Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Good

Lately our days have go one way or the other - terribly bad or insanely good. I am happy to report that today was of the insanely good variety! I am learning quickly to better appreciate the good days so they can carry me through the challenging ones.
Today started off like this ...
I get a secret thrill over Brady's obsession with reading. He has a Signing Time book and can recognize what the characters are signing and will often sign back. In his own way Brady is reading. So take that, you 16-month old reading prodigy I saw on the Today Show!
Here he is a few minutes later clinging to my sweats while I am trying to get ready.
Just as I start to feel annoyed that my hair will dry funny and that my pants are falling off Brady asks for "up", grabs both of my cheeks, plants a giant kiss on me, lunges to get back down and goes about his merry way throwing toys into the bathtub. I could not ask for a sweeter boy.
Later on...

Today Raising Special Kids held their annual Special Day for Special Kids at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. We had so much fun last year we have been counting down the days and praying Brady would have a good day.
I have to admit I was not a fan of the petting zoo. I was wearing flip flops and was way too worried about stepping in poo.

We ran into a good friend from our music therapy group at Foundation for Blind Children and watched baby Z for a few minutes. Brady is getting old enough to touch babies "soft." Woo hoo!

By the way, Brady is blessed with perfectly normal vision. The kind staff at Foundation for Blind Children took us in simply because his eyes are extremely sensitive to sunlight (why he is always wearing sunglasses in outdoor pics). We are extremely fortunate to be involved with these organizations and I really wish something similar existed in Utah.

Thanks for reading about our day. I hope yours was as good as ours. :-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On Friends...

I posted late last night, went to bed, and when I got up this morning to check our blog I found so many wonderful and supportive comments. We are so incredibly fortunate to have such amazing and loving friends!!!

A few weeks ago I attended a support meeting full of parents of children with various disabilities. Led by a licensed therapist, we shared our various frustrations and discussed different means of coping. Virtually all of the other parents shared their sadness over losing most of the friends they had before their special children came into their life. I sat there thinking "whaaaaaaat?" and avoided eye contact with the therapist for fear she would ask me about friends. I felt a tiny bit guilty sitting there thinking that NOT A SINGLE ONE of our friends has not been absolutely supportive to us!

I have most likely broken down in front of all of you at least once, or maybe even shut down and avoided friends altogether during a difficult period of diagnosis and grieving. I am so appreciative of your patience and understanding. And thank you for turning my tears of sadness this morning after Brady had yet another seizure to tears of gratitude. We love and appreciate you all so much!

p.s. Troy continues to discuss our options with our neurologist (they speak by phone at least once a week). We still have several options available to us - it's just a matter of trying each one out which will take a bit of time. We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I love blogging and the opportunity it presents to record our little family's history, especially considering we don't scrapbook or write in journals. However, I have hesitated to blog about some recent events because I am having a difficult time staying positive!

We were hoping that putting Brady on seizure meds would decrease the frequency and/or severity of his seizures but unfortunately the opposite has occured. He has had 2 to 3 seizures per week lately, some of which have clustered together and turned into grand mal seizures. When this happens we administer a valium suppository and it then takes Brady two or three days to return to normal activities like walking or going to his usual therapy appointments. He is averaging one or two good days a week when he seems like himself.

We are becoming more skilled at handling each situation as it arises and no longer feel the need to call the paramedics. However, each 'event' is still incredibly frightening. It's also becoming frustrating to cancel all of our plans at the last minute and continue to sleep with Brady during all naps and throughout every night. We are finally admitting that we need some help and are starting the process of hiring a respite care provider. Respite basically consists of babysitters who are trained to care for Brady's specific needs and could watch over him while we are home and need some rest, while Troy goes on errands during the day, or in the rare possibility that Troy and I could go out on a date. It might sound insane that we have never hired a sitter since moving to AZ but we are paranoid parents who haven't really dared to ask for help followed by directions for what to do if Brady turns blue.

We have met some amazing families on our journey with Brady, many of whom have extremely medically fragile children, some with limited life expectancy. This has brought me some needed perspective and has helped me adjust my expectations of what I thought my life was going to look like once I had children. I still have my bad days but will readily admit that the positives in our situation ALWAYS outweigh the negatives. I mean, have you seen this smile?

I feel better already. Thank you, internet, for helping me stay positive.

Friday, March 21, 2008

100% Random

Not much to blog about this week. You know you're getting desperate to get out when your idea of an exciting Friday night consists of checking out the new Whole Foods store down the street. Here are some pics of a few of the people we run into each week...

