Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Codella Boys

Not to be outdone, Dominic and I had our photo taken Sunday as well by budding photographer Eliana Marie. She loves using mom and dad’s expensive camera. One of these days she’ll have her own on which to practice her trade.

Tonight we prepared the house for Grandma and Grandpa Snow’s arrival and made a few more Christmas goodie plates. Eliana can hardly wait to welcome her grandparents. And Uncle Matt called to ask Ellie if she’d cut his hair the next time he sees her. He said he wanted a short hairdo like the one she’s now sporting.

At least Eliana knows how to get attention, I’ll give her that much.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Vickey and the Kids

We took some time this afternoon to take some photos in our Sunday clothes. Don’t I have a great family?

We prepared and delivered several plates of Christmas goodies today as well. It was our neighborly way of saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and all that jazz. We’re fortunate to have many good supportive people in our lives.

Today I sang in church with my friend Doug Bean. Our whole sacrament meeting program was focused on the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. On Dec. 23 we celebrate 200 years since his birth in Sharon, Vermont. To paraphrase the Prophet John Taylor, Joseph Smith lived great and he died great. His life was a fine example for us all.

We’re looking forward to the visit of Grandma and Grandpa Snow Wednesday through Saturday. It’ll be fun to have them here for a few days at Christmastime. They’ll be in Hurricane celebrating Christmas with Matt and Kristy and their family, but we’re happy to have them for the few days before Christmas.

And we’re certainly glad the Las Vegas Bowl invited BYU down for the game on Dec. 22 to help encourage Grandma and Grandpa Snow to pay us a visit! Go Cougars!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Santa and the Hair Cut

We saw Santa at the ward Christmas party on Dec. 2. Vickey was hard at work doing a Pampered Chef show while we enjoyed a free meal and entertainment. I actually had to leave the party for a while to deliver some supplies Vickey left at home to her host’s home. But Eliana hung out with the Coglianeses and enjoyed the festivities and Dominic and I rejoined her before too long.

On Sunday, Dec. 11 Eliana decided to trim off both sides of her hair, resulting in a very, very poor hair cut. We’ve taken her to the beauty parlor twice for damage control and there’s just not much we can do at this point except wait a year for it to grow back out. (When you compare photos, it really is sad.)

Of course the unfortunate hair cut occurred while Vickey was out of town. She took Dominic and traveled to Salt Lake City for the weekend to attend the funeral of one of her best friend’s moms. When she returned, she was greeted with the sight of Eliana and her new dew. The look on her face at the airport, when she realized what had happened to Ellie’s hair, was one of sheer horror. So much for my record as an attentive father.

I was downstairs unloading and loading the dishwasher. Just as I was finishing up Eliana rounded the corner into the kitchen and said, “Look dad. Isn’t it pretty?” All I could do was walk away as tears welled up in my eyes because of how ugly my cute little girl looked. But, like everyone says, at least hair grows back. Yes, I agree, it could be worse.

We’re busily preparing for the holidays and all that goes on at this hectic time of the year. It’s always fun to get cards and photos of friends and loved ones and catch up on their lives.

May you and yours be safe, happy and healthy this holiday season.

Happy Birthday cuz Mike! (You're gettin' old!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Grandpa and Dominic

I thought I’d post this photo from last Sunday - Grandpa Codella’s entertaining Dominic at Brian and Melissa’s home in South Jordan. We were there for AJ’s naming and blessing on Nov. 27.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Photo Parade

Here are some photos taken recently of the kiddies, including Tank.

Eliana and Dominic were dressed up for church yesterday and Vickey took the opportunity to have a photo shoot.

And Tank has taken to curling up on the bean bag since his pillow/bed was trashed (covered in dog poop and discarded) after his Thanksgiving stay at the kennel.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Dr. Snow

Congratulations to my sister-in-law, Rachel, on becoming the most educated out of my siblings, their spouses and in-laws. Rachel completed her PhD in art history last week. Way to go Rach!

In other news, yesterday was a milestone for me at Weight Watchers. I reached my 10% goal and have now shed 20 pounds. I’ll probably keep going to take off another 10 to 15 pounds and regain my college-age figure and perhaps my WW lifetime achievement.

