed we still are - 27 years later- that he's ours!! My mom is my best friend and I treasure her in my life--but along side her is my dad! He's a marvelous, amazing, fabulous, SAINTLY man--and I adore him!!

So I will just say that I'm so thankful that 27 years ago this week--my parents laid eyes on each other. Followed by a week or two of my dad trying to track down that "angel in the ivory dress" that was conducting the function! Luckily--he was successful in his quest!!


I spent the day today helping to "tweak" the template over at Wild & Crazy Ride. It was a boring, impersonal-green Blogger template--but we changed all of that! We put up one of the pictures that my great grandfather painted. It is a really pretty watercolor--so we tweaked the template to match the colors. It really was a lot of fun. Take a look, and let us know what you think!!

My husband came home early from work. He is suffering from a terrible sinus infection-but he came home and immediately started cleaning my kitchen instead of snuggling down to feel better! I told you I married well!

It is shortly creeping up on bedtime, so I do need to go and get my oldest two read too in order to get them down by 8! So I will have to return in just a moment!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Academy Awards!!

I didn't watch the awards--I never do. I haven't seen any of the movies up for any of the awards, and honestly--I really don't care! I did catch the moment when Abby Breslin and Will Smith's son were presenters. Little Man Smith made a mistake--and it was just darling. What a cute little boy!

I did catch a bit of the post awards show on E TV. Yes, apparently we get to MILK the one show for all it's worth. But there was a ticker-tape down at the bottom of the screen. I haven't seen The Departed-so I don't even know who is in it, but I was happy that Martin Scorsese finally got to win. Jennifer Hudson was all we heard about-so I wasn't surprised that she won-but also didn't know who she was up against. Helen Mirren is GREAT in just about everything she does-so it wasn't a surprise that she won. The stupid Al Gore documentary on the fallacy Global Warming won--I found that laughable-but then remembered--Oh Yeah- this is Liberal Hollywood, and it made much more sense.

All in all--I didn't know any of the things that one--but don't understand how the ticker tape can get through the list of winners in about 20 seconds--but they expect us to sit through a 4 hour awards show!!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Red Carpet!!

Ok, I'm going to sit here and blog while I watch the Academy Awards Red Carpet portion. I'm on E tv and I have to tell you Ryan Seacrest is HORRIBLE at interviewing the actors and actresses. After the Golden Globes I heard all about how bad he was--but I had missed the whole show-so I couldn't comment. But OH MY HEAVENS!! I'm watching him now--and he's driving me nuts!!

I do need to switch over to the "Intimate Guide" and see what their Red Carpet blogging is bringing up. I posted about them a couple of days ago--so I best head over and see what they are talking about!!

The Black Hole Of The House!!

I FINALLY got the boys bedroom cleaned out today! It was a messy black hole! I've been avoiding it since New Years--or maybe before. The boys love to attempt to play basketball in their bedroom, and have actually broken one of their beds. I assumed it was just the boards underneath the mattress that hold them up-but I have to tell you--I was WRONG! It's actually the rail that holds the boards--and it is completely un-fixable!!

So I did what any ticked off Mom would do! I took their beds down, and they are actually sleeping on their mattresses but they are up on storage boxes instead of their bed frames. I turned the huge toy box around to face the wall. No one plays with the toys in the toy box anyway--so instead of having them dig through the box and dump everything out--I made it in accessible!

The linen closet has been moved to the little kids room--so now--there just isn't much in their room to make a mess with! Hopefully-that will help keep it clean!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Grand Champion!!

We just got home from our second Pinewood Derby! Last year, Jake won Grand Champion out of the entire field! He was a Wolf scout. This year he is a Bear, and he had some very stiff competition! The winner of the Weblos group was a tank-and we thought the tank would win it all--but in the end--Jake pulled it out! So for the second year in a row--and only our second Pinewood Derby--He was the Grand Champion!

I was telling my mom on the way home--the thing you fear most--is the thing you master. As a woman--there is nothing more intimidating than a Pinewood Derby-but after making two pinewood cars and winning with both--I guess I should be able to say--I'm not scared of it anymore. And I'm really not--it's just a TREMENDOUS amount of stress!!

My batteries to my camera died even before the racing began-so all of the pictures I do have are on my phone! As soon as I figure out how to get them off of there--I will get some photo's up! It was a BEAUTIFUL car!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gilmore Girls!!

I started watching the Gilmore Girls regularly last year. I had seen it from time to time before that but had been completely turned off by it's Feminist and Liberal message spewed out on every episode. But I've learned to tune out the "garbage" and have really enjoyed the series...until this season.

