Saturday, October 20, 2007

Not for the feint of heart

I decided that my first post, post-surgery should be my latest excuse of why I have not posted for awhile. (I tried to get in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most uses of the word "post" in one sentence but failed. If only I had had the beverage "Postum" during my recent hospital stay, I would've been able to put that in the sentence and I just may have succeeded. Maybe next time.) Anyway, there she is in all of her glorious splendor. My Schwanoma. (I have assigned a gender (girl), and am thinking of a name for my growth. Any suggestions will be duly noted.)

I suppose that I should give a little history for all that have not heard of my sad, sad plight. This is a tale sure to inspire, excite, and even make you shed some tears. On Sunday, September 23, I woke up having chest pains and difficulty breathing. Jon was already at Bishopric meetings, so I called him and he came home and took me to the E.R. (For those of you that want a play by play, not to mention reassurance that we didn't just leave our three sleeping children at home, we dropped them off at a friends on our way to the hospital.) I was mortified to be 30 years old and having chest pains. I figured that either the yummy food that I had been enjoying of late had caught up with me, or that the entire bishopric and our friend watching our kids had just been notified that I was a snively wuss who went to the E.R. at the slightest provocation. Anyway, when we got to the E.R. we got right in. (Something I learned to avoid long waits in the E.R. is always come in, complaining of chest pains. You get right in, at that point you can explain your real reason for going in.) To make a long story (and not even the most exciting part) short, they did a chest x-ray, saw something on it and then did a CAT scan to confirm. Apparently, there was a HUGE growth on my right lung. On Wednesday, I went to a Pulmonologist, who then sent me to a Thoracic surgeon, and I had a Thorocotomy (surgery where they make an incision on the upper back, cut through the muscles and spread the ribs. A surgery that they say is more painful that open heart surgery because of the involvement of so many muscles) on Friday morning. That's right. All in the course of less than a week. When they sent my little cantaloupe-sized friend to pathology, it turns out that it wasn't a cyst like they thought, but a tumor called a "Schwanoma." My doctors have all been amazed that I haven't had problems earlier because of the size of this thing. They say that I have, most likely, had this for a long time and it is not very often that they get this big. Yeay me for not listening to my body earlier! I have been having pain there for the past five or so years. I just figured that the pain was situational from sitting too long or something like that. Had I listened, they would have been able to to do the surgery with a scope instead of a big incision. Much less painful and much easier recovery.

So now I am three weeks out of surgery and am half-way through the 6-8 week recovery where I am not supposed to lift anything (including Ella, fat chance!). I am amazed at how quickly I am healing and know that I am being really blessed. My mom was able to come stay with us for awhile and left on Tuesday and we know that we have had a lot of prayers being said in our behalf. I have been very humbled through this process and have gained an even greater testimony of the power of the Priesthood and the power of prayer. We feel blessed to have such amazing friends and family that love us so much.

A funny little story about the picture. Maya inadvertently saw this picture while I was still in the hospital. She was very concerned (not to mention completely grossed out) and asked if they had "removed Mommy's heart." Then later when she came to visit me in the hospital, she stopped in the doorway before she would come in and asked me if my surgery was contagious. I told her it only happened to naughty little children, so I have been getting some mileage and quite well-behaved kids out've my plight. j/k.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The evolution of dance

I saw this on my friend's blog and thought it was fabulous. Mainly because it has given me great fodder. I am currently using this as a study guide and, if things continue to go well, I will have some super sweet moves in my repertoire by the time Maya attends her first Church dance at which time I will exhibit.

Mainly I just thought it was fascinating and it took me back to my own Church dance days and that bygone time of mediocre dancing and flowery-printed dresses and unfortunate hair.

Monday, September 10, 2007

First Day of School 2007

Okay, okay, so I would be perpetuating a fraud if I continued to mislead and make you all believe that these pics are really from the first day of school. It's just that I have never heard of someone publishing about the 19th day of school. At least it is still the first quarter of school. So to all of you moms out there that really took pictures on the actual first day of school: hats off to you, you're a better (and certainly more organized) woman than me.

