Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nadia's Place

My sister-in-law makes these INCREDIBLY cute hats and knit toys and sells them online on Etsy: Nadia's Place Here are Lizzy and Rachel sporting their super cute new hat and beret! Rachel's also got a little knit carrot, which is SO cute! Check out her page - you've gotta have some of these for your kids!

Community Supported Agriculture

After reading my friend Mary's blog, and the book she recommended, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver, I have been inspired this year to join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture group. This is where you pay a local farmer up front for a share in his crop, and then all through the harvesting season, you recieve a share of fresh produce that was picked that day! The CSA I chose is East Farms. You pay for a share, and then every week from June to October you pick up a share of produce from a prearranged location. The reasons why I chose to do this are many! First, I love to eat delicious food, and the fresher the food is, the better it tastes, so obviously, there are culinary reasons! Next, I really would like to get my family to eat more vegetables and fruits - we are sadly lacking on that count, and this will force us to do so! Third, from reading the Barbara Kingsolver book, I have learned about the high oil cost of transporting our food back and forth across the country and globe, and with that in mind, I will be doing my part to reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil by not having my vegetables shipped from all over the world. Fourth, I would grow my own vegetables, but I have a horrific black thumb, absolutely NO knowledge of gardening, and 2 very small children who would make it difficult to spend a lot of time knee-deep in dirt all day. Lastly, after reading Mary's blog where she documented what she received each week and what she did with it - it just looked like fun! So, here we go on a crazy adventure in produce... Check out Mary's Blog, and East Farms, Animal Vegetable Miracle, and Slow Food Utah

Monday, February 23, 2009

100's club

My friend, Chandie, did this on her blog, and it was so cute... so here it is... 100 random things about me.

1. I got married 7 days before my 21st birthday.
2. I met my husband in 1992 in 7th grade English class. He did a book report on "Cujo" by Stephen King and I thought he was the most awful boy I'd ever seen for reading such a horrible book!
3. Later on, curiosity got the best of me and I read "Cujo" myself, and most of Stephen King's other books, too!
4. Jason and I didn't date until our senior year.
5. He had a girlfriend from summer band camp in 11th grade, and I spent all year trying to break them up.
6. I love cooking!
7. I love reading!
8. I love Star Trek - I own on DVD every episode of every season of every series, plus the movies. That's all 3 seasons of "Original Series", all 7 seasons of "Next Generation", all 7 seasons of "Deep Space Nine", all 7 seasons of "Voyager", all 4 seasons of "Enterprise", and all 10 movies.
9. I am SO excited for the new Star Trek movie coming out.
11. On our honeymoon, we went to St. George, and for a day we also went down to Vegas. I made Jason take me to the "Star Trek: The Experience" museum and ride. It was SO fun - we went back a few years ago, too.
12. I want to make little "Star Trek" costumes for Lizzy and Rachel for halloween.
13. I have the best kids in the entire universe.
14. I love being a mom more than anything in the whole world.
15. I still miss teaching sometimes, though.
16. Being a mom really does make you appreciate your own mom.
17. Chandie was right... this is difficult to do!
18. Lizzy gave me a hug the other day and said, "You're such a good helper mommy, I'm proud of you!"
19. Rachel looked at me and said, "aeeee agaga"
20. I think we don't have memories of being a baby because we didn't have language yet, so our thoughts were such a different format than how we think now that we can't access them.
21. In scary situations, I go for knowledge. As everyone could tell with all my fact-and-picture filled surgery posts!
22. When I was pregnant, I read every book in the library about child-raising.
23. My mom is the same way - when faced with a challenge or situation, the first thing she does is calmly look up every fact about whatever the topic is.
24. I really think the world we live in is amazing - you really can know anything about anything just by looking stuff up on the internet. It's really the age of ultimate knowledge.
25. With that, how come there are still so many different opinions about everything?
26. 100 years ago, I probably would have died with this throat growth, but instead it was an hour and a half outpatient surgery with laser scalpels! Amazing.
27. My mother and I are both Rh negative, so 100 years ago, we wouldn't have been able to have children, because there was no rhogam.
28. I love living in Utah - I think it would be really boring to live in a place where you don't get all 4 seasons.
29. I love camping - tent camping - we used to go all the time, but we haven't been since we had Lizzy.
30. Jason is more prissy than I am - he wants an RV for camping so he doesn't have to get so dirty.
31. The dirt is the best part!
32. I am incredibly bad at sports. Can you say NO hand-eye coordination??
33. I love to dance.
34. I love to sing.
35. I love to play my guitar.
36. I love to write music.
37. Jason says I have too many hobbies.
38. I just love too many things!
39. I want to learn how to fish.
40. I want to have chickens that lay eggs.
41. I want to try making my own cheese.
42. I want to play in an orchestra again.
43. I can't believe I'm not even halfway done with this list. I don't think my life is exciting enough for 100 things.
44. I had a brother who died in a hiking accident (hiking alone) when he was 13 and I was 15. I miss him.
45. Don't ever hike alone!
46. My dad was a doctor at LDS hospital (now he works in Sandy), my mom was an administrator at LDS hospital, my husband was a pharmacy intern at LDS hospital, my sister Michelle works currently at LDS hospital in the ER, and my sister Angela volunteers there. I feel left out - I have never worked at LDS hospital.
47. I guess now I can say I had surgery at LDS hospital.
48. I think it's wierd that I'm turning 30 this year.
49. I used to think people who were 30 were REAL adults. I don't feel like a REAL adult yet...
50. My dad always told me not to ever lose my kid-ness; the curiosity and zest for life that children have. I have tried not to.
51. Rachel has reached her patience limit for this activity... so this will be a 51 list instead of a 100 list.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sugery Complete!