Vickey’s already a lifetime WW member. In fact, she was approached yesterday about being a WW team leader. Apparently there are some organizations that want to hold WW meetings at their facilities and the local WW team needs additional help. We’re not sure if it’s a possibility with all that she has going on, but I think she’s open to the idea.

Speaking of which, if any of you are dying to get a Pampered Chef something for someone for Christmas, Vickey’s very close to achieving her sales goal for this year and receiving an all-expenses-paid cruise for two to the Caribbean next summer.

So, if you’re interested in supporting the Codella cruise cause, just visit her website and spend away!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Growing Up

On Nov. 15 Dominic was four months and one week old. At his doctor’s check-up that day he weighed in at 14.2 pounds (the 23rd percentile for his age group) and 26.5 inches long (the 95th percentile).

(And no, Brian, they didn’t give us a percentile on Dominic’s manhood. We wouldn’t want him reading about his endowment on the web, now would we?)

So you pretty much guessed it, he’s tall and skinny.

He got a clean bill of health and a couple shots that kept him grumpy for half-a-day or so.

Eliana joined the bandwagon and received a couple shots of her own. She made a big deal about getting the shot, cried and wiggled, and all that jazz, then on the way out of the doctor’s office stopped to talk to the nurse, named Raven, to say, “Thank you, Raven, for my shot!”

What a silly girl.

She also asked Vickey on the way out, “Why is she named That’s So Raven?” Those of you with children and the Disney channel will catch the humor in that.

Today was the children’s Primary program in church. Eliana was an eager participant and said her couple lines in the program very well. She wasn’t so accomplished at sitting quietly and reverently in her seat however. There were frequent jumping episodes followed by blowing kisses and waving to her proud albeit embarrassed parents. Gotta love her!

As a treat from the Primary leaders for the splendid sacrament meeting program, the kids were given pixie stick candy. Today was Eliana’s first pixie stick experience. Vickey commented that Eliana had straight sugar for her after lunch treat. Eliana promptly bent the stick so it was curved and said, “It’s not straight now, mom!”

I think she may be smarter than we give her credit for. But then again, I’m her dad.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dominic Rolls

It was bound to happen one of these days, and on Sunday it did … little Dominic did his first roll over trick.

We were hanging out at the Coglianese’s after Sunday dinner and Vickey laid Dominic on his stomach, just like Mijken (Mark and Amber’s baby who’s 3 weeks older than Dominic and recently began rolling over herself).

Sure enough, after not very long, he was moving and kicking those legs and managed to roll right over.

It was earlier that day that he had his first taste of rice cereal.

He’s certainly growing up.

Eliana is filling the role of big sister nicely and manages to help Dominic when his pacifier falls out, although he’s really not fond of his binky.

Tank has topped the list of home irritants lately. He has managed to throw-up three or four times the past few days, leaving our home and the freshly cleaned carpets (from September when we returned to another Tank mess) smelling much like a dog kennel. And much to our chagrin, Tank is also managing to gobble up any food left on the table or countertop, frequently while we’re in the vicinity. Do you think there's a correlation here?

Want a weimaraner, anyone?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Down 16

At today's Weight Watchers weigh-in I was down 16 pounds from week one. And Vickey's not far behind me.

Go team!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The New Office

You’ve probably wondered ‘why the lull in blogs from Pete?’ Well, I have to say it’s pretty much because life has been very crazy busy lately.

On Nov. 1 a business colleague, someone I’ve worked with since moving to Vegas, and I signed a 3-year lease on an 1,100 square foot office in southwest Las Vegas. Since then we’ve been working on all that goes into setting up a new office. It’s taking many, many days.

The highlights are: I faux painted the front reception area and a wall in my office, ordered office new furniture, and set-up a new computer.

There are 4 offices, a reception area and hallway, and a bathroom.

I’ll continue to do my marketing, public relations and advertising consulting and David, my office partner, will continue his web design and online advertising business. Down the road, our two companies could be combined into one agency. For now, we’ll see how things go and cross that bridge when we get to it.

It’s really exciting for me to have my own space and the freedom to make it whatever I want. Like my dad always says, “It just takes time and money.”