Last year they let the creator and writer go--and let me tell you--it has gone downhill fast since then. Season 7 has got to be the WORST ever! And that is including the "Jess" years--and they were awful!

I've learned a valuable lesson--Tivo every episode-that way I don't have to waste my time sitting through meaningless moments on the show. So I sat down last night (Thursday) to finally get to watch Tuesday's episode. It actually went really fast--WHY??? Because I Fast Forwarded through the ENTIRE show! Sure I stopped every now and again to see what was going on--but honestly, the entire episode was NOTHING!!

The season is almost over--and this season is the final--yet they wasted an entire episode on this DRIVEL!! Next week is Lane's baby shower and it looks to be just as bad!! Oh well, at least I have Men In Trees to look forward too, although--Justine Bateman???? I guess it's going to start getting just as disappointing!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Dish!!

She kissed him!! On the first date!!! What kind of daughter have I raised???

You know when something momentous happens and you just see growth in your children? I can't quite put my finger on it--and I'm not saying a night out with dad suddenly grew my 4 year old up. It may just be that she is more fully able to express herself than when she was younger--but when Blake got home she told me all about her evening with such excitement and such detail--that she just seemed a little more grown up than when she left!

Diego was there, and Dora and Alicia and Baby Jaguar. And guess who else mom, guess?? The BoBo Broders (Brothers--for those of you who don't know 4 year old speak!!) I heard how the BoBo's stole Baby Jaguar's growl and Diego had to help him get it back. There was a parade, and she even emptied her pocket of paper confetti shot out by the "lights". She brought them home for her scrapbook. I'm going to say Daddy knows his wife really well!!

She got a new Diego T-shirt and they had VIP tickets--so she got a whole bunch of other cutesy items as well! She loved it! And I'm just thrilled for her and dad to have had this bonding time together!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blakelynn's First Date!!

Well--tonight is my little girls first date! I don't know how she managed it--but she got the most popular boy to ask her out! I can't even get him to do that! Now you may be a little confused on this--but Blakelynn is 4, and her date is her Daddy!

He called on the way home from work just before Christmas. Diego was coming to town and since he always takes the boys out on "dates" to 'guy stuff' -- he really wanted to take his little girl out too. So she got tickets to Diego with dad for Christmas.

Diego is tonight!! So I'm helping her get all dolled up for her date! I still don't know how she managed that one!! I can't even get a night out with that man!!

Pictures come tomorrow!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chores & The Incentive To Get Them Done!!

I have two boys that are completely and utterly addicted to Basketball. Now I must say AGAIN!!!! I do not mind feeding this addiction at all. It's a great, healthy sport that gets my kids off of the couch and outside working out! So, I have devised a plan to get them to help out around the house and to offer immediate, short term and long term incentives.

We have a strict schedule that we adhere to every day. The boys have a morning routine, an after school routine, and a bedtime routine. Each of these routines are made up of four items. For example--the morning routine begins at 8 am with them waking up, making their beds and getting dressed. 8:10 brings breakfast and clean up. 8:20 brings teeth brushed, shoes/coats/backpacks on--and they are out the door for school. Now hidden in this routine is 1 chore. Making their bed. The afternoon has 1 chore hidden in it as well, and so does the evening schedule. Everyday at the end of the day we sit down for family scripture study, family prayer and rewards. The end of the day reward brings the opportunity to choose a pack of basketball cards. If they do all of their routines for the week, they get PS2 on Saturday or some time at a park for some B-ball. If they complete their routines for a month--they get a new jersey of their choice or a new PS2 game.

Well, let me just is amazing! We had a neighbor boy over for an hour after school today. He was busily looking through my boys cards. I mentioned to the boys, that they could earn their cards for the day by getting their routines done. The neighbor immediately piped up wanting to help get the straightening done. Let me tell you-those three boys whipped my living room and kitchen into shape in no time flat! They were rewarded with a pack of basketball cards each. You would have thought it was Christmas. They then spent the next half hour working on trades--too funny! Now my plan is to compensate with incentives for the first month while we are getting the habits into place, and then begin cutting back. Even if they don't let me cut back--my boys will be learning to be upstanding members of their community--and I'm happy to pay any price for that!!

Casimir Pulaski Day!!

When I was in elementary school I LIVED for "school holidays". Now that I'm older with kids in elementary school, I can honestly say...I HATE THEM!! This week the kids were off for Presidents Day. Next week they are off on Friday and the following Monday for Casimir Pulaski Day!

