Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Sawyer!!

I can't believe this was a year ago and I can't believe our little Sawyer is ONE!! He's such a JOY and adds so much love and fun to our family. Some of my favorite moments from this year were being able to watch him and bond with him during that week. He's kind of a momma's boy (nothing wrong with that!), so it was fun to get some one-on-one time with him : ) Unlike Harrison, he's a cuddler...nuzzle and nibble your neck ferociously cuddler and I just soaked it in!

Happy Birthday Love! Your Aunt Sharlie ADORES you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008


It's been two weeks since I returned home from Sanoviv and I am reaping the benefits of the treatments I received there! There is just no place like Sanoviv to get grounded and retreat for a time into an environment that it is entirely about healing mind, body and spirit. It involves intense medical treatments, vigorous detoxing, healing food that is live, beautiful and delicious, education, friendship and encouragement, meditation, and complete pampering.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity I have had to spend time there every year and believe it is a huge factor in why I am so strong and doing so well. I am also grateful for such a supportive and loving family who helped make the whole experience possible. Ryan and I were there for the first week while my mom and Ryan's mom took turns taking care of (spoiling!) Harrison. As hard as it was for me to be away from my baby, I knew he was in the BEST hands and was having so much fun with his beloved Granparents! Then my mom was able to bring Harrison down for a day so I could be with him. Having him there was definitely the highlight of the was the boost I needed to make it through the rest of the week. Since his conception, he has been my most potent healer and his kisses, cuddles and laughter lifted my spirits and reaffirmed my desire to fight as hard as I am able to remain his healthy momma!

After Ryan and Harrison left, I was so blessed to have my mom, Zak and Chelsea there with me for the second week. Chelsea left her own three kids to be there with me and I appreciate that sacrifice more than she'll ever know. She is just always there when I need her and it was so great to spend that time with her. It was also wonderful to be with my mom and Zak who provided needed comfort, encouragement and comic relief among other things! It was very special to all be there together and I hope we get the opportunity again to be there together, including Dax!

Here are a few of the pictures that summarize my stay!

Scenic Views: The Sanoviv grounds are breathtaking and create the foundation for a healing experience. Every suite has an ocean view. The first picture is the view from our room and the second is the view from the nurses station.

Treatment Pictures: I actually wish I had more pictures of some of the treatments I received at Sanoviv. The first is a picture Ryan took right before the surgeon put me under and placed my subclavian catheter. It was through this catheter that I got my I.V. treatments twice a day and where they extracted my blood, ran it through ultraviolet light to oxygenate it and kill any harmful organisms and then injected it back into me. The second picture is me under the photon laser that treated my lungs.

Family Pictures:

Saying Goodbye to Wonderful New Friends:

Sweet, strong ALEC

Happy Birthday Deanna!

Love you Susan!

Beautiful Georgina and Margaret

Even though I realize the effects of Sanoviv are for my long term health, I am also feeling immediate results and hope that my stay there will help me have a healthy winter season!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Breathe Easy Sweet Friend...

After being at Sanoviv for two weeks and then having our computer in the shop for another, I have a lot to catch up on. Lots of good, happy things but as I sat to write tonight, I felt like there would be a definite lack of authenticity if I couldn't share my overwhelming sadness at losing another friend to Cystic Fibrosis. It's consuming me tonight.

You'd think it would get easier for us, but it doesn't. Every new loss opens a raw wound that I didn't realize was so close to the surface that oozes with the memories of all the other losses including holding my sister against me as she gasped her last breath. It does not get easier. On the contrary...

Every new loss causes pictures to move through my heart and head like pictures on a movie reel of all the precious faces that I have loved and lost to C.F.. Starting with the first, which I will never forget...Shannon. We befriended each other as patients in the hospital when we were five years old and created an instant bond. I will never forget sitting at her funeral about seven years later and listening to the stories of how concerned she was about the boy in the next hospital room even when she knew she had only hours left to live. Then there was my sweet Lex and then Tara, Justin and Heather, then Ashley and Katie and too many from clinic to count. Now, sweet Robyn, a new friend I bonded with through blogging. We shared the blessing of both being "miracle moms."