This is Brady's physical therapist, Amber. Brady has worked with Amber twice a week for over a year now. I'm sure he considers her family because, without exception, he squeals with delight when we pull into the parking lot on Wednesday & Friday mornings. That stinker has even been known to give Amber extra hugs and kisses in attempts to distract her from particularly challenging sessions.

This is Betsy, Brady's new speech therapist. Speech has been especially challenging/frustrating but Betsy (along with Brady's feeding therapist Angie) never gives up! They are even traveling to the east coast this month for training which they think will help Brady work with them more effectively. We have a handful of other therapists we absolutely love but I don't have pictures yet!

Last but not least... Miss Jules, who despite her Diva appearance is actually very tolerant of BYU t-shirt wearing little neighbor boys :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

Here it is…the long awaited (or at least long winded) 2nd half of the “Farnsworth Tag”

Ten Years Ago-
I was senior at BYU playing baseball and majoring in health (minoring in pe/coaching…I insanely added drivers ed as a second minor years later).

Five Places I Have (not?) Visited-
I have been very fortunate when it comes to traveling the country. There are only a handful of states (literally) that I have yet to see or step foot on. 10 years of living on a bus and in hotels took me to some amazing places. Here are some of my favorite (and not so favorite) places that I have either lived or visited. I listed them by region since I know we all have March Madness on our minds. Most of my opinions are formed by the experiences I had at the ball parks, hotels, and hole in the wall restaurants (After all, what else in life matters?). Oh yeah, people matter too. I have met some amazing life long friends in every region along the way.
1. West (I may be a little biased but Utah tops the list…too bad I never took advantage of the mountains before we moved away)
Places to visit: Lake Powell (I am forever in debt to the Culley’s), La Jolla...home of my first attempt at surfing (Kajsa calls me the biggest poser but that’s ok, I loved it…all 15 or 20 seconds of it!!), and Las Vegas (there’s nothing like the sound of money hitting the bins as you enter the casinos…luckily I don’t drink and I’m too poor to gamble much or I’d really be in trouble)
Place to avoid: Adelanto, CA (Unless you like tumbleweeds and ending your baseball career!)
2. Southwest
Places to visit: Phoenix, and Houston (NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, PGA, Tennis Masters, Major Universities, Spring Training, golf and tennis year-round, and great restaurants (especially in Houston)…need I say more
Place to avoid: The stretch of highway from El Paso to Houston!
3. Midwest…I loved the Midwest (the weather was crazy and I loved the people/lifestyle. I don’t know why but I am fascinated by farming and I couldn’t believe the first time I saw the sky turn green right before a crazy storm hit and tornado sirens were sounding).
Places to visit: Sioux Falls (I never thought I would say it but I loved living in South Dakota…but then again I also loved living in Price, UT so take it for what it’s worth!!), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Lincoln
Place to avoid: Clinton, IA (it literally stinks there.)
4. Northeast…Although the West/Midwest/Southwest is more my style, it is crazy when you realize how much history there is in this part of the country. I also could not believe how green it was the first summer that I spent in Upstate New York.
Places to visit: Washington, D.C. (we are counting that as northeast), NYC, Boston / Foxboro (Ok so I’ve never actually been to Boston or Foxboro but I know they would make my list after taking in a Red Sox and Patriots game. I’ve seen the Patriots play in Miami, and the Red Sox play in Phoenix but I have not seen them play at home yet.)
Place to avoid: All freeways at rush hour.
5. South
Places to visit: Clearwater Beach, South Beach, Coco Beach, Key West, Myrtle Beach…see any pattern
Place to avoid:

I Enjoy (surprisingly these are not in any particular order)…
1. All sports (tennis is my sport of choice right now)
2. Playing the guitar (especially with friends)
3. The Outback Special…medium rare, sweet potato (with butter, sugar, and cinnamon), about 3 loafs of the bread, and salad with ranch
4. Learning (but I hate reading)
5. Music…Here are my all time favorites (this one is in order of course)
1. Counting Crows
2. 3 Doors Down
3. Toad the Wet Sprocket
4. Goo Goo Dolls
5. Pearl Jam (Ten Only)
6. Vertical Horizon
7. Jeremy Camp
8. Our Lady Peace
9. Phil Collins / Genesis
10. #’s 1-9 acoustic
6. Eating bowl after bowl of cereal before bed like I’m still in High School
7. Water and Sun (Water-skiing, surfing, swimming, the beach…I love it all)
8. Rain (Especially the laugh out loud, because you can’t believe how hard it’s coming down rain) 9. Ocean, Mountain, Forest, Lake, River, Farmland, Desert (or any other) Views that makes a location unique
10. A good burger
11. The 4th of July (It doesn’t get any better than baseball, barbeques, and fireworks)
12. A good laugh
13. T.V. (see #12)…Friends, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men and my new favorite…Rules of Engagement
14. Late night Donut runs
15. Listening to Kajsa play the piano (Don’t ask her though…she won’t play if you do)
16. Reading cd inserts to find other musicians’ musical influences
17. Fast Food…We currently live less than one mile from an In and Out Burger (A friend of mine likes to give me grief because I always give directions using fast food restaurants as land marks)
18. Being Mr. Mom
19. Doing things late at night
20. Brady’s smile/laugh