When we first moved here--I had never heard of the holiday--as I'm betting most of you across the country have never heard of. For those of you who want to know more--I Wiki'd it for you!! (yes, that is a new verb--enjoy it!!)

Casimir Pulaski Day is a regional United States holiday celebrated on the first Monday of every March to commemorate Casimir Pulaski, a Revolutionary War cavalry officer born March 4, 1747. It is celebrated mainly in areas which have large Polish populations. This is a separate holiday from the federal holiday, General Pulaski Memorial Day, that commemorates Pulaski's death at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779.

Illinois enacted a law on June 20, 1977 to celebrate the birthday of Casimir Pulaski and held the first official Pulaski Day celebrations in 1978. The bill was introduced by Senator Leroy W. Lemke (D)- Chicago. Chicago celebrates Pulaski Day with an annual parade, and many Illinois school children are given the day off. However, as the percentage of Polish Americans in Illinois drops and as fewer Polish Americans are elected to office, more and more schools in the state are opting out of observing the holiday. The holiday is also a special observance day in Wisconsin public schools, celebrated March 4th, as outlined in state statute 118.02 (although this is not universally observed). While not a state holiday, Indiana also marks the day as a commemorative day by governor's proclamation.

President's Day!!

Why exactly do we keep kids home for President's Day?? Honestly--I read on someone's blog--they shouldn't give the holiday to elementary kids unless they know their presidents. Mine would fail! They know the major ones--and would've voted for George W. Bush both times if they could have!

We didn't do much. My husband had the day off and we were going to do something together as a family--but we are both sick and had no energy. He did take the kids to dinner last night at Culvers. I was going to go--but I really was just not up to it at all. So he took them for an hour, and I stayed with Barrett and snuggled on the bed. When they all got home-it was bedtime-and I ended up back in bed for the night! It was great!

When we were little my dad used to take us skiing on President's Day. It was a day he always had off, and we got to spend it with him on the slopes! Very cool memories--Thanks Dad!!

Monster Jam!!

Grayson got to use his birthday present this weekend! He went to see Monster Trucks with his brother, his dad, his grandpa and his best friends dad. His best friend was supposed to go-but decided he would rather go to an out of town funeral for his great-grandmother in sunny Florida-instead of sticking around frozen Chicago to go deaf watching testosterone driven trucks around the dirt! Makes you question his upbringing!! Just Kidding--I'd take Florida any day!

Well, my boys had a great time. The tickets I got them apparently were fabulously perfect. At the end of Monster Jam you could line up for autographs. My husband decided it would be kind of fun, and their seats were practically where the line began--so they were 10th in line. They got their program signed by every driver there, including Grave Digger. When they left the arena--the line was up the stairs and around the arena-twice!!

They had a good time--and next year, my husbands brother wants a ticket as well!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back On Track!!

We are moving back into the potty training stage with Barrett. We were nearly there when we took a 3 hour airplane ride with the ever dreadable trip to the car rental agency-have you noticed car rental agencies are soooooo slow! Anyway with the prospect of not having the chance to get Barrett to the toilet as often as he needed, I pulled back on the potty training. We went to diapers just before our trip. I can tell you--HE WAS NOT HAPPY!

One of the "Rights of Passage" that we have in this house (we have a ton)--but when potty training we take the trainee to the store and they get to choose the "big boy" underpants of their choice. Barrett chose Elmo and loves wearing his little shorts around. I was kind of amazed he chose a Sesame Street theme. My kids were not raised watching Sesame Street-they had the Elmo dolls and such-but not really the show. Barrett has discovered the show because they brought it back to PBS Kids.

So he was back in diapers full time--not happy about it--but now--a week later--we are going to start the mastery of self-----again!! I'll have to put a picture up of the big boy in his big boy pants!!

Sick, Sick, Everywhere Sick!!

I'm am sooooooo bad to myself! I am sick--I have been sick for nearly 2 months. I haven't been to a doctor, and I can't complain about feeling like crap! Last night I stayed up late and read other peoples blogs. I was so impressed with so many of them. It's amazing to learn that people who SEEM to be models of perfection--are human, and fallible--just like me! It's also fun to read blogs of people you've never met before-or haven't really had much interaction with--but as you read, you can see that you would be very good friends if you lived next door.

Around 2 am, Grayson (sleeping on my side of the bed) woke up just enough to lift his head and vomit all over my "spot"! YUCKY! So I get him cleaned up and outta my bed--clean up my spot--steal the comforter that has been slimed-and sit back down at the computer. Less than an hour later he was up again--he sludged his bed. So I go in and clean that up, cover his bed with a thick blanket, snuggle him back down and head back to the computer. I'm starting to see a pattern of a sleepless night-so why lay down to make getting up that much harder!!