I can see all their faces so clearly on that reel and remember the salty tears shed for each life while I second-guessed my own mortality and wondered if I would miraculously beat the odds or like my friends, become a tragic statistic confirming the viciousness of this disease. As much as I try to will the hope to come and comfort me, it's hard to feel it with leaking eyes and a broken heart.

However much pain I have felt, I do feel peace from knowing that I would not turn back the clock and not connect with these people even if it meant the aching could be erased. My life has been enriched and enlightened by my association with these earth-angels and their lessons and legacies sustain me when I am doubting and down. It's a hard club to be a part of but I wouldn't give up my is part of what defines me and who I am.

Robyn, breathe easy now and give Lexi a big hug for me. I know your precious Lola will feel you close always and be blessed by the love and devotion you poured out to her for the three years you were together. You, like many others, have a permanent place in my heart. Thank you for blessing my life. You earned those wings...FLY!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

From the Happiest Place on Earth to the Healthiest Place on Earth...

This week we got to take advantage of our season passes to Disneyland one last time before they expire and we had a blast! We met up with my mom, Ric, and Dax and Sanam's family to enjoy a day of Disney chaos and wonderfulness. Our day started off perfectly as my mom and Ric watched the kids so Dax, Sanam and Ryan and I could go on Tower of Terror. Now, the reason I say this was perfect is because it was Sanam's first time on this ride and her squeals with anticipation of the drops had me laughing so hard I could not catch my breath!

Harrison was old enough to be enthralled with the atmosphere and was seriously so good. He was patient when he was in his stroller and even went on some rides with us. It was more entertaining for us to watch him than to actually be on the ride. On Pirates of Caribbean he snuggled in tight to us and just observed everything with the widest eyes I have ever seen. We kept trying to distract him by pointing out all of the doggies but I'm afraid we may have traumatized him! He didn't cry, he just stared in shock...

The Buzz light year ride was a hit and we topped off the night with the parade of dreams where I hope he recovered from Pirates! It melted my heart to watch him waving to all the characters and make quacking sounds whenever he saw Donald Duck on the float. It was seriously a perfect day... gorgeous weather, no lines, and such a happy boy!! Thank you mom, Ric, and Dax and Sanam for coming with us!! We missed the rest of you so much!

Our little Mickey Mouse!

We got caught in the fish net at California Adventure!

Beach Boys!

Carousel Ride with my angel!

We opted for the stationary Tea Cup : )

Watching the Parade of Dreams!

Harrison had a perfect view from Ric's shoulders...Thanks Ric!!

Goodnight Disneyland!

Now I am off to the healthiest place on earth...SANOVIV where I will go from devouring a bag of Disney sour balls with Ryan to feasting on sprouts, glorious sprouts and drinking green juice and wheat grass all day!! YUM! I am looking forward to my annual stay at Sanoviv and truly believe my time there adds years to my life. I will receive a subclavian line for Chelation therapy and high doses of Glutathione and other antioxidants and minerals that will go straight into my blood stream instead of having to go through my digestive system. Among other things, I will receive different oxygen therapies and bioenergetic therapies, inferred therapy, thalasso pool therapy, personal training and best of all I will get a wonderful cleansing colonic every other day....TMI? I will attend nutrition education classes and healthy cooking classes and will eat a mostly raw diet. It will be a very busy but healing two weeks!! Computers and cell phones are not permitted so I will be completely out of touch for two weeks and look forward to catching up on my favorite blogs when I return : )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why did the Chicken cross the Road?!

This was Harrison's first "official" Halloween since last year we were in Hawaii and all we did was put him in his Halloween Pajamas and shop a quaint little town in Kauai. This year daddy picked out a costume for him and we dressed him up and met up with Grandma Coco at Dax and Sanam's for some yummy dinner and fun Halloween festivities! While the older kids went trick or treating, Harrison and Kaya had fun following each other around the cul-de-sac. Harrison was "bawk-bawking" away and also got good at squatting like he was laying was adorable!! Ryan entertained himself all night by thinking up chicken puns, ie: "I don't know why Harrion wants to keep crossing the road!" and "he's running around like a chicken with his head cut off!" Ryan cracks himself up (okay, don't tell but he cracks me up too)!

