Tag Archives: Warren

Move-a-thon 2012

The Move-a-thon is our school’s end of the year fundraising event. Warren ran last year and finished with 25 laps. This year he set the goal of running 30 times around.

He was determined and took his goal seriously.

He ran most of the entire 30 minutes time, only walking a few laps and stopping twice for water.

With 1 minute left to go, he kicked it into high gear and finished the event with 31 laps, just as the count down ended.

He met and exceeded his goal. Way to go, Renny!

{Thanks to those who supported him financially in this fundraiser!}


Fathers and Sons Camp Out

Nearly every year (except for the time we had wildfires on the hillside) our Stake (large church congregation) plans a camp out to commemorate the Restoration of the Priesthood. It’s an opportunity for fathers and sons (of varying ages) to come together for good food (they usually have tri-tip) and bonding by the campfire. Warren loves it and looks forward to it every year.

They head up to camp around 4:30PM on Friday and return home around 11:30AM the next day. Jake and Joey are too little still (Colin is thinking 3 might be a good age, as to ensure they wouldn’t dive head first into said campfire), so it was just Colin and Warren this time. They took their mountain bikes up for a morning outing.

Many good friends from our Ward (unit of the Stake church congregation) attended as well. Everyone had a good time, especially the little boys who collected feathers and broken clay pigeon pieces to bury as treasure.

They came home dirty and tired. Just as it should be after a good camp out.

Octopus in the Backyard

Having a real backyard with real grass was worth the jump in rent we had to pay when we moved into this house. The big kids are finally at the age where they can spend long amounts of time on their own outside. Sometimes Jake and Joe can even join them. And sometimes we make it a family affair, especially when a good game is involved.

Warren came home from school wanting to play “Octopus,” where someone stands near the middle and reaches out with long “tentacles” to grab the runners. Colin joined in and even played with a handicap by holding Maddie for half the time. Jake and Joe participated by rearranging the cones on the grass.

It morphed into more of a giant chase around the yard, but everyone was happy, so never mind the rules.

I love afternoons in the backyard.

A Saturday at the Playground

Warren saved up allowance money to buy a new bike. He’s already outgrown the other one. Seems like we just got it yesterday. {I’m sure that’s what I’ll be saying about everything as the years go on.} Eager to break it in, he just needed an opportunity to take it for a real spin, not just down the street and back.

We had the assignment of cleaning the church building one Saturday morning. We took the entire family, though Colin and Warren did most of the cleaning while I tried to keep the boys from becoming counter productive. Maddie assisted where she found necessary. When we finished, we crossed the street to let the kids run free on the elementary school’s playground and give Warren a chance to ride around.

Warren is a pro on his bike. He had a blast alternating between racing around on the asphalt and climbing the monkey bars.

Maddie loves the slide. She didn’t let a little static electricity or wood chips in the shoes stop her from having a good time.

Jake (in blue) and Joey (in brown) enjoyed the sweet taste of freedom as we allowed them to explore the grounds in whichever direction they fancied. They also could not get enough of the wood chips, which are not easy to remove from their hair, let me tell you.

Maddie, Jake, and Joe could not get enough of the drinking fountain at the kindergarten sink. Water is great on a sunny day.

I love spending time together like this. And I love to watch my kids explore and discover new things. Things they didn’t realize they could do before. Their smiling faces say it all.

A perfect Saturday morning, in my book.

Double Birthday Bash

While our good friends were here visiting, we held a small birthday party for the two seven-year-olds, Warren and Mason. They are exactly 20 days apart, Mason being older. They’ve known each other since birth but have never had the opportunity to celebrate together. It was time we rectified that.

I made a vanilla Batman-themed caked with yellow cream cheese frosting. I cheated a bit both with the cake (used Trader Joe’s mix) and the Batman symbol. Tami did an excellent job of cutting the thing out of black construction paper. No one seemed to mind too much.

The dads wrapped the gifts and added their own drawings to the plain paper bags.

Both boys were sung to and blew out candles.

Then we dug into the cake, even after eating a ton of cinnamon rolls that morning.

And they each opened a super hero Lego set.

It was a good party.

Happy Birthday, Warren and Mason! You’re sure growing up fast. It seems like only yesterday you were little babies. Wish we could celebrate like this together every year…

Warren’s 7th Birthday

I don’t really know how this happened, but my baby is seven. He is in every way, shape, and form a big kid. I can’t believe all the ways he’s grown and changed, even in this last year. He’s a helper and a great blessing to our family. And he’s hilarious. I’m so glad to know this funny, smart, creative, loving boy.

We had to celebrate big so we went bowling. Grandma Tuki and Aunt Melissa were in town for our spring break so they accompanied us to Zodo’s for a rousing game and some bowling alley food.

Warren requested a star cake with some confetti-like designs. Here is my masterpiece, created in one hour between taking Maddie to her cardiology appointment in Santa Barbara and rushing back to Solvang where we spent the week with Tuki and Melissa (more on those adventures in subsequent posts).