Maya in her all of her favorites: Favorite hair-do (Kitty-cat ears), her favorite uniform shirt (red), her favorite jumper (blue), and her favorite shoes (pink sketchers which coordinate very nicely with the rest of the ensemble, I think. sidebar: there is P.E. everyday so they have to wear tennis shoes everyday. I think that some cute little mary janes would look totally cute but... )

Foster is actually wearing his teacher's favorite pants, as these are the ones that he can hook and unhook without assistance. He is loving kindergarten. We have all day, everyday kindergarten here so I was a little concerned about how he would do. He is definitely fried by the end of the week but is really enjoying two recesses, P.E. everyday, eating lunch at school, and naptime (okay so maybe he doesn't love naptime, but as he has actually fallen asleep several times, he definitely needs it.) I was also a little concerned about how he would do with the talking thing. Foster loves to chatter! Consequently, I received a note home about curbing the talking on the second day of school. He has since done much better. His words: "I learned my lesson." Apparently corporal punishment works. j/k. One funny story about Foster and meeting friends: He met a boy in the car-rider line (the line that the kids wait in for their moms and dads to pick them up after school). Foster has been really excited about this friend. He has described him to me in detail. I have gathered that he is a little older than Foster, really cool, has a Nintendo 64, and black. One problem: Foster has a hard time with his name. Upon hearing his name, Foster said, "Well, I'm gonna have a hard time with that. Can I just call you Evan?" Whatever works.

Our two little school-kids together. I love that they can kind of watch out for eachother while they're at school. I also love that they are really enjoying school this year, so far. (Maya really struggled last year.) I, selfishly, especially love how clean my house stays from the hours of 8am to 3:30pm.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

7 things

So I was "tagged" in this little game about two months ago. It has taken me that long to think up 7 facts about myself:
1) I've only had one cavity in my entire life.
2) I'm sad that Foster is starting kindergarten this year, but a part of me is secretly excited for all of the quiet time.
3) I am afraid of the dark and dogs, I also think spiders, all reptiles, bugs, birds, and rodents are foul.
4) I love decorating and become obsessive when I am in the midst of a project.
5) I hate carnival rides and get just sick looking at them.
6) My secret hope while I was growing up was for my parents to be driving me to school and make a "wrong" turn and end up at the airport where we would board a plane and fly to Disneyland. My secret hope was never realized, but a couple of years ago, we surprised our kids with a trip to Disneyland. They didn't know anything was going on until we got to the airport and even then, they just thought we were going to a hotel. It was bliss.
7) There is very little that makes me as happy as having a clean house.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fun times in Utah

Ella samples her first RedVine. Many of you may now be thinking, "What is Jennifer thinking? What kind of a crazy-headed mother gives her not quite year old baby licorice?" I was asking myself the same thing when I pried it from her red, licorice-caked, sticky hand. One of those treats that will probably not be repeated until she has the ability to actually keep said treat in her mouth. It was fun while it lasted.

My dad is working on putting in his yard and brought home the tractor. Foster nearly wet himself in glee and Maya wished it had been a horse. They both had a great time taking turns "driving" it, reguardless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shortly after moving to Lafayette, we bought a season pass to the zoo. We go all the time and the kids love it! It is nice to go and not feel like we have to stay all day to get our money's worth. $60.00 well spent.
A picture of all of us by the petting zoo. Sorry about the clashingness and non-coordinatingness of the outfits. Not a planned family picture. How embarrassing. Courtney Price would be outraged!

Foster wrastles his first gator. Obviously, we were standing on the wrong side of the enclosure to get a picture of his face. When asked how it felt to stare death in the face, Foster replied "I felt ready."
Ella stares death in the face in her own special way. She was not too impressed with the overly friendly goats in the petting zoo.
This picture was not taken at the zoo but it is still blog-worthy. Pretty impressive that the world's largest boot decided to visit the fine city of Lafayette. You should've seen the guy they belonged too!

You gotta love the sister, matchy-match dresses! I'll enjoy it while it lasts and they don't have a say!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sure to excite and amaze!