An hour later--he's up again--HOLY COW--how much does this boys stomach hold!! He finally chooses to sleep next to a bucket on the floor in front of the radiator. Several more times throughout the night--I could hear him retching. This morning he ran to the bathroom--while throwing up the pressure on his stomach sent the lower "goop" shooting out the back. He was MORTIFIED! So we got him cleaned up (again) and he is sleeping on the couch. I think that is where he will be most of the day--he got very little sleep.

When my husband went to work at 6 this morning he said that Jacob had also been throwing up. So here I am---still sick--already have a house falling apart due to absence and neglect--and now have little fires to put out all over the house!!

I got very little sleep, and I'm still sick! I need to call a maid! Not that I would let anyone in my house in this condition!!!

Blah-ging Day!!

I have spent more time in front of this computer today than I have in a very long time! Well, I guess considering I took a week off--I'm making up for lost time! I have a week's worth of zero income so I had to attempt to make up for that today!

It was just nice to be able to sit and type! I was able to get Grayson's birth story in today--his is kind of a special one to me. He was born in Phoenix, and we flew into Phoenix on his birthday. I wanted he and I to have to opportunity to go to his hospital and spend some "happy" time there the night of his birthday. I know it sounds sappy and dumb--but I almost lost him, and he's fine now. Perfect, and happy, and smart and FINE!!

Tomorrow I need to kick into gear and get the house clean. I'm still sick--I think we are going for the record with this one! Today was MISERY in that department. My lungs and throat are burning from coughing so hard, and my head is going to explode due to the congestion! Not a fun day!

But my kids are home tomorrow and I'm setting out a whole new routine with quick rewards as well as really cool distant rewards!! I hope it goes over as well as I'm thinking it will! When my boys realize it has to do with Michael Jordan basketball cards--they should be go for just about anything!! I'll let you know!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Grayson's Birthday!!

Every year on my kids birthdays I pull out the old "When You Were Born" story! All of my kids have had theirs replayed here, but not my Grayson! His birthday was the day we left for Phoenix, and in the rush--I didn't get it blogged!

Between Jacob and Grayson I shockingly got pregnant. My husband lived a state away, but had surprised me in Utah just a couple of days before Christmas. It was amazing to see him--but I really must say-it was only a "Booty Call"--a really expensive--airplane requiring Booty Call! I went to Phoenix to visit with his mom and his aunt 3 weeks later, and found out that we were pregnant! (I guess it was a VERY successful Booty Call) I ended up miscarrying the next week. Now something strange happens inside the mind of a woman who has just suffered a miscarriage. Timing wise--it was probably for the best that I wasn't pregnant. But suddenly I have this overwhelming feeling that I have to get pregnant as soon as possible. Almost as a way to prove to myself and others that I can do this. I may have failed at this attempt, but now I have this inner push to prove that I can have a baby.

Enter Grayson! After the miscarriage my midwife told me to just wait a month and try again. Well, waiting a month would have resulted in a possible Y2K baby--and I wanted NOTHING to interfere with my epidural machine! So I waited 2 months. She also told me "what to look for". As in, 'when you see this!!' So my husband was the one getting the Booty Call this time! And yep--we were pregnant!

Grayson was originally due February 14th, but not wanting to 'interfere' with his school Valentine's party-we planned to induce him on the 12th. My husband's older brother passed away on the 12th of February, and Grayson was getting this brothers name as his middle name-so we thought it very fitting. Well, my doctor didn't agree! He did a final ultrasound on the 4th of February and about choked! He saw this HUGE head and thought there was no way I would be able to deliver it! By this point, I wanted this baby out--and so I didn't tell him that my first baby's head still holds the record at the hospital he was born at! So we scheduled an induction for the 6th of February.

I was finally at the hospital--in no pain, and feeling fine. The IV and the Epidural were the most painful parts of the whole stay. In fact, I ended up telling the nurse putting the IV in--If she pulled it out one more time--I would put it in her arm!! When it was finally time for the Epidural--it was awful! I wasn't in much pain and I'm leaning over the bed onto a nurse. I felt everything--but then I felt this huge pop and bubbles--all I thought--I'm going to be paralyzed. How can I take care of a newborn and be paralyzed??? I started to cry--but then realized I could move my feet--so I was fine! It wasn't until a couple of months later--watching ER--when giving an epidural on the show the doctor goes--"Now your going to feel a pop, and then some bubbles--but everything is just fine!" Holy Cow!! Why didn't my real doctor say that!!!

