Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Smashing Success!

I just want to thank everyone that came, helped, bought, ate and partied tonight at my house.  It was so much fun!  Andrea and Amy did not disappoint!  

Thanks to Mindy and Marina for helping make cookies for my cookie buffet.  Thanks to Kelly off of Mandee's blog for the cookie buffet idea! Thanks to my husband for babysitting the neighborhood kids in the back yard while the neighborhood ladies partied!  Thanks to my sissy, Kate,  for helping with everything else!  It was definitely some good times!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Party Time!

I'm doing a party!  Shoes, handbags, jewelry!  Yay!  And all of it is cheap cheap cheap!  So if you want to come and check it out...

My House 
Tuesday, September 30

Email me with any questions. 

Come get out of the house and have a fattening treat.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Steph!

So Steph's been on the planet for 37 years. Thirty-seven! We had a fun birthday today – went out to eat for all three meals! Among Steph's presents were a very fashionable and protective Hannah Montana helmet and mouth guard. We really have no expectation that Steph will have another seizure, but now she's covered, just in case. The helmet, upholstered with a lovely vintage denim (could it be from Hannah Montana's actual pants?!) and sparkly sequins, came with the added bonus of a couple of back pockets, the perfect place for a list of instructions in the unlikely event of another seizure.

I'm behind on the updates of Steph's seizure. She had an EEG, complete with electrodes spackled to her head with paste, strobe lights, and forced hyperventilation. The results came back normal. Just like all the other tests – everything's normal. So other than the aspartame possibility, there's no reason she should have had that seizure. The chances that she'll have another one are somewhere between 1 - 5% – not very high. Now she just has to endure another couple of months of no driving, lay off the aspartame, and everything should be just fine. Thanks again to everyone who's played chauffeur for Steph. It's been a huge help. She sure misses her independence, but it's been fun for her to spend more time with the other somewhat desperate housewives in the neighborhood.

When I think about it, it's really strange that Steph and I are headed towards 40 in just a few years. We just got married, didn't we? It feels like we blinked and suddenly 13 years were in the books. This seizure episode has gotten me thinking about life in a different way. There was a brief moment in the course of the seizure when I actually thought I had seen her take her last breath. It was the most terrifying feeling I've ever experienced. And then when she started breathing again, it was the best feeling. I never want to have to go through either of those again. Thirteen years with Steph – I'm a lucky man. She's still just as beautiful, dramatic, funny, surprising, and perfect for me as she's ever been, and probably more so. Thanks for everything, Steph. The girls, the fun, the life lessons – everything. I love you.

- Dave

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Little Cupcake

Avery is growing up way too fast.  I have to capture these moments and not forget all the little things she does that make me laugh and warm my heart.  

She had a doctor appointment yesterday, and here are the stats. . . She's still off the charts in height and weight, but her head thankfully is in the 70% range.  She weighs 33 lbs. and is the average size of a 3-year old and she's only 22 months.  People look at her and think she is a 3-year old and expect that vocabulary to be there – nope.  Our friend, Emily Evans babysat her the other day and described Avery's language perfectly. . . it's Japanese!  Avery loves to talk but only a select few of us really understand.

Yesterday I was making dinner and "Her Pudginess" wiggled up one of the bar stools and sat and watched.  I handed her a chip to eat.  She proceeded to smash it and slide it off the counter onto the floor.  I said, "No Avery!  You pick that up."  So she slid down and started picking up the pieces and throwing them away.  All of the sudden I felt a pat on my leg and Avery yelling, "Mama! Mama!"  I looked down and said, "What?" – kind of annoyed.  Cutest little face in the world looking up at me says, "daw-ee." (sorry) That was the first time I ever heard her use that word.  Precious.  We of course had a delicious squishing session afterwards.  Life is sweet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Favorite

OK, I don't know if any of you are Lost fans, old X-files fans or you just love mysterious scariness. . .There is a new show out for you!  Fringe.   Dave and I have watched the first 2 episodes, with my face half covered,  and I have to say it was very entertaining!  And for those of you out there who feel they don't have husbands they can share tv with. . .  
Here you go!

I Scream, You Scream

We couldn't resist... 
Dark chocolate with peanut butter, anyone?