My surgery is complete now, and it was successful. Here is what you're looking at: Picture 1 (top left) is what my throat looked like to start. Picture 2 (bottom left) is what it's supposed to look like. In picture 3 (top right) you can see the burn marks at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock where the surgeon used the laser scalpel to cut away tissue. He then inflated it open with a balloon (no picture), and then put chemotherapy gel to induce regrowth all over it. (picture 4, bottom right) In 5 or 6 weeks, I will have to have this procedure repeated with cuts between the ones he did this time. (This time like a plus, next time like an X.) They do it this way becase if they just go in there and cut it straight out, it just scars and swells right back up. Sadly, 40% of patients with this have it re-grow within 3 years, and 70% of patients have it back within 5 years, and just have to have these surgeries over and over. There is also an option if I get sick of getting this done every few years to cut into my throat from the outside, remove the chunk of trachea where the growth forms, and reattach the trachea together. That is WAY more invasive, but it would cure it forever. So, we might consider doing that if I end up beign on eof the 70% that has to have this over and over, especially because I'm young, and that would be a lot of surgeries! He took a sample for biopsy, but it'll probably take a week or so for those results. I am feeling much better today - just a mild sore throat, but but I can breathe so much better already, and it will just get better as the swelling continues to go down from the surgery.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surgery Update

My breathing has become so bad and so labored, my doctor has moved my surgery up to tomorrow. I couldn't sleep last night because I just laid there feeling half-panicked and unable to relax and breathe! So, I've just got to make it through tonight, and then I'll have my surgery. I'm going to have to have 2 or 3 more surgeries to fix this completely, but I should feel much better after tomorrow. Keep me in your prayers!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some Good News

All my blood and urine tests came back negative for autoimmune disease, so that is very good news. It doesn't rule it out completely, though, because 10% of the time, the blood tests will be negative, so we really do have to wait for the biopsy results from the surgery to be completely sure. But, so far so good. In the meantime, Jason has been able to rearrange his work schedule so he's home Tuesday through Friday, and working on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, which is good because my mom can be up to take care of me and the girls on Saturdays and Sundays, and Jason's parents can come up on Mondays. So, everything is working out well and looking hopeful! I put up a cute picture of my girls, because they are just too cute to not share!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Throat Update

I did have to go into LDS hospital on Saturday night because my breathing became very difficult, and that is what my doctor told me to do. They gave me a really large dose of steroid to decrease swelling, and then gave me a prescription for more steroids to take at home until the surgery. I'm also on bed rest and I'm supposed to have 24 hour supervision so that if my breathing closes off for any reason, there will be someone to call 911. Fun, eh? I'm not supposed to go out in public or be around anyone sick, because obviously if I got a cold with mucus in my throat, that would be a very bad thing! So now I get to sit around and be waited on hand and foot... sounds more fun than it is! Anyway, keep me in your prayers and I'll keep you posted on how everything is going.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Medical Stuff

For a few months now, I've had difficulty breathing. Whenever I do any kind of physical activity, I start to wheeze. I went to see the doctor about it and he tried lots of stuff - an EKG, a chest x-ray, asthma treatments... then I said it felt more like it was in my throat, not in my lungs - like asthma in my throat. So, he tried acid reflux medication in case I had stomach acid eating at my esophagus, but that didn't work either. So, I went in yesterday to see an ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor. He sprayed a numbing spray up my nose, which then dripped down my throat, and then he put a fiber optic camera up my nose and down my throat to have a look. I've attached the picture of what we saw. I have a bunch of tissue that is blocking off my airway, so the little hole that is left for me to breathe through is the size of a soda straw hole. The ENT that I saw called up an even more specialist ENT at LDS hospital and that new doctor, Dr. Smith, had me come down to LDS hospital yesterday afternoon so he could have a look. He looked too, and said I need to have at least 2 surgeries to remove and biopsy the tissue. I'm also having more tests done to see if I have an autoimmune disease that can cause this. My first sugery is on March 6. Isn't this just SO fun?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book Excerpt

"I belong to the generation of women who... recoiled from the proposition that keeping a husband presentable and fed should be our highest intellectual aspiration. Somehow, though, history came around and bit us in the backside: now most women have jobs and still find themselves largely in charge of the housework. When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down the path by a profiteering industry that knew a tired, vulnerable target when they saw it. "Hey, ladies," it said to us, "go ahead, get liberated. We'll take care of dinner." They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply. If you think toxic is an exaggeration, read the package directions for handling raw chicken. We came a long way, baby, into bad eating habits and collaterally impaired family dynamics. When we traded homemaking for careers, we were implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families' tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable. (Or worse, convenience-mart hot dogs and latchkey kids.) I consider it the great hoodwink of my generation. " -Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Hair

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I did a special heart hair-do on Lizzy today for music class. It came out pretty good. I modified I style I saw on a girls hair blog: Hair Today

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Tooth, Last Tooth!

Rachel's first tooth is officially poked through her gums. The second one is not far behind, I can see it just beneath the surface. Meanwhile, Lizzy's last baby tooth has come in as well, she now has 20 perfect little baby teeth! When Rachel was born I took a side-by-side picture of the girls, so I thought now that 6 months have passed, I'd do another one to show how they've grown. Here they are, having an over-alls day! You can see the first side-by-side picture in the August 2008 post "Rachel's 2 Week Check-Up".