Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Vanguard Program

Alex got into the Vanguard Program at River Oaks Elementary!
HISD Magnet program provides a subset called the Vanguard program. The Vanguard program provides a differentiated curriculum by enriching the depth, complexity, and pacing. ROE is the most sought after school for children entering this program.
I am still a little in shock.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Spirit

I had questions...I got answers.
I got lazy...I was numb.

Clothes Make the Woman?

Since my 3rd kid arrived, I have been far from what one would call a Fashion Diva. My Mother said as she looked in my closet a few months ago, "That is the most pathetic thing I have ever seen."
With that comment, I decided to start getting myself together. It started slowly, but as of late, the shopping has gotten a little out of control.
I know this sounds trite to some, but it is so easy to get into the mall and loose your mind! "Must have everything!"
I like to look pulled together and quality does matter, but my heart doesn't need to be set "upon riches and upon the vain things of the world (Alma 4:8)." I had been thinking about that Coach purse more than my Heavenly Father. Out of whack? Yep.
Don't get me wrong, I will continue to buy pretty things for myself, but they will not be extravagant.

"For they beheld with great sorrow that the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen...; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel (Alma 4:6)."

My Buddies

My two best friends,
I love that we are different in almost every way one can think, but we love and accept one another unconditionally.
There are no words to express my gratitude for your friendship.
Kissy Kissy,

Work It Out

For the past few days I have been very short tempered with my kids. I chalked it up to Don being out of town, but after my workout today, I realized it was my lack of physical activity. I love to work out hard. Just showing up at the gym for a mild work out doesn't do it for doesn't release those happy hormones. Today, I worked out so hard that I could hardly walk down the stairs. I felt great and have been MUCH more patient with my children. Hummm....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Grateful Sunday

I am thankful for my Mother's guidance. She said to me once, "Don't make the same mistakes I did." That stuck with me.
I pay close attention to the choices people make. I use their experiences to sculpt my own. Doing this saves me time, energy and heartache.
Of course, this is just one example of Moms' many pearls of wisdom.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mom, I miss Jesus

What do you say to a three year old who says, "Mom, I miss Jesus. He is already up in Heaven, and I miss him."?
I told Cole Jesus is always with us. All we have to do is say a prayer. That wasn't good enough. He wants a tangible Jesus. A Jesus he can hug. It seems so cruel to tell him Jesus loves him, but he will not come over for a play date.

Ten Thousand Million Diamonds

"Three years after this difficult decision to leave my job, our daughter Aerie asked me, 'Mom if someone said you could have then thousand million diamonds or your Aerie, what would you choose?' I told her, 'I would choose my Aerie.' She went on, 'If someone said you could have ten million hundred dollars or your Aerie, what would you choose?' Again, I told her, 'I would choose my Aerie.'
Ensign, April 2007
Mother, Come Home by Shauna Bird Dunn

This article was written, I think, just for me. I, like the Mommy who wrote this article, wanted to be a corporate leader when I grew up. It never crossed my mind to be a Stay-at-Home Mom. I wanted power suites not "worn clothes covered in peanut butter."
Tears filled my eyes after reading this article. I wouldn't trade any of my kids for ten thousand million diamonds. When I made my plans to be a business powerhouse, I had no idea what value came along with being a Mom. I just didn't, and couldn't, understand how valuable my children would be.

Sure, I want my suites back sometimes, but I am sure if I were in the business world, I would want my kids back more.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Birth Order

When I see my kids, I see very unique individuals. They each have a special title in my head:

Alex--my first born

Cole--my Mini-Me

Randi--my girl

Wonder if these titles effect how I treat them? Don't know?
Guess I will ask them one day.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful that I can finely see the light!
Alex is going to Kindergarten, Cole is almost potty trained, and Randi is walking and talking. We can finally go places without a struggle. We can have people over and actually talk to them. I am pretty excited about being a parent now a days.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Prophet?

Our family went out to eat last night. An older gentleman walked in, and Cole said, "There's the Prophet. He doesn't have any hair." Everyone without hair seems to be "the Prophet" to Cole.
Then Don says, "What did my son just say?" I realized the title "Prophet" could be really off putting to someone not in the church. I explained our Prophet is the President of our Church, and he leads us as Prophets of old lead their people...for example, Moses.
Don then says, "It's not that the Mormon Church is weird, it is the language you guys use. Prophet, Apostle, Brother and Sister, Testimony. That is what sounds weird, not the principles behind it."
I couldn't agree more.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I have Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy

I wanted to Post my Liver issue for "future generations." This is very, if you are not in my family, you probably don't want to read this post.

What is Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP)?

ICP, otherwise known as Obstetric Cholestasis (OC), refers to a specific liver condition in which the normal flow of bile is impaired in a woman's body resulting severe itching and more rarely, jaundice. Although ICP has been reported as early as a few weeks pregnant, it is more common for it to begin in the third trimester, when hormone concentrations are at their highest levels. The figure for the percentage of women for whom ICP will recur in future pregnancies is still somewhat debated, but some sources claim it to be as high as 90%. ICP is also referred to as choleastais of pregnancy and pruritus gravidarum.