My 5-point star looks more like a star fish, but since we live on the coast I’m letting that sea creature influence work for me. He asked for a lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. Good stuff.

We bowled a slow but fun game. Like last time, Maddie didn’t want to participate at first and Jake and Joe wanted to head down the lanes on their own. It was nice to have some extra sets of hands to help out.

Warren got the first strike of the game. He could have won the whole thing, but Colin came through in the clutch to steal it away from the birthday boy. Again, considering our group skill level that’s not saying much.

We sang “Happy Birthday” to Warren,

Then had him open his present from Grandma. His very own digital camera. He was thrilled.

Happy Birthday, Renny! What a great day celebrating the wonderful kid you are!

Mishaps in Urology

A story in two parts.


Warren was born with a stenotic or “pinched” ureter (the tube that carries urine down from the kidney to the bladder), which was diagnosed in utero through ultrasound. This congenital defect didn’t appear to be troublesome for him, but he had to undergo quite a few ultrasounds as a baby just to make sure all was well.

Last winter, Warren started feeling like he had to pee all the time. He would finish using the bathroom only to return a few minutes later. He began waking up in the middle of the night, every night, to use the toilet. Thankfully, there were no bed-wetting incidents or any other accidents, for that matter, but the increased frequency during the night and day was a little worrisome.

We had taken him to a urologist here in town when he was about two, just to make sure everything was still going alright with his plumbing. The doctor said then that the ultrasound seemed fine, though he could still see the stenosis, or slight closing of the ureter. No symptoms then meant we could assume he was faring well. Come back in a few years to re-evaluate. The recent behavior suggested that the time had come to visit this doctor again.

In March of 2011, I took Renny into the small waiting room that displayed copies of Car & Driver, Sports Illustrated, and AARP on the end tables and, over the reception desk, a great big wooden welcome sign burned into the shape of a horse. This was no pediatric environment. This doctor saw 60-year-olds with prostrate troubles more than 6-year-olds that couldn’t hold it for more than 5 minutes.

But in some ways, I think this was good. After another ultrasound, he escorted us into his dark wood-paneled office and we sat down in front of his large desk which proudly displayed a plastic replica of the urinary system. He told it to us straight, with a fair sense of humor.

He suggested we first start with behavior modification. Translation: get him to hold it longer. Alright, maybe I wouldn’t allow myself to get caught up in Warren’s frenzy to make it to the bathroom. What else?

He also said that, based on Warren’s history and current findings (ureter still stenotic), he wanted Warren to have further testing, this time a more extensive form of radiology, a cystography, to see if the urine was flowing back up into his kidneys.

Fine, we’re no strangers to medical imaging and had even been to this particular lab before with Warren, only it was for chest x-rays for the 4 separate times he’s had pneumonia thanks to his viral-induced asthma. (Do we ever get a break from the medical world??) We would discuss the results at the follow-up appointment.

Getting Warren to agree to medical procedures is not as horrible as it is with Maddie, but it’s still not easy. He is not what I would call a brave soul, so he worries about anything that might cause him the slightest amount of discomfort. He asked me if the procedure was going to hurt. I told him I didn’t think so. He seemed fine with that answer, which makes me feel terrible about how it all went down.

He willingly walked into the waiting room of the lab with me on the day of his testing. He cooperated in removing his clothes and putting on the awkward medical gown with the gaping hole in the back. He calmly followed the technician who has worked with us on several occasions and can only be described as Kenneth Parcell from the show “30 Rock.” Same face, same accent, same sunny disposition.

“I hope we don’t have to see you again,” I said warily to him after finishing the chest x-rays Warren needed the last time he had pneumonia a few years back.

“Oh, you don’t mean that!” said Kenneth with a cheery grin. “You just mean you hope you see me under better circumstances!”

I should have known. I should have known. I read about the procedure beforehand. Nothing about urinary catheters has ever been pleasant. Ever! But I’ve had them before and haven’t experienced too much pain. I just figured it would be the same for Warren. So when Kenneth the Technician came in with the Radiologist and explained to Warren that they were going to put a tube into his urinary opening, fill his bladder with fluid, take a picture, and oh yeah, he had to hold his urine in until they said they were done, he fell apart before they even could prep the area.

Crying and wailing, he didn’t resist but the entire lab could tell that he did not approve of this procedure. Poor kid. I could only imagine how awful it felt. But he tried his best. Me hugging him tight and telling him it would just be a bit more, Warren protesting loudly, the Radiologist frantically working to finish the scanning, and Kenneth saying they were almost done, it was quite the spectacle. I didn’t think it could get much worse. Until it did.