Right about now, I am sure you are all saying, "Wow! A new post from the Millers! Can this be? At last! How we have missed gazing at photos of the most attractive children south of the Mason-Dixon line. How we have agonized over not being able to read the witty repartee of the cleverest girl we have ever known." Well, I say, let your life continue ,and enjoy...

All I wanted was an award winning photo, but I don't think I would enjoy the award that this one would earn. Seconds before this picture was snapped, we told Foster about chiggers that live in the grass and burrow into your skin and make you itch like crazy. Maybe this was a mistake. I'm not sure why Ella's not thrilled. Perhaps this question could be answered with another question: Where is Maya's right hand and why is she the only one smiling?

"If I close my eyes and make a wish and throw my bread crumbs, when I open my eyes, if the bread crumbs are gone, then it means the magic duck has gone to make my wish come true." Did Foster's wish come true? A mystery. Actually, here's the real mystery. Do you notice the dog standing behind Foster? Well, as most of you may be aware, I (Jenny) am afraid of dogs and would not have calmly snapped this picture with such a savage beast standing mere inches from my child. I swear this dog was not there when I took the picture. The Ghost Dog of Lafayette strikes again. Wait, maybe it would the the Ghost Dog if the dog was there, but didn't appear in the picture. Hmmm. If anyone is up on their ghost-animal lore, I would appreciate your input.

Myself, Maya, and Foster enjoying the lovely, gurgling swamp. Maya and Foster tried to play that game where you throw a stick in on one side and then run to the other side of the bridge to see who's stick comes through fastest. I think it is safe to say, it was a tie. I'm pretty sure that, as the water was pretty much stagnant (not to mention gelatin-like), the sticks are still in exactly the same place as when they were dropped.

The camera is Ella's favorite treat. I was trying to get a picture of how pretty her eyes are and out came her two, razor sharp bottom teeth ready to have a taste. She's got a bit of an underbite, which adds to her fierceness, I think.

Well, hopefully it won't be another two months until we do our next post. Maybe we should start a collection fund of some sort to buy the Miller's a new computer? Just a thought. I will have to check the rules and see if Blogger allows such a thing. Maybe the Millers will just have to break down and buy a new computer so that everytime we go online, Jenny doesn't go into a blue streak of swearing whenever the computer decides to randomly shut down or freeze. On the other hand... having an excuse for being lazy and not updating the blog works too.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A day in the life of a five-year old superhero

I thought it might be interesting for everyone to see life through the eyes of our resident middle child and only son, Foster. From here on out, he will be narrating this post.

My mom has been telling me for days that I need ed to get a haircut, so I took matters into my own hands. Imagine my chagrin and surprise when, after pulling me out from underneath the table with the scissors firmly grasped in my hand, they were not thrilled with the results. I thought I would be saving them time and effort, but all dad said, while trying not to laugh, was :it's gonna be the #1. Mom just kept telling Maya atta girl for running away from me.
This is me after Dad got through with me. See the cool leter "C" on my forehead? It stands for "Cool Kid." How did I get that? Well, that's a mystery. The lady at the Dr.'s office asked what happened when we were there for Ella's 9 month check-up, and I looked at my mom and asked her: "What was I supposed to tell her, again?" For some reason, that made Mommy really nervous.
After we got home from the Dr.'s, I wanted to go swimming. My mom made me really mad and said I had to play in the baby pool because she had to take care of Ella and couldn't go in the big one with me. I actually think she is just wimpy because the pool is not heated and sometimes the cold makes it kind've hard to breath. Anyway, I showed her and punished her by standing in the baby pool and pouted like a...oh wait.
Well, that about sums up my life. It is a hard one, but someone's got to the the coolest kid in the Loosiana.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tired and dirty!

This spring, Foster and Maya have set new, all-time records of how much dirt can fit onto one little body.
It feels good to be clean.
Ella got really sleepy while playing in her bouncer. Is this considered abuse?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Millers "deaux" Mardi Gras

We have successfully weathered our first Mardi Gras season and wanted to share some of the highlights. We went to only two parades and had a great time at both of them. We first went to the parade in a little town called "Youngsville" the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. It was really fun and the kids got A LOT of "trash"! We went home with a shopping bag literally full of beads and plastic coings and little cups. We went to the King's Parade that came through Lafayette on Fat Tuesday and it was a blast! The floats and costumes were amazing and kids got a lot of beads again! To give you idea of how big a deal this parade was, the King had to pay $50,000.00 to be in it. Hmmm, two new, nice cars or three hours of royalty? We only went to the one parade on Tuesday, but there were parades going on all day long. It was a great time!