3 Bad Habits
1- I’m obsessive
2- I’m cheap
3- I’m stubborn

5 Things You May Not Know About Me

1- I’m a list maker…everything has to be ranked (I found out that this may genetic after I found lists upon lists in my Grandma’s drawer with things like: soups I like…soups I really like…soups I don’t like…etc)
2-I have recorded 2 acoustic cd’s (sort of)…One contains original songs and lyrics (which my friend Curtis and his brother Adam later took and added guitar solos, and backup vocals and gave me as a gift). The other cd contains covers of some of my favorite songs.
3- I have driven across the country twice without stopping for more than a couple of power naps. I did this once with a friend from D.C. to SLC and once by myself from Jacksonville to SLC…I do not recommend this unless you enjoy hallucinating and urinating on yourself because you’re too tired to realize your clothes are in the line of fire.
4-Since leaving for college I’ve had at least 25 addresses changes (only counting those that were for at least a month or longer). These changes included 16 cities and 11 states.
5-The only place I’ve been outside of the U.S. is Winnipeg, Canada.

5 Jobs I’ve Had
1- Office runner (Howells Systems)…A new family tradition
2- Construction (ok grunt) Worker…I still laugh at this because I am useless when it comes to fixing things and my co-workers had to play a game of charades every time they needed a tool.
3- Personal Trainer (Bally’s)
4- Assistant Coach (Houston Christian High School and BYU)
5- Head Baseball Coach / Health and PE teacher (Timpview High School)

I know it’s long but once I start on something (as you now know) I obsess until it’s done. Good luck to all of your brackets…except for you Kajsa…this is finally my year to beat you (unless of course you win the $500 in your office pool again like last year).
I tag Matt & Sara Staker and Curtis & Tami Sanders

Where Is The Man Tag?

Troy, we are all anxiously awaiting your tag! I know you have been preoccupied by your NCAA brackets as you are trying to beat my picks at least once in your lifetime. But some of us really want to see more stuff about you on this blog.

I know you started working on it the other night and got frustrated by how long it might take after you spent a good ten minutes rewording "I got tagged by Kajsa and Jane" because it sounded too dirty. No one was fazed by your SLCC Balls comment over at Jenn's blog so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Also, I promise I will stop giving you grief over not mentioning me in the "10 years ago" category.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easter, Brady Style

Our first Easter Egg hunt! The HOA loaded the park with eggs and made all of the kids wait 15 minutes longer than initially planned. I thought there was going to be a riot - the bigger kids were angry, yelling, and grabbing the yellow tape ready to destroy!

Ready, set, go...

Brady thinks eggs are boring, eats sand and lunges for Mom's camera.

Maybe this is because Mom tried to pass off her purse as an Easter basket.

Meeting up with Dad for some pizza at Sauce was much more Brady's style.

Enough with the pictures!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Hmmm.. now that I read my previous post I think it could be taken a couple of different ways, one of which might be slightly offensive!

I actually had two separate thoughts when I made the post, 1) to poke fun at myself and 2) to recognize the fact that most of the kind readers and commentors of our posts are, in fact, friends from Granger High. I was in no way poking fun at anyone but myself.

Troy and I have been reading friends' blogs together and reminiscing so I guess I just have high school on the brain.

Sorry if it didn't come out right!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Soooo High School

I found this blog test over at Clementine. Apparently Troy & I write at a high school level which is only fitting considering that our comments section resembles a Granger High School reunion!