With the two of them encouraging Warren to hold on just a little bit longer, I could see they were finally nearing the end. Kenneth told him that as soon as they were finished he could pee right there in the tube, the final part of the testing which would show if any urine was backing up into the kidneys. Suddenly, Warren wailed out that he couldn’t hold it any longer and Kenneth told him to go ahead and let loose. And so he did.

For whatever reason (it was too small, it wasn’t properly inserted, what have you) the tube did not do its job. Before anyone even knew what was happening, Warren was peeing like a race horse and it was spraying all over the place, with distance. I think he even hit the back filing cabinet on the other side of the room. I was out of the line of fire since I was by his head. Kenneth, on the other hand, was not as fortunate. He got the majority of the blast.

I could not have been more mortified. I gasped out a desperate apology on behalf of my son who was lying there in long-awaited relief. Kenneth’s sunny disposition dimmed only slightly as he told us not to worry about it while blotting his medical scrubs with some paper towels. The radiologist smirked and said these things happen. Not to him, though. He was standing behind in the clear.

We high tailed it out of there as fast as possible. As Warren changed back into his clean, dry shorts and shirt, I knew I didn’t have the courage to ask if Kenneth had spare clothing ready for such an occasion. I tried not to make eye contact as we left the dressing room and headed down the hallway to the exit.

But the good news was Warren was not experiencing urinary reflux. Kenneth could personally attest to this fact.

More testing would be needed but not until he was closer to seven. He’d have a whole year to think up a way to top that scene.


Today, almost exactly a year later, Warren went in for the second test, a urogram (a CT scan that looks at the entire urinary system using an iodinated contrast fluid). Same radiology clinic. Different technician. This time Colin took him.

He did amazingly well. Even though he seemed nervous about getting an IV started so they could inject the contrast fluid into his blood stream, he fully cooperated and only whimpered with minimal tears this time around. He even got to put his dad on the CT scan table and use the controls to put him into the “doughnut.” I’m sure that experience, coupled with the Priesthood Blessing of comfort Colin gave him the day before, helped keep him calm. He was rewarded for his bravery with a trip to McDonald’s to get a Shamrock Shake.

We don’t have the results of this latest test back yet. We still have to return to the equestrian-themed urology office and discuss the findings. Hopefully, the news will be good. And hopefully he won’t have to undergo any more radiology tests.

I’m sure that’s what Kenneth the Technician hopes for all the time.


Colin grew up skiing. Besides soccer, it’s what gets his blood pumping. However, it’s a passion he has to keep at bay living here in beach country. He misses it terribly and begrudgingly takes yearly trips to Mountain High or Bear Mountain just to satisfy his cravings.

The lack of mountains with snow makes it difficult for our children to get exposure to such downhill activities. But Colin decided to take Warren up to Bear Mountain this year and give him the opportunity to try it out for the first time. He let him choose between snowboarding and skiing. He chose snowboarding, “So I can get practice for skateboarding,” he said. What a California kid.

Colin and Warren left at 4AM on Saturday morning and drove the 3.5 hours to the resort by Big Bear Lake. Colin reports that Warren chatted the entire trip down. Nothing like an excited 6-year-old to keep you alert in the wee hours of the morning.

Wanting to give him the best chance of success, Colin enrolled him in a day class for beginning snowboarders. We weren’t sure how he’d take to the adventure, especially the chair lift, but he did surprisingly well.

He got up on the board and had some moments of downward momentum.

He also had quite a few moments of sitting around, thanks to a full class.

But despite some boredom waiting his turn, he had a really good attitude. He tried everything and had a good time, especially when Colin took him up by himself during the second half of the day.

Even though he was clearly worried about the chair lift, Colin said he grabbed on when told and made in onto the seat without requiring the operator to stop it. He held on super tight to the bar across his lap, but didn’t freak out. He even dismounted without problem. Better than I had anticipated!

He threw snowballs and tasted the snow and generally enjoyed the day. Colin called the trip a success. Considering Warren wants to go back again, I’d have to agree.

Maybe next time we can make it a family event at Whistler.

Lollipop Valentines

I saw an idea for homemade Valentines on Pinterest that I wanted to try for Warren’s classmates. I thought it was clever and pretty easy to pull off.

Take a picture of your kid holding out his arm, add some hearts and “Happy Valentin’s Day!” (I used my Creative Memories program for the layout and Picnik.com to add the bokeh hearts and hand-drawn shapes), print as 4×6 photos at Costco, make slits at the top and bottom of the fist, and insert lollipop of choice.

I made a few versions and had him choose. He decided this one would be for the boys:

And this one he’d give to the girls:

Pretty simple and pretty cute.

My only regret is that we couldn’t use Livesaver’s Swirled Pops for the treat. They don’t make them anymore. Such a shame because they were the best sucker at Valentine’s Day. My favorite was the Strawberry & Vanilla flavor. I guess Blow Pops will just have to suffice.


What do you do for Valentines at your house? Do you make them from scratch or buy the ones that come in a pack at the grocery store?