Sunday, September 30, 2007

Too Cute

Good news: We've had some interest in our house lately. We've got one couple who we believe have been here two - maybe three times - and possibly another who is interested.

Bad news: You have to vacate the house when they want to tour it. 95% of the time, this will occur between 1 - 2 p.m. For those of you with toddlers, you know what time that is, right? Naptime.

My solution - ICE CREAM. I mean, really, even when they're tired and cranky, it's good enough bribery to keep them behaving somewhat. The Dairy Queen is somewhat close (8 miles), it'd take almost exactly an hour, it was safe from the rain showers, and the opposite direction from the race track.

The best part of the whole trip, listening to Morgan talk about going to "Dairy Cream".

Saturday, September 29, 2007


One of the stark realities of being submerged into the medical world, is that we've been introduced to too many children who have left this world way too early. Liver disease isn't pretty. It's sometimes hard for me to realize that if Tanner had been born a generation ago, his odds of survial would have been around 20%. It's still hard to realize that even today, a child with Biliary Atresia chances of survival are around 80%.

When we were first submerged into this liver world, three families surrounded us with love, warmth, understanding, and friendship. Two of those families, Aiden's and Anthony's, had very similar stories to Tanner's. They were little boys, born with Biliary Atresia, had liver transplant when they were under 1 year old, and have done well since then.

The other, was Haley's family. Aiden's mom and Haley's mom were very close - and the four of us would often chat on AOL Instant Messenger. Haley's story was very different - she had Autoimmune Hepatitis, and she wasn't diagnosed until she was in childhood.

Haley had a love and compassoin for the other little kids touched by liver disease. She had a true compassion for them - and she reached out to them in the most special way. Haley was a gifted singer and songwriter - she wrote songs for these kids. Beautiful, relevant, funny songs. Billy Rubin talks about bilirubin being a mean fellow and turning her skin yellow, Prednisone talked about the ill effects that this commonly used steroid can have on our liver kids, and Hots! was written for Aiden who used to enjoy McDonald's French Fries after his regular lab draws. But, my favorite song is Everywhere - which talks about her strong faith in God, even through her illness.

Haley had so much spunk. She had a massive brain bleed in February 2005. During surgery, they shaved part of her head - and when she saw it, her comment was "You should never let a neurosurgeon cut your hair." This girl was flooded with hats that people sent her to wear while her hair grew back in. And, what did she do? She shared them with other kids who didn't have hair (many of them cancer patients). She sang at fundraisers whenever possible.

Two years ago on Monday, October 1, Haley lost her fight. At the time, she was just a little over a month away from her 12th birthday. I still remember when I first heard that she'd gone home to heaven. It still hurts me, two years later - I can't imagine the pain that her family endures on a daily basis. Haley's legacy continues in a foundation that her parents started in her honor - The Haley Vincent Foundation. Through this foundation, they send out care packages to kids who are in the hospital due to liver disease and transplant.

I don't talk about it often on this website, although I really should. Organ donors save lives. If Haley had gotten a transplant, she might still be with us here today. I could list a long list of names here - all children who died waiting for a liver transplant or from complications from getting their transplant after they were too sick. These are children - not people who have abused their livers through drink, alcohol, or drugs. There are over 90,000 people waiting for an organ donation right now. Please consider being an organ donor - and make sure that your family is aware of your decision. To find out more about organ donation, please go here.

Angel Haley, we still miss you, girl.

Friday, September 28, 2007


This is the conversation that Randy & I overheard tonight as the kids were enjoying the last of their bath.

"Tanner, do you have a sore on your penis?"

"No, I don't have a sore on my penis. I have a helmet." (I have no idea where he got this from...)

"You have a helmet?"

"Yes, that is where the butterfly* bit me...and drank my blood."

So, my next question - at what age do you make boy/girl twins quit taking baths with each other?

*Now, the butterfly part I get. Whenever Tanner has to have his blood drawn for labs, they use a butterfly needle. We tell him that the butterfly is going to bite him and then drink his blood. Yeah, I know, whacked out & a little weird, but it prevents him from crying during lab sticks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Sucks

You know it can't be a good sign when the day you put your house on the market, the stock market drops over 200 points, it's the first day of school, and it's over 100 F outside. It's now been six weeks, and we've only had FOUR couples tour the house. That's disappointinly low.

And, I knew it would be really, really hard to try to maintain a "show" home with two three year olds in the house. That has been difficult - incredibly difficult. But you know what's worse?

Having people come through and critque your house. Randy & I designed this house - giving so much thought into the location of everything in the home - making sure it was laid out to be easily lived in. It's very well constructed, with behind the scene things that you don't get in normal houses (radiant floor heat, whole house audio system, a light switch to turn off/on the Christmas lights). It may not be the most architecturally intersting house you'll ever see - but it's a comfortable home that is easy to live in.

So my point? Oh yeah, getting there, when they fill out the survey on their tour, it's a personal assualt when they write something like "didn't like the layout at all" or "it would be great except for the staircase".

And worst of all? As my husband said this weekend, the house doesn't even feel like it's ours anymore. As per all the shows / books / websites on "designing your house to sell", we've decluttered, hidden the toys, and removed many of the sentimental things in our home. Our wedding pictures are stored away - pictures of the kids. Trust me - it's nice to kick back and relax in an incredibly clean home - but I just wish it felt like ours.

So - if you've got some "sell the house" vibes out there - please send them our way.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Preview of Halloween 2007

During our Open House today, we took the kids shopping for their Halloween costumes. I was resigned to letting them pick their own costumes - and I was tickled when they actually did chose a "twin like" costume.

Monday, September 03, 2007

It can't be good...

when you hear a loud crash, screaming & crying from the boy, followed by - "I'm sorry, Tanner, I'm sorry, Tanner!"