Speaking of cracking me up, Dax really got into the Halloween spirit this year and got creative with Hannah Montana's wig...including shaved legs and painted finger and toenails. We love the time we get to spend with their family! Harrison and Kaya are such funny buddies and it is so cute to watch them together. Sophie, Beckett and Kaya looked so great in their costumes too...Sophie was Spiderella, Beckett was a skeleton and Kaya was a froggie and wore the same costume that Sophie wore and Beckett wore before her! Of course it was nearly impossible to get a picture with all of them together, I included the best I had out of about 15 tries!!

We finished off the night by going trick-or-treating at Grandpa and Grandma Kaltenbach's where Harrison got to relax and read his Halloween stories with Daddy! He was asleep in the car before we got on the freeway : )

Friday, October 31, 2008

Spontaneously Wicked...

After a doctor appointment in L.A. on Thursday, Ryan and I were driving on Hollywood Blvd and passed the Pantages Theater that plays Wicked. I wondered out loud if they have tickets available the day of and before I knew it Ryan had pulled over to check. We put in a call to Grandma Coco to see if by any chance she would like to have Harrison for the rest of the night and of course being the best mom and Grandma that she is, she said, "I would love to!" So, I waited in the car and Ryan came back with 3rd ROW CENTER seats. I could hardly contain my joy and excitement and when I asked Ryan if he was excited too he responded, "I'm just so happy because I knew how happy you would be!" To that answer I squealed to Ryan he was OFFICIALLY the BEST husband in the WORLD!!

How I love the clever story of these unlikely best friends, not to mention the love story.... and the MUSIC! I spared Ryan because I know there is nothing worse than watching a musical with someone who insists on singing along to every song but my shower got a full concert this morning : ) This was a perfect Halloween Eve activity and was so fun to see with Ryan! If you have not seen this, I highly recommend it...SO FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shar and Ryan plus FIVE!

Not quite Jon and Kate plus 8, but with kids this delightful...bring on three more!!

Excuse the long post with too many pictures but there's a lot I want to record here so I don't forget many of the details and precious moments of this past week. Ryan and I were up in Lake Elsinore babysitting Zak and Kelli's kids while they spent a week in Ireland. We've done this many times before for them but this time we had two babies added to the mix which added to the challenge but added even more to the joy and fun! Although it has taken me a few days to recover from the lack of sleep and constant activity, I am going through serious withdrawals from the kids and chaos!

Growing up, I struggled to find my "talent." I wasn't athletic, totally tone deaf and not musically inclined, I didn't consider myself especially smart and had to work to get the grades and felt very average in pretty much every way. My mom would comfortingly say, "honey, of course you are are a good friend and a good listener." Mom's are so funny sometimes...I wasn't reassured. Well, I feel like I know my talent now... I am good at being a mom. I thrive in these situations (managing lots of kids). Ryan commented that when the kids were around it was like I got an adrenaline shot! My stress level surprisingly went down and I loved the challenge of being a mediator and creating peace in every situation be it homework struggles, meal times, arguing kids, ouchies, baby mayhem, etc. etc. With only one time out for each of the older kids throughout the entire seven days, I felt like Ryan and I really succeeded in running a very smooth and happy household for the week.

Now, I CANNOT take all the credit as I have to tell you Zak and Kelli have raised their kids to be absolute angels. They were seriously so well behaved for us, so helpful, so obedient and so fun! Every one I talked to during the week would ask if we were "surviving" and I just kept saying, "these kids are so GOOD, we are more than surviving...we are having a blast!" Also, I could never have done this without Ryan's help. He managed to work our business and be my equal partner, sharing the load 50/50. In addition to Ryan helping with all of the kids, he was also taking care of me by constantly reminding me to take my meds, occupying the kids so I could do my treatments, bringing me water and going up and down the stairs for me whenever I needed anything!

Here are some of my special memories of the kids:


Jaydn was the BIGGEST helper! There was hardly a time she wasn't helping with one of the kids. When Zak and Kell handed us a check (I said it was not necessary but they insisted), I wanted to hand half of it over to Jaydn. She was invaluable and never complained when asked to help. She is so mature for her age, she's only eight but was like a second little momma all week. One of the highlights of my week, which caused me to tear up not only observing it but every time I recounted the story, was watching Zak and Jaydn at gymnastics. Zachy landed his first back flip and his teacher made a huge deal about it to everyone at the gym, he then turned to Jaydn and said, "is that YOUR little brother?!" and Jaydn said, "YES and I am so proud of him!!" She then turned to Zak and congratulated him with a big high five. It was the sweetest moment and I couldn't swallow the lump in my throat. I was so proud of HER. She could have been jealous of all the attention he was getting but instead she was just so excited for him. She is such a good big sister to all of her siblings and such a great cousin to Harrison...he just ADORES her!! I also adore her and had such a great time helping her with homework, preparing meals for her, doing her hair, singing Disney songs at the top of my lungs with her and watching her practice for the Primary program!!