My husband got to watch the NHL Allstar game on tv. My parents had been at the hospital most of the day, and I was waiting and waiting! The nurse came in and checked my dilation. I had walked in the door at a three and I was sitting at a 4! 6 hours later--and I've moved up 1!! I wasn't happy! The later it got--the more it meant I would have to stay an additional night in the hospital--and I HATE that! But Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (the original with Regis) would be on at 8 pm. SO I kept saying-I just have to make it to 8, I just have to make it to 8! I wasn't addicted-but it was something I enjoyed that would take my mind off of the fact that nothing was happening!

So it's finally 8 o'clock and my parents head out for dinner. And I settle in with my Millionaire. 8:45 I let the nurse know that I was feeling pressure--absolutely nothing bad--no pain--just pressure! She checked me and went running out of the room! Now there's a confidence builder!!

The nurse comes back in with the doctor in full regalia!! I guess we are ready to push. I'm feeling nothing--laughing with the doctor. The nurse makes a comment about how much hair this baby has...What?? You can see his hair? I guess I don't need to push--he's basically here!! One little push to get the shoulders out--and I was done! But, but, but--2 hours ago I was only a 4!! My mom is at dinner---there was NO PAIN!! What just happened here!!!

I guess when you have babies really fast there is some bruising and scraping that appears on their faces. But it didn't show up for awhile. All I remember about Grayson's looks is that you could see he was going to have really deep set eyes. He would open his eyes and look at me and with his swolleness and his deep eyes--his eyeballs were about an inch lower than his eyelids--very weird to look at!

My mom got in the room shortly after he was born--completely astounded at the turn of events! She walked in and got to hold him. She was planning on not having this moment for many more hours! We called my aunt and uncle and they brought Jake over. They all got to hold my hours old baby--and he started to chant rhythmically when my Uncle was holding him. It was so cute and he commented on it.

Miraculously, you'll understand that word in a second--the nurse that was taking care of me on the recovery side normally works on the labor and delivery side. She let me know that chanting is NOT a good thing and ran off to get a doctor to have another look at him. There wasn't a normal nursery at this hospital. Once the baby is checked and found healthy on the L/D side, they move to the recovery side with mom, and they are done. But they did have a NICU. She came back and said that she was just going to take Grayson to the nursery to give him a little oxygen and that he should be back soon. He never came back to that room! I had a flood of nurses and doctors rushing in to fill me in on what was going on--but no baby came with them. One nurse from the NICU told me how everything was going that he's on full oxygen and that they had called in a Neo-Natal Cardiologist (it's 2 am--never good), but that everything would be fine. Then she went out to the nurses station--3 feet from my room and proceeded to tell the nurses there that she had never seen a baby looking so grave. What??? He was fine! He was healthy! He had funny eyes--but the swelling would come down and he would be beautiful!! Grave?? I rushed into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub and just cried and begged God not to take my baby. Then as if a man was standing next to me in the room I heard the words, "He will be fine. Your father is here." I immediately knew what that meant. My dad was here-from Utah-he was 25 miles away--but he was here and he, through the power of God, HE could save Grayson!! I knew it, and I felt so much better.

I called my husband to let him know what was going on. He went and got my parents to watch Jacob and he rushed to the hospital. He just missed the Cardiologist who practically spoke Greek (not really) to me...hole in his heart, common as the hills, heart murmur, 3 weeks in the hospital---AMAZINGLY lucky that his heart condition was caught after he had already been checked off as OK. There you have the miraculousness of having the nurse that I did!! When my husband got there we got to go see Grayson for the first time in hours--and to this day I wish I hadn't gone! He looked like a little gray, dead baby hooked up to monitors with tubes and wires coming out of every orifice, in every appendage, his head was in a space helmet looking thing--and we were not allowed to touch him. It would cause his heart to race and that could cause a heart attack.

In a nutshell--when the baby is in Utero the heart only uses two chambers and it works to oxygenate the entire body because the lungs are filled with fluid. When the baby is born and takes it's first breath, that hole shuts the whole heart takes over pumping the blood, and the lungs clear to oxygenate the blood. But not in Grayson. His heart didn't seal, his lungs didn't clear. His heart was working too hard to work, and his lungs were in danger of getting pneumonia because they hadn't cleared.