As part of the move Codella Marketing is undergoing a facelift. There’s a new corporate identity rollout planned for the near future.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

BYU Conquers UNLV

Grandma and Grandpa Snow joined us to revel in the cremation of UNLV by BYU today. They’re down from Salt Lake for a few days to see the football game, play with the grandkids and take our lodge pole furniture set up to Brian and Melissa for their basement.

I’m working up a master plan for the guest room that includes a scrapbooking room for Vickey and the furniture was too bulky for that space anyway. Brian and Melissa will be able to make good use of it for the next little while, although one of these days I may need to have it back (like when we own a mountain cabin retreat).

We had fun with Gordon and Murriel. Gordon was a big help as I finished up some painting in the new office, waited for carpet cleaners, the electricity and phone hook-up (none of which happened on the day we were there waiting for them).

The kiddies didn’t fare too well at the game and ended up leaving with Vickey and Murriel at half-time, but Gordon and I stuck it out with Mark and Hank (his dad) until the sweet end. It’s not very often you get to watch the cougars win by a 40+ point margin.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pumpkin Carving

Yesterday Eliana and I finally cut into her pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. I had just returned from the gym, so I figured it was as good of a time as any, before I took a shower, to carve and clean out the pumpkin.

Ellie was a good helper and really got a kick out of seeing it lit up.

Just as we were finishing she got on the swing in the back yard and asked to be pushed. And just as soon as she did the sprinklers came on. Vickey and I found that pretty amusing. Eliana didn’t though. It was another opportunity for her to cry. It seems she can turn on and off the cry switch at the drop of a hat. What a cute little actress we’ve got!

Dominic was asleep during the carving experience, but woke up at the sound of Eliana’s crying. He too seemed enthralled to see the pumpkin lit up.

We’re looking forward to Halloween tomorrow evening and to our annual neighborhood pot luck at Gary and Vickie Dickover’s (our neighbors across the street).

Friday, October 28, 2005

Pumpkin Patch with Grandma C

We took the kids and grandma to the pumpkin patch today. Eliana has been asking to go for about a month. It’s a fun, albeit expensive, little trip for us.

Ellie loves to ride the carnival rides, especially the pony ride. She was pretty cute on the spinning ride with Vickey. You could tell she was trying to be a good sport but she was feeling sick to her stomach.

Eliana got to ride and slide and play for about an hour before we went to my favorite pizza joint on the planet, Pier 49 Pizza.

It was our fun night out with Grandma Codella.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Trunk or Treat

Our church holds an annual trunk or treat party where the kids get to dress up and get candy in a safe environment (if you consider car trunks decorated for Halloween and getting candy from disguised adults safe).

There’s a chili and cornbread cook-off and awards given for best costume in different age groups, as well as for the best decorated trunk.

In year’s past we have participated in the cook-off but didn’t have the time or energy to do so this year. And we haven’t taken the time to plan a scary trunk any year … just too much work for us busy folk I guess.

But we had fun sampling the different chili recipes and watching Eliana in her Snow White get-up with her brand new ruby red shoes. Dominic was pretty cute in his pea in a pod outfit as well. And it was fun having Grandma Codella there with us. Last year Grandma and Grandpa Snow were with us.

It’s a fun family tradition.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cute Lit’l Punkin

This photo was so cute, I had to share.

Dominic seems to grow each day. He’s wearing six month clothes now.

Eliana’s super excited tonight to go with me to pick up Grandma Codella at the airport. She’s in her pajamas, her room’s picked up and she’s ready to talk Grandma’s ear off.

Me, I’m just about ready for bed. But isn’t that just how it goes?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Almost a Ten

Vickey and I continue to make small strides on our Weight Watchers diet plan. I’m down nine-and-a-half pounds and she’s down eight. I’m sure that before long her weight loss will be greater than mine.

As long as we continue to make progress or stay the same, we’re doin’ good.

I miss cooking. I miss eating lots of baked goods. Sometimes I get a serious craving to bite into a nice moist piece of chocolate cake, or a delicious cheesecake.

For now I have to settle for Great Harvest breads, which are certainly tasty and good for you.

So far I’ve been able to resist and stay pretty close to my daily allotment of 26 points worth of food.

I will admit I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas foods. I’ll just have to be careful not to eat as much as I normally do during those times.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Back in the Spotlight

Tonight I performed with a former BYU Young Ambassadors friend of mine, Doug Bean, at his stake’s Night at Carnegie Hall (their chapel is off of a street named Carnegie). We sang In Lily’s Eyes from The Secret Garden.