Maya, Foster, and a friend waiting for the parade to come.

Throw me somethin' Mister!

Jon and Ella all pimped out.

Posted by Picasa

Ella is signing!

Ella started signing a couple weeks ago and here is the proof! I worked with her on it, literally, only once. She has been, by far, the easiest of my babies to teach. She thinks it is really funny and giggles while she does it. She currently has "All done" and "More" in her repertoire but we are working on "Please." What a big girl!

Ella signing "All Done."

Me showing her the sign for "More."

Her signing "More."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Flat Stanley geaux's Cajun!

Foster got Flat Stanley in the mail from his cousin Hunter. We decided to take Stanley out for crawfish and Cajun dancin'!
Foster, Stanley, and Maya posing by the very fierce looking alligator outside of the restaurant. Maya is trying to mimic the fierceness.
Foster loves crawfish! This was his second time eating the little "mud bugs", as they are called here. I think he thinks it is fun to dismember his dinner before eating it. Should I be worried about this? This looks like a lot of food, but it is very deceptive. It is a lot of work to peal one and you only get about half a bite.
Flat Stanley being attacked by a mutant crawfish.
Foster, Maya, Ella, and me waiting to take a turn on the dance floor. At a lot of the Cajun restaurants here, they have live music and dancing. Especially right now, as it is Mardi Gras time and also crawfish season.

Foster and Flat Stanley posing with the band. Pretty exciting stuff. I think that Flat Stanley will have quite the story to tell when we get him back to Hunter. Also, as a bonus, he will go back smelling of dead fish.
Coming soon: Flat Stanley goes to a Mardi Gras parade! We'll be sure to have a talk with him about approriate behavior at the parade. No flashing allowed. With any luck, he will get enough beads to take back to the class.
We are enjoying being here and learning about this crazy Cajun culture! It has been very interesting!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Life Lessons

Since moving from Lynden, I have learned many truths. I like to call these truths "life lessons." This posting is my attempt at sharing these "life lessons" with you in hopes that you will b able to learn from my vast experience and, thus, have your life improved.

Life Lesson #1: Babies aren't very good at disguising themselves.

LIfe Lessson #2: All small children, and even some adults, love large, dead, stuffed animals.

Life Lesson #3: Never, never, never tell children that they may turn on the jets in Grandma Foster's tub and then blow dry your hair and put on your makeup and neglect to glance over at said "children." This never turns out well.

Life Lesson #4: Do not trust bored husband with camera. He will not take the world's next "best photo," but will use the camera as his vehicle to rekindle his love of making silly faces when told to "say cheese."

Lfe Lesson #5: Never allow sweet-looking, freshly fed baby to give you a kiss on your forehead. You will not like the results. (Why couldn't she have done it on herself? I was at least showered and dressed for the day while she, obviously, was not.)

The Bouncer

Here is Ella looking sweet and cute.

And here is Ella looking sweet, and cute, and happy...And why is Ella looking happy?...

She's in her bouncer! Ella lovesto be in her bouncer and she loves to work those leg muscles. (She loves her giant flower-hat too, don't you think?)

Friday, February 2, 2007

A Day At the Park

I was going through some old pictures and found these. As my camera is broken and I am unable to post new pictures, I decided to post these. They were taken at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, WA. It is a great park right on the waterfront where we liked to go and play on the toys and roll down the hill and bike the trail and watch the sailboats go by. We really miss it!

Jon and Foster were having a "rolling down the hill the fastest" contest. I don't remember who won.

While it may look like Foster and Jon are enjoying the view, they are actually debating over who won the contest. Give it up Jon. He was two and a half.

Foster, Jon, and Maya watching the sunset on an obliging log.
Posted by Picasa