I went back to my room with the horror of that site burned into my eyes. I couldn't sleep, and I just kept pleading that he would be OK. And again, I felt this calm, warm reassurance--that my dad was here. My parents came at 10 in the morning and my dad went in and gave Grayson a blessing. In it, he was promised that he would make a full and MIRACULOUS recovery--one that would astound and amaze even his doctors. When he finished with his blessing he had tears in his eyes. He said that he was just really impressed that this baby was a special little spirit, and that he was going to be fine.

I left the hospital without ever getting to hold this baby again during my stay. Tuesday morning I went in to pump for him and I got to hold him for about 15 minutes. The nurses let me know that it was a long road to recovery--that it could be 3 weeks before I could take him home-2 weeks to recover and 1 week under the UV lights for the Jaundice he was bound to get. I went home down--but happy knowing he was going to make it. We went back Tuesday night so I could pump again. My husband went up first, and I stayed in the car with Jake. 15 minutes later my husband came back and it was my turn--he did tell me Grayson looked great! I got up to the nursery and rang the bell. The woman inside the nursery was holding a really cute baby and smiling. She told me that my husband held Grayson, and how good he looked--blah--blah--blah--get out of my way--I'm going to get my baby. I get to his isolet--and he isn't there. Now my brain is confused but starting to catch on to what this woman was babbling about--she was holding Grayson!! No monitors, no tubes, no wires--and he was darling!! His grayish crown--gone. Bruises from quick delivery--gone. Swollen eyes--gone.

As I took this baby in my arms I knew he was fine. I just did. He was perfect! The nurse said that she didn't want to get my hopes up-but she said that she couldn't see why they wouldn't release him the next day. It was Tuesday night--he was born on Sunday--I'm expecting 3 weeks-not three days!! MIRACLE! So I went home exuberant. I might get to bring him home tomorrow.

8:00 in the morning the phone rings. It's his doctor. His exact words--"Mrs. Nykaza, this is Dr. (something foreign), Your baby...WOW! He's ready to go home!" Just like my dad had said in his blessing--he would have a recovery that would astound even his doctors. My Heavenly Father was watching over this baby--and he (even 7 years later) is still a special little spirit in my life!!

Here is a picture taken the day I got to bring him home! No gray head--No swollen eyes--No bruises on his face--No tubes and wires--NO JAUNDICE!!! What a Miracle! Isn't he precious!!!

And here is beautiful angel boy at 1 Year old!!! Complete recovery--quite the sportsman now!!

Christmas Is Coming!!

Well, in our house anyway! Blakelynn got two tickets for Diego on stage for Christmas. It was her "Date With Dad". She opened the tickets and a cute Dora the Explorer shirt on Christmas morning--but finally gets to use them! My husband just called to get the show time so he could make sure he was scheduled off in time! So Christmas will officially be over in our house!

I still have to put the basketball hoop up for the boys. I'm so excited for it to get warm enough to play, because after spending a week in Phoenix where the boys could go out and shoot baskets anytime they wanted--it became very apparent how quiet my house will be everyday--and how easy it will become to get two very tired out boys to bed at night!

Now, if I can just get rid of this pneumonia--I will be ready to get out there in the snow and put this puppy together!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Poooooor Baby!!

Well, my 2 year old just woke up from his nap and he is COVERED from head to toe in White, curdled, milk, GOOP! He's thrown up all over himself! Ohhhh, not again! I can't keep anyone healthy in this family! I'm starting to think the Health Department should come in and close us down!

He's slightly feverish--and miserable! I guess it's bath time and then we'll start the Brat diet! My Blakey was on the Brat diet the last day or two in Phoenix--so me thinks she got him sick! Our familial history recently with the stomach flu is that it's just a quickie--and thankfully it's a weekend-so if the boys get it--hopefully they will be back to normal by Monday!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Check Off Missouri, Boys!!

I am a queen scrapbooker for my kids! We have VOLUMES!! Silly things are kept and carefully added to each page! No---I really don't think they will want them later--and I'm sure their spouses will have objections to taking 16 volumes of my childs life with them into their first apartment (not really, since they get my child when they marry them, but they don't get my books--until I DIE!!!)

In these books, we have a map of the United States. Each state that they have visited is colored and there is a picture and date to coincide with each visit! Well, last night flying home from Phoenix--we got to add another state!

That's right!! Here's the story!!

O'Hare airport was closed--so glad we booked out of Midway--but so many of Midways flights had been cancelled as well! I was sure they would cancel our flight as well--but they didn't! We actually got into the plane and into the air--right on time! So we are flying--and it's still snowing in Chicago--so we are all just betting that we will be spending the night in Omaha or other such nonsense--but we didn't! We made it all the way to Midway Airport! Where we HELD!!