blog readability test

I am actually thrilled considering this thing can return an Elementary rating. Kudos to Troy who constantly responds to me yelling across the house "Ime bloging - come and help mah spell and write goood!" Troy has serious spelling skills which drives me nuts because I AM ALWAYS READING while he prefers not to read anything more lengthy than the captions in Sports Illustrated. I am so jealous of his skills!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Jane Rhodes has tagged us and I'm going first because a joint tag would require Troy and me (Troy is interrupting and trying to change this to 'Troy and I') to work together on a post and see, we are already arguing!
Ten years ago... 1998-I was working full time as an administrative assistant for AT&T Media, living in my parents' basement and going to school at the University of Utah. I was in a ridiculously dramatic, on again, off again relationship with some guy and Mindy Taylor convinced me to go out with one of Scott's friends from Granger who was reported to be both, and I quote, "hot" and "nice." Troy was indeed hot and nice and we went out twice before he left for spring training and I got back together with that other guy. It's a good thing Mindy is persistent because she and Scott were forced to set us up AGAIN in 2002. Obviously the second time stuck!
5 places I've visited...
Other than those parts of Canada & Mexico that are close to the border, my feet have remained firmly planted on U.S. soil. Some of my favorite trips/places...
  • Washington DC
  • Seattle
  • Chicago
  • Minneapolis (on account of that ginormous mall)
  • Oahu
There are so many great places I have yet to see (including NYC!) but the thought of traveling to foreign countries stresses me out. I have always admired those people I know that travel the world!

I enjoy...
  • Troy & Brady (I promise I'm not being cheesy. I really do not get to spend enough time with either of them)
  • Blogging, my new hobby
  • Reading, my lifelong hobby
  • Vegging on the couch watching Oprah, Grey's, Biggest Loser, HGTV, Discovery Health Channel, and totally random shows on MTV/VH1
  • Tennis - Troy taught me a few years ago
  • Skiing - the ONLY sport I can kick Troy's butt in
  • Running - although it's been YEARS

3 bad habits... Only three?

  • Eating junk & never exercising
  • Blog stalking. I am super embarrassed to admit that I like to 'browse' everybody's friends' links, blogs, etc. I am getting better at fessing up and leaving comments. I still don't have a feel for proper blog etiquette!
  • Troy says that I have to list not putting the lids on my contact cases (or anything else) at night. Personally, I think this is no biggie.

5 things you may not know about me...

  • Kajsa is a swedish name that my great aunt found in geneology
  • I was an alternate on the academic decathlon team in high school. Yes, alternate. That means I am a big enough nerd to be on the team but not smart enough to compete. To this day I get along spectacularly with engineers, techies, quants, etc. even though I only understand half of what they say.
  • I have big feet. Have you ever shopped for size 10 1/2? It doesn't exist so I slosh around in 11's or wince in pain every time I take a step.
  • I routinely read medical journals, although US Weekly is a close 2nd.
  • I am a morning person/early bird which Troy hates.

5 jobs I have had...

  • Piano accompanist in a ballet studio - jr. high
  • Bank teller (my cash ALWAYS has to face a certain way now) - college
  • Manager of Red's Frozen Yogurt - high school
  • Risk analyst (swap pricing and option volatility) on a trade floor - in H-town
  • Mommy - unfortunately this occurs outside of work but it's still my job!

I'm tired and you might be asleep if you made it through this list. I now tag Troy (that's two so you better do it!), Erin Johanson and Jenn Culley.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I Love This Gift!

My super talented sister Alexis drew this portrait of Brady and sent it along with Grandma to Phoenix this week. I am constantly amazed at her talent which involves ALL mediums. She has given me several of her paintings over the years and I'm equally amazed by the time and effort she puts forth into everything she does. Ali, sorry for the yellowy tone (and for the lack of proper 'artist' vocabulary)- this is camera user error on my part and not reflective of your art! This is the picture she worked from and thankfully she removed the food from Brady's face.

I'm so proud of Ali. Her talents are endless and she was recently faced with the dilemma of whether to focus on art or music when she attends Utah State this fall. She received a 5 on her AP art exam as a junior and her perfect pitch gives her an advantage in AP music theory. Oh to have such talents. It just won't be the same when I build her a beautiful spreadsheet one day!

Seriously though, figuring out what to study in school can be brutal. However, I know any choice of Ali's will be met with success. Good luck, sis - you only have three more months of senior-itis ;-)

Monday, March 03, 2008

New Developments & Blogging Help

I am in desperate need of some blogging/computers in general help. Does anyone know how to download videos from their camcorder (are they still called this or am I a total dinosaur?) to their computer? We bought the video thing in 2004 and it records to a miniature tape-sort-of device. It came with a cord that plugs in to our computer. However, our computer doesn't automatically recognize this as a storage device and/or explicitly tell me what to do from there.

I am dying to get some of our videos on youtube so I can show everyone that Brady is now walking. That's right, he is WALKING ON HIS OWN ALL OVER THE HOUSE! Thanks to Coach Farnsworth, Brady is even carrying a mini basketball around and dunking it in his little hoop! It's just not the same telling everyone about it. I want to show video proof!