Oh Wow!  Look who got into the make-up!
I don't know whose because... purple?
Avery, Avery, Avery

Friday, September 12, 2008


Well, we've been racking our brains trying to figure out why I would have a grand mal seizure.  I haven't been on any crazy medications lately, I have no family history of epilepsy, I (hopefully) don't have a brain tumor, and I don't remember having any traumatic head injuries recently.  The only thing that has changed is my diet. I try to eat pretty healthy mainly because of the family history of cancer raging through my veins, so I am conscious of what I put in my mouth.  (Probably I should work on the amount I put in, too :))  But I started drinking Crystal Light lemonade on a pretty regular basis a few weeks ago. It's delicious! And I figured it would be better for me than soda – never been a Diet Coke girl, always preferred water – because it's a low-calorie drink that's not carbonated.  Anyway, I'm not positive that it's what did it for me, but there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence out there that aspartame, the sweetener used in Crystal Light, causes grand mal seizures in individuals with a sensitivity to it.  That's enough for me!  I hope it's that easy.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Garden

I love summer for lots of reasons but one big one is 
We love growing stuff.
It's so fun to go out and see what we can pick off the vine and eat
or lean down and smell. 
The kids love it!
This growing season has been a little more of a challenge than
 our last garden in Cedar Hills.
We have Deer.

I took a picture of this beautiful rose in the front of my house and the next day it was gone!  Just an empty stem where it used to be.  But not just one rose. . . the whole bush of roses gone!  Just a bunch of empty stems!
And I went out the other morning and saw a mama deer and her two precious little babies with little spots on their backs. . . 
Chowing my tomatoes!   
If I had had a gun I would have shot those precious little spots off their backs!!!  
Anyway, here are some pictures of some of our harvest so far.  I guess we'll just have to share with the deer, and next year hopefully get a fence.  Ahh, nature.  We love it. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Hero

I just want to tell my Dave how much I love him.  This seizure thing was scary and it kind of brought things into perspective . . . mainly how much I love my family and how much I love my man!  He is my hero!  Thanks for taking such good care of me, babe!  You deserve to lay in that hammock and eat HaagenDaz for as long as you want!  

And thanks to all of you for your prayers, flowers, treats, carpools, texts, calls, dinners, love, support and future rides.  We couldn't have gotten through this without you!  

First Day Missed

The little stuffed bunny she's holding was the one they gave
her in the ER when they took me there.

My little Andie finally had her first day of 2nd year pre-school!  She had been counting down the days for a Whole month!  She was so upset when Alex's school started 2 1/2 weeks before hers so everyday she'd ask . . .

"How many more days?"  

So anyway, it finally happened and unfortunately it was the day I had my freaky seizure so I missed all of it!   So we need to recognize her and give a cheer!  Hopefully she'll remember how much she couldn't wait for school to start when she's a teenager.  I love you, Andie.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good News from a Taher-orist

Today Steph had a visit with Dr. Mohammed Taher (Tah -hair), a neurologist located here in American Fork. She was a bit apprehensive going in – not sure what we were going to find out. After filling out the fat stack of paperwork, we were ushered into an exam room plastered with posters describing Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. Comforting, but we'll pass. Thanks. 

After dozens of questions about her current and past medical history, and a whole slew of motor skills tests (all of which Steph passed with flying colors), the doctor gave us as much of a diagnosis as possible at this point. Basically, about 1% of the population will have a seizure some time in their lives. Once you've had a seizure, the probability you'll have another one is about 10%. Not too high. Once that second one comes, however, the probability of a third or more jumps to about 70%. So at this point, and in particular because Steph has no history of seizures or indications of a propensity for them, there's not a high likelihood she'll have another seizure. Doctor Taher also scheduled an EEG test for Steph next week. They'll gather data about her brainwave activity, and if the results are positive, that will cut her probability of another episode to less than 5%. If the results are negative, she'll be in the 5 - 10% area, and the doctor will order a full MRI. But we're confident that the results will be very positive, and do nothing more than confirm our feeling all along that this seizure was a crazy little fluke, or as Dr. Taher put it, an "electrolyte imbalance" brought about by something unknown but relatively harmless – fatigue, stress, etc. And he did say that there's no getting around the three months of no driving – it's the law.