Zachy is just a ball of energy! He is all BOY with an adorable tenderness. He excels in everything and amazed me all week whether he was building towers, doing his homework, flipping on the trampoline, practicing for soccer, doing the "it's friday and we have no homework breakdance" on the floor or answering my questions during scripture study. My favorite moments with him were taking him to his soccer practice and being there when he lost his first tooth! I got special one-on-one time with him as I took him to practice while Ryan stayed home with the other kids. I loved talking to him on the way there and hearing about how his dad bribed him to go on Tower of Terror! Also, I will never forget him losing his tooth. We didn't even know it was loose. Jaydn and him were just playing around with this blanket on the floor and Jaydn pulled it suddenly and one of the strings from the blanket got caught on Zachy's tooth and it was yanked right out! He just started laughing and said, "wow, I didn't know it was so easy to lose a tooth!" Nothing phases this little guy, he is so funny! I have to add that Zachy was the go-to man for getting Sawyer or Harrison to laugh! He had them cracking up all week, it was so cute to watch.


Precious little Addie. She definitely gives Zachy a run for the money in the ball of energy category!! She is full of four year old fun and passion for life! She just loves everyone and is so affectionate! My Addie hugs were definitely a highlight of the week, she gives the best squeazes! She loved to be one of the big kids when playing with Jaydn and Zachy and was the designated baby mugger!! Harrison loved following her around and copying everything she did. Every time their faces were in close proximity, he would pucker up and give her a big "mwaaaa!" and she would just overflow with delight!! One of my favorite memories with Addie was doing her hair for the Halloween party. She wanted it to look just like Cinderella and kept asking, "is this how Cinderella would have her hair?" Her hair is a thick mane of silkyness and was so fun to play with all week. We put it in a high braided bun and then topped it off with her beautiful tiara. She is spunky and sweet and added so much to the fun we had!


Oh how I miss my little cuddle bug. This little angel provided the baby fix I have been craving!! He was so so good for us. I worried most about how he would cope with being separated from his mommy and how his sleeping schedule would affect us and how we would do with his teething but he just decided to be perfect for us! He adjusted to us so quickly and slept so well, actually sleeping in an hour or two more than he usually does! He also was such a tough little guy as he cut two new teeth while they were gone. My favorite memories with him were watching him lay his head on Ryan's shoulder every time Ryan held him and feeding him his bottles after he woke up. He would just nestle into me and I wanted to pause time. I also loved watching him watch Baby Mozart. Harrison never really got into these videos but Sawyer would just light up upon hearing the music start and it was so adorable watching him being entertained by the animals, toys, colors and sounds!

Here are a "few" more of my favorite pictures : )

Trampoline fun

Just hanging out at home

Pumpkin Patch Adventure

Halloween Party Time!

One last thing:


Harrison had the time of his life with his cousins and fit right in. He was a good sport to share his mommy and daddy and have his schedule completely changed! He provided endless entertainment for the kids as they loved prompting him to do all of his "tricks" (animal sounds, identifying body parts and generally being a parrot and copying whatever anyone says). They also got a kick out of asking him questions because his answer to EVERY question is no! No means yes : ) As he went to bed after the other kids, Ryan and I relished being able to have some one-on-one time with him every night but got such enjoyment out of watching him interact with Jaydie, Zachy, Addie and Sawyer. He is utterly bored now that we are home and has only his mom and dad for companions...thank goodness he's been able to spend time with his Grandmas since we've been home!!

All in all, this past week will for sure be one of the highlights of our whole year. We truly treasure the time we get to spend with all of our nieces and nephews and love being able to bond in this intimate way with them! Thank you Zak and Kelli for sharing your kids with us and trusting us to sub in for you every once in a while!