They closed our runway for snow removal--not a surprise--so we went into a holding pattern with MANY other planes. We circled and circled and circled... until...what??? The Captain is on the speaker!! Are we landing?? Could it be??? NOPE!!! We were low on fuel and couldn't hold any longer! So we were diverted back to Kansas City Missouri!

An hour later we were in the gate, in Missouri, getting fuel and waiting/hoping to take off again for Midway! So I woke my kids up--snapped their photo's --and told them---Congrats guys!! You can check Missouri off of your list!! They didn't have a clue what I was talking about--they didn't care either! It was dark--didn't see ANYTHING!! Didn't leave the Airplane-so I'm not sure we could even count seeing the airport! But we were physically in Missouri! Not that their physical body actually touched "Terra Firma", but something that their physical bodies were strapped to was physically touching Missouri!!! Count it!!!

We left MO about an hour later, and headed the hour back to Midway. By this point we had been on the plane for 7 hours--HOLY COW!!! We could have been in Hawaii by then!! Or at least to Cedar City Utah if I had decided to drive home!! But we finally got back to Midway--circled once, and landed! 6 hours late! My husband had sat at the airport for nearly 6 hours! We got home at 4:30 am, and he literally was up before 6 and out the door to work! Poor guy!!

We have three feet of snow in front of our house! I had to dig my car out in my slippers this afternoon!! I WANT TO GO BACK TO PHOENIX!!!!!

Sick Again??? Or Still Sick!!

Yep, you heard/read that right! I AM STILL SICK!! I just spent the week in Phoenix and had great health--well, considering what I normally live with-but I was honestly feeling like I was getting better. Ok, at night I still got a little congested, but other than that--I was great! But not anymore! That lung is still trying to get itself "expectorated"!! I've just doped up on Nyquil (again) and will hopefully get a better sleep!

I put on my favorite forums that I'm starting up an Alexa Project! I've had soooooo many people interested--and I have such hope for it----and guys--if you are is coming!!! I promise! Today I have been fighting coughing jags and some darn Trojan virus!!! So it's been a slow going day! But I will get back on it, and get you all the info!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Goin' Home!!

My parents are snowbirds and were supposed to be leaving Phoenix today, but extended until tomorrow--which is when we leave. They are driving the truck and pulling the 5th wheel and they like to make it through Vegas before rush hour hits--so they will be leaving early in the morning tomorrow. Our flight isn't until 6:25 pm, but after our horrid experience on the way here--we will be heading to the airport 2 1/2 hours early!! Plus, with my mom gone, and my aunt and uncle working--there is no one to hang with -- so we will go visit our old house and take some pictures. Let the boys check out the new hockey arena and football stadium just up the street from our old house. I may take them by America West Arena--since they are both NBA addicts, and then to the airport for the evening flight home to dad and to school the next day!

I will miss Phoenix immensely! Even though I wasn't born here--Phoenix is home! I often wonder why my depression didn't hit until we moved to Chicago--and I realize now that Palm Trees make me smile! There is now question about it--they lift my mood immeasurably!

I haven't slept well on this trip--awake every hour--so it will be nice to finally be home in my own bed and hopefully sleeping better! Plus--I haven't gotten to blog in nearly a week! I guess I'm going through withdrawals because I'm now dreaming about it!

But I will be home and back to my normal schedule in just 37 short hours!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


We are still on vacation! Phoenix is as beautiful as when we moved away from it! We moved the middle of August which was very unfair in my mind! I had suffered through the summer and just as the weather becomes "enviable" by every other part of the population--we move to Chicago for a very icy winter!!

Flying in my husband and I both mentioned how much we didn't realize that we missed it here. It is home to us and was for several years--but now-I'm honestly thinking it will become home again! Maybe not this year or next--but definitely we'll be back. When we do, I am going to follow my aunts footsteps and buy a cheap condo in Utah. Then on the last day of school in Phoenix--we will head to the condo in Utah for the summer. Then back to Phoenix when school starts. Then my mom comes to Phoenix for a couple of months during the winter and I would get to see her then too! I think it works out perfectly!

Monday, February 05, 2007

What A Disappointment!!

Yes--the Superbowl in general was a big flop to me! Mind you the opening kick off was miraculous--but it just looked like a pro team playing a college team for awhile there! I LOVE Peyton Manning--stated that many times!! But I was really disappointed that the Bears looked so bad! And if I had paid $7000 bucks to be there, I would be mighty ticked that it wasn't in a "dome" or at least a building with a roof! That drizzling rain was positively distracting!! But even losing the game and the rain aren't the biggest disappointments of the evening!