What causes ICP?

There is still much to be learned about the exact causes of ICP and it's manifestation, but researchers are currently investigating genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. There has been some research that indicate a particular gene mutation in some ICP patients, but much is yet to be defined.

Who is at risk for ICP?

Overall, 1 to 2 pregnancies in 1000 are affected by ICP. Women carrying multiples and those who have had previous liver damage may be more likely to develop ICP. The incidence of ICP also shows a striking geographical pattern, with a higher prevalence in Scandanavia and South America. The highest rates of ICP are noted in Chile, specifically in the Araucanian Indians, where as many as 28% women are affected. Mothers and sisters of patients of ICP are also at higher risk of developing the condition, proving that there is a definite genetic predisposition.

What are the symptoms of ICP?

Symptoms of ICP can vary in severity and type, but the most common ones include:

Itching all over, but often more severe on palms and soles
Dark Urine and/or Pale Stools (greyish in color)
Fatigue or Exhaustion
Sleep Deprivation from Itching
Loss of Appetite
Mild Depression
Less common symptoms include:

Upper-Right Quadrant Pain
Severe Depression
What are the risks of ICP?

ICP poses several risks that are of great concern. ICP is associated with an increased risk for infant stillbirth, premature labor, fetal distress, and hemmoraghing in both mother and child.

What is the treatment for ICP?

Despite the possible outcomes of ICP, proper treatment for ICP provides a great degree of reduction in both fetal risk and maternal symptoms. The two most important factors in the treatment of ICP are reducing the bile acids in the bloodstream and delivering the mother as early as lung maturiy will allow, often at 36 or 37 weeks gestation. In cases where bile acids do not respond to treatment, it may be necessary to deliver earlier than lung maturity to protect the child from the possibility of stillbirth.

Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA), also known as Actigall or Urso is currently the front-line medication for the treatment of ICP. UDCA is a naturally occuring bile acid that improves liver function and helps reduce total bile acid concentration in the bloodstream. Please view the 'Treatment' page for more information about ICP treatment and management, as well as additional information about UDCA and it's use.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Which One?

I am trying to branch out of the diaper bag that has been on my hip for the past 5 years. I am so behind in purse fashion.
I am considering buying one of these hand bags.
Which one do you guys like?

Monday, March 12, 2007

My LDS Anniversary

It's my 1 year anniversary.

The Temple

For the past year I have been wondering why the Temple is so important to LDS people. Today, after some prompting to just go to the grounds and be still, I went. When I first arrived, I thought, "well, that's pretty, but it is just a building." I prayed, and when I was done babbling my little confused prayer, He spoke. Nothing I could say was appropriate. I was only to listen.
I couldn't move. The message was as clear as someone sitting next to me.
"It is not the building. It is what's in it."
Not the material, but the pure Spiritual content. It is a great place of learning.
I went there expecting to see the building, but hoping to find more. I found more than I can express.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful for our Church Leaders. Ward Conference today was inspiring. Our Layman Leaders are filled with so much love for each one of us.
I came away from church today with a whole laundry list of things I can do better, but what sticks with me is that we are all in this together. We, Leaders included, are all doing the best we can. We shouldn't feel guilty when we fall short. But we should, however, repent and strive to do better.

Things I can do better:

1) Honor the Sabbath more...plan ahead meals and stay home to spend quiet time with friends and family (little or no TV)
2) Have our family prayers be more reverent
3) Do my family history and Temple work
4) Do a better FHE
5) Contact the Bishop about my Temple Recommend
6) Write little notes to those Sisters I have been thinking about
7) Study the scriptures more diligently
8) Apologize for not supporting a friend in the way I should have
9) Find out how to get my Patriarchal Blessing

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My ABC's

* ACCENT: Southern Hick

* BEST FRIEND: Nicole...she loves me know matter what...she also knows me better than I know me


* DOG OR CAT: Neither...I am not an animal fan


* FAVORITE SALAD DRESSING: Home made vinigerette (EVOO, Balsalmic, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, pepper)

* GOLD OR SILVER: jewlery? I love it all

* HANDBAG OF CHOICE: I am eyeing this tan leather Coach is pretty expensive...but I'm worth it :)



* KIDS: Alex, 5 -- Cole, 3 -- Randi, 1


* MOST FREQUENTLY CRAVED SNACK: chocolate cake (those little one minute microwave ones!)

* NAIL POLISH OF CHOICE: Do I have to have a favorite? It depends on my mood.


* PHOBIAS: Don't really have any (though, heights are starting to make me nervous in my old age)

* QUOTE: I can't remember my own name...much less a quote

* REASON TO SMILE: I have a family to love

* SIBLINGS: Page Edward, 8 years older than me


* UNKNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I love the process of giving birth (labor and delivery and the the first few days after)

* VEGETABLE I REFUSE TO EAT: brussel sprouts

* WORST HABIT: picking at my zits

* X-RAYS: make sure the B.B. in there wasn't causing any issues

* YUMMY FOOD I MAKE: If I don't like it...I don't make, it's all yummy to me


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Cole's Poop

He did it...He did it...He did it!
Cole pooped in the potty with out me asking!
While getting Randi ready for bed, I put Cole and Alex in the shower.
A short time later, Cole came running into Randi's bedroom, naked and dripping wet. He told me he had pooped in the potty. Yes, you heard me right. He pooped in the potty, not the shower, and he did it without my prompting! Oh, happy day.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

"Our world is a little bitty tiny."