Steph is doing well. Her spirits are high. But she's still trying to come to grips with the fact that this really happened. Like I mentioned before, she has no memory of the seizure, and has to rely on my descriptions of it. She's been wondering what would have happened if I hadn't woken up, if we would have both slept through it. Would we have even known anything occurred? She would have been sore (today is actually worse than yesterday in that regard), but probably would have assumed she had the flu or something similar. I can't imagine not knowing something like that was going on next to me, but she didn't convulse, and the noises she made aside from her initial yelp were not loud. It's possible I could have kept on snoring and never known. But as it happened, I had to go and call the ambulance and sentence her to three months of no driving. Sorry sweetie. Maybe I should have thought it through some more. ;-)

Thanks again to everyone for your sincere prayers and your willingness to help. The no driving thing is going to be the hardest part going forward, but so many people have stepped forward to offer their time to help us get through this huge inconvenience. We're so blessed to have the great friends and family that we do.

- Dave

P.S. To close this out, we stopped by Heather's for a quick visit. Steph climbed in bed next to her so they could look at a home design magazine together. To use a Heather-ism, it was "precious." I took a picture, but they asked me to Photoshop some makeup on them and remove their double chins. Ask and ye shall receive, ladies. You're welcome.

Here's the original for comparison purposes. I know. I'm a genius.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Trip to the "Grand Mal"

Typically, going to the "Mal" would sound pretty appealing to Steph. "Is there a Forever 21 there?!" Not in this case, sadly. Last night at about 4:30 am, she experienced what seems to be an almost textbook version of a grand mal seizure. All muscles firing at once, eyes wide open, non-responsive to outside stimuli, etc. For both Steph and me, it was a pretty terrifying experience. Nothing like this had ever happened before to Steph, and I had never seen or dealt with anything like it either. The seizure itself lasted somewhere around 90 seconds, but the effects of it lingered for another seven minutes or so. Steph slowly progressed from totally unresponsive, to awake but disoriented and confused, before finally coming back around to her old self. She has no memory of the seizure. The first thing she does remember is waking up to me telling her that she had had a seizure, that she was going to be okay, and the eight paramedics hanging out around the bed staring at her were there to help. A bit jarring, to say the least.

After getting strapped onto a gurney, Steph was whisked off to the hospital. I packed up the girls and followed behind. We spent the next couple of hours jammed into a tiny room in the ER waiting for test results. At this point, everything (i.e. blood work, CAT scan, etc.) seems normal. There's no apparent cause of the seizure, which is actually pretty common in many cases. Often, a person will have a seizure like this once and then never have another one in their entire life. That's what we're hoping for here. We'll be visiting a neurologist tomorrow for an MRI and other tests. We're hoping that we'll get more information about what we are actually dealing with here. At this point, we're told that Steph cannot drive for three to four months. Yep, that's right. An active mother of three little girls with activities like pre-school, cheer clinic, school carpool, innumerable trips to Costco etc. can't get behind the wheel at all for at least three months. It's going to be fun scheduling this stuff out, but friends and family have graciously volunteered without hesitation to help make it work. Now Steph can join Heather (welcome home, girl!) in the private chauffeur club. A stroke and a seizure? It's Driving Miss Hazy.

Many thanks for all of your calls and generous offers to help. Steph has really been buoyed up talking to everyone. The dinner brought by the Taylors tonight was off the hook! The Smart Cookies Natalie Nelson delivered are contributing deliciously to our fat reserves. Marina Brown made it possible for me to take Andie to her first day of pre-school. Emily Evans made Andie and Avery disappear for a nice, quiet while. Mindy Christensen and Kim Copeland brought some rockin' treats. And there have been countless calls, texts, and gestures of support. Again, thank you to all.

I'll try to keep this updated, so check back when you can. Steph will probably get back in on the action here pretty quickly.

- Dave

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Oh wow!  Alex wanted to do this cheer clinic and follow in the footsteps of her dad . . . love you, Dave.  Anyway, she got to perform at half-time at the Lone Peak high school football game.  I had a panic attack walking through all the hormones and cologne so I could watch . . . I don't think I'm ready to have a child in high school yet.  

Go Knights!

Training wheels

So it's the end of summer. . .  just in time to pull out the 2 wheeler so Andie can learn to ride a bike!  I'm so on top of things!  Hmmm, oh well there's always next summer since it's snowing already. . .  Fun pics anyway.

Avery joining in the fun.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Clean Ears

Avery is hilarious.  She really likes to clean her ears.  She actually does a good job at it.  I love her!