Prince???? What??? That was a totally LAME half time. Billy Joel was amazing as the singer of the National Anthem. My sister and I laughed about how he is the only one we've seen that has actually sung the song how it was written! We get so tired of the trilling and warbling yodeling that seems to overtake so many National Anthem singers lately! Just sing the song how it was written--it just send chills up my spine when it's sung well! Oh the pride! We had kind of wished that they would have switched the two--but guaranteed Prince would have killed the anthem--probably wouldn't have even sung it--just played his guitar solo through it! Bleck! And I'm sorry--what was that dead duck thingy doing on his head!

Now for the most disappointing item of the whole football experience! The commercials----SUCKED!!! There was ONE--only one that I even chuckled at--it was the Fedex in space one--still stupid--but I did laugh when they knocked their partner out into space only to be pummeled by a meteor! But still--that was the highlight of the evening! It was just a really lame Superbowl!!

I think next year they are going to have to roll out the red carpet and have E interview the players as they come out onto the field! "And Brian Urlacher, who are you wearing?" "Ah, well, thanks Ryan--I'm wearing official NFL gear, but the helmet is, uh..." That's how they made the awards ceremonies better! Everyone watches the fashions and then changes the channel when the awards begin!

Sunday, February 04, 2007


G O B E A R S ! !
G O B E A R S ! !
G O B E A R S ! !
G O B E A R S ! !
G O B E A R S ! !
G O B E A R S ! !

*That's one for each member of the family!!

Today Is The Day!!

The excitement in the area is palpable! It is seething out of every business, every bar, every restaurant--every house, and YES---EVERY PERSON! Bears fever has hit! I'm amazed! I remember their last Superbowl. I was not in the Chicago area--I was in Utah, and I was 14 years old. My little brother was a die hard Bears fan--I wasn't--my team was the Jets. But once the Superbowl Shuffle came out--I immediately changed my vote! I loved that thing--still have every part memorized 21 years later! What a change to be in the city for this one!!

All of the "hide your head" Bears fans have crept out of the woodwork, and are standing tall! I looked for some Bears sweatshirts for my kids to wear to school tomorrow for "Bear Down Bears" day--and they DON'T EXIST!! Can you believe it--there isn't a shirt to be had in Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Jewel!! No where! My husband finally found t-shirts at a corner 'tent' selling Bears stuff. Hey--beggars can't be choosers. So we at least have T-shirts! We are heading over to the in laws to have my Grayson's 7th birthday dinner. We will be on an airplane on his birthday, so we have to do it early. Then I have a TON of munchies for game time! My kids are so excited! My son is a "Regular" Colts fan--but the vibe has got him switched for now! He'll be a Bears fan until Tuesday--when normalcy will flip back in! A--we'll be on a plane for Arizona, and B--if they win, the victory parade will be Tuesday and we'll miss that--so by the time we get home--Bears Fever will have subsided and my Colts fan will be back!

Interesting bit of info--Chicago area schools are closed on Tuesday--planning on a parade--but even if there isn't one--No School!! Sadly--we aren't a Chicago school--so it doesn't affect us!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Superbowl Fever Hits Chicago!!

These are the AWESOME helmets on the Art Institute lions! There was a HUGE traffic jam while everyone clammoured to get pictures of them. I must say--it was amazingly cool! We ended up at the stop light right in front of the Southern Lion! Totally Sweet!! You can see how huge they are on the right side picture with the 2 people standing just behind them and to the left--the people are TINY!!

Next we moved on to Soldier Field for it's photo op--and we passed the Field Museum--you know the one with Sue the dinosaur. While we were passing we found this cool dino skeleton wearing a Brian Urlacher jersey! So cute!! The second picture is a little blurry--but I just wanted to make sure we captured his jersey!!

Last but not least--we hung out until it got dark, and took some pictures of the building with their words lit up! They are kinda hard to see, but well worth putting up anyway! My favorite is below---they managed to get the Bears head out of lights with an XLI underneath it! It was the coolest!!

Guess Where We're Going Today??

For the second time in 21 Years--the lion statues out in front of the Art Institute of Chicago have gotten their football helmets on! They tried earlier in the week, but with the bitter cold, it caused one of the earflaps to crack and break. They were removed and taken back in for refitting. Now they are up! Huge Lion heads with equally huge Bears helmets! Sooooo Totally Cool! So after Jacob's basketball game today--we will be driving downtown to see this for ourselves. If we are lucky--we will replace the above photo--with one of our own!! Wish us luck!!