Cole says to me tonight as I am tucking him in, "Our world is a little bitty tiny." That made me think. If the Earth is just a average rock in one of many Galaxies, and we are mere grains of sand, how do we come to believe our little lives are so important? I usually don't stop to think about how much our life depends upon an enormous collaboration of natural forces.
I keep picturing us as little worker ants. We drive our cars to the laundry, to school, to the grocery, and then we do it all again.
But then I think, how fortunate are we to be called forth from out of the dust to be be an ant?

A Rodeo Day

A few School Moms and I went shopping at the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo this morning. I felt right at home in the mist of all the cowboy gear. Growing up we had cows and tractors in our yard. I never thought anything about it. After touring the shopping area, I realized just how “country" I was.
I remembered why you should NOT buy one of those plates for a belt buckle (those must be earned, not bought), straw hats are for summer (don't even think about buying the shiny plastic looking ones), and real cowgirls don't wear rhinestones or frilly dresses (just jeans, boots and hats).
One of the Mom's I went with is actually helping out with the rodeo this year. She had A LOT of useful information. She showed us where to go and where not to bother. She showed us how to find the good food. She even gave us tips on what time to get there and what time to bolt. Very informative.
This thing is HUGE...the biggest Live Stock Show and Rodeo in the world. It was really nice to go during the day and get the lay of the land. There was hardly anyone there. I think I will bring Alex tomorrow during the day instead of braving the nighttime crowds.
Whether you are a seasoned cowpoke or a cultured city slicker, this event is one that shouldn't be missed.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Little League

Alex's first Little League game was Saturday. It was quite interesting. Some boys were really good, and some, like Alex, stood around chewing on their gloves. There were lots of falls, fowl balls and missed throws. It couldn’t have been any better.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Grateful Sunday

I am thankful for my bed. I am so tired...I can't think of anything better.
BTW, this picture is so not my bed. A girl can dream, can't she?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Funny Quotes

Cole: Could you help me Mommy? (needed a push while riding his bike)
Me: Sure (push)
Cole: You're my Hero.

Alex: Mommy, I love you.
Me: Ahh, that is so sweet.
Alex: I love you because you pick out my favorite shirts to wear.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Skirts Again

“When and where is it acceptable for young women to wear pants when involved in Church-related activities?”

“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Dec. 1974, 12–13

Answer/Sister Hortense H. Child

I suppose two of the most frequently asked questions that I receive in my contacts with girls and adult leaders throughout the Church are: “When and where can girls wear pants?” “Do they have to change into dresses for certain activities?”

Very frequently we find adult leaders and youth in disagreement about the appropriateness and acceptability of dress. It is easy to forget that what is acceptable for one may not be for another.

Often there is a difference between what is acceptable in the world and what is appropriate for Latter-day Saint women to wear. To be acceptable, something is satisfactory or agreeable. To be appropriate means that which is proper and suitable. Often what is acceptable is not appropriate, but generally what is appropriate will be acceptable. How, then, can you be helped to know what is appropriate for you to wear as you engage in Church-related or other activities?

Following is the statement of the First Presidency of the Church made in June 1971 regarding women’s dress:
(See Feb. blog/Church Statement of Attire)

The Brethren who published this statement are prophets of God who are motivated by their knowledge of God, his purpose and plan of life, and a deep desire to assist us all to live happily and righteously. They have advised and given counsel. They have not instructed in detail as to what is acceptable except to say that we are advised not to wear slacks or miniskirts when attending the temple. Their counsel is to be modest and avoid embarrassment to ourselves, our families, and our friends.

When and where you young women wear pants, except in those cases that are defined by those having authority to do so, is a decision that you yourselves must make in consultation with your parents and leaders...

“… Guided by the Holy Spirit, let parents, teachers, and youth consider the particulars of dress, grooming, and personal appearance, and with free agency accept responsibility and choose the right.” (Priesthood Bulletin, Sept. 1970.)

Therefore, young women, you and your parents must evaluate and decide when you will wear pants. You have the ability with the help of your Heavenly Father to decide for yourself what is appropriate and acceptable to wear based on correct principles and understanding. When you do this, the world can be more beautiful because of you.


*What's the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to you?
I asked Cole if I should go back to work.
He said, "You already have a job. You are my Mommy."
I don't know why, but that stuck.

* What was you most embarrassing moment?
In high school, I was dating two boys that attended different schools. They found out about each other and confronted me TOGETHER. That pretty much sucked.

* What's your favorite place in the world?
I am not well traveled, but I feel drawn to Greece and Rome.

* Biggest waste of time?

* One or two-piece swimsuit?
One. No one over 30 with three kids should be wearing a 2 piece.

* If I knew then what I know now...
I would have joined the LDS church long ago.

* The big decision I'm currently wrestling with is...
to buy a skirt for church or not.