It was fun to once again sing with someone who can hold their own. We were a good match for the duet and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

I also sang on Thursday evening in front of a scrutinizing group of production staff for our stake’s March musical production of an original script called Into the Light, the story of Alma the younger (from the Book of Mormon).

My good friend Max Zurflueh is stage managing the show (he worked as stage manager for EFX at the MGM Grand throughout its run and most recently as stage manager at the New York New York Cirque du Soleil production of Zoomanity). This is Max’s first church gig. I told him not to have any expectations and occasionally he may be surprised.

At any rate, according to our inside information (from Max and our friend Reggie Sommer, the stake activities director), the panel was speechless after my audition. We’ll see what role they offer me, if they do at all.

Regardless of what, if any role I get in the stake production, I’m enjoying renewed activity in the performing arts.

Friday, October 21, 2005

AJ’s Day

Well, the stars are aligned for my brother and sister-in-law. Their family birthdays fall consecutively on the 20th, 21st and 22nd calendar days. And all three boys were born on the 21st of a month (April, February and October).

Anthony Jack Codella was born this morning in Salt Lake City at 9:49 a.m. Melissa was at the hospital for just over two hours before he was born … she was close.

We’re excited for them to have three boys, and glad it’s not us. There will be lots of testosterone in their home in a few years.

Just having three children I’m sure must feel so overwhelming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

D-O-M, D-O-M-I-N-I-C

That title is to the tune of Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, in case you missed the connection.

Isn’t he a cutie? Dominic’s putting on a few pounds and preparing his pudgy cheeks for the pinching that’s sure to occur when his grandmas get their hands on him in the next couple of weeks.

We’re looking forward to a visit from Grandma Codella next week and a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Snow the first weekend of November.

Dominic’s still on the medication to remove the thrush from his mouth, but it’s much better now than it was before.

Eliana is really enjoying preschool and learns about a new letter each week. This week she got to take the treat basket to her class for the letter “J.” She took Jell-O jigglers, junior mints, jelly beans, jolly ranchers and Kool-Aid jammers.

Ellie’s getting excited for Halloween and has a couple pumpkins waiting to be carved. We decorated the house a week or so ago and Ellie loves seeing the decorations around the neighborhood, especially at night.

We’ve found that Halloween receives as much attention in Vegas as Christmas does. Sad, but true. Many neighbors go all out with cobwebs, orange and black lights and huge blow-up Halloween sculptures.

The front of our house has an orange piece of paper that says “Boo!” And that piece of decoration was given to us by an anonymous treat-giver. We have since passed on the favor. It’s kind of a fun Halloween tradition in our neighborhood, to knock and run and leave behind some seasonal goodies with a Halloween poem.

We got word today that my sister-in-law is dilated to a 6 and her doctor told her she could deliver any second, and that most likely she’ll deliver in the car if she doesn’t get to a hospital within 10 to 15 minutes after her water breaks.

Since they’re about 20 minutes from the hospital, that’s not good news. I guess he made an appointment to induce her on Friday. If she holds out that long, this will be the third of three children born on the 21st of the month. Tomorrow’s her birthday, and Brian’s birthday is on the 22nd. Those guys are all about the third week of the month.

And our family is all about the second week, 7, 8, 10 and 11 are our birthdays. We’ll have to see if we can’t have another one in a few years on the 9th of a month.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Neighbors Are Changing

This week our good friends David and Teresa Arnold moved out of the neighborhood. They had trouble with their neighbor and felt like it was time to move on and get a one-story home with about the same square footage.

Also, the home two doors down, the one where the meth lab was, has been completely gutted and renovated. We’ve had workers on our street for a couple weeks now. The homeowner must have dumped $50k into it to fix it up and make it livable again.

And today, we helped our good friends Christian and Ellen Nelson move into a home just around the corner. They’re moving out of their apartment and into a nice one-story home. Eliana loves to play with their daughter, Olympia, so now they’re walking distance from each other.

A couple weeks ago another family that lived around the corner moved to another part of our neighborhood.

So, there are neighbor changes all around.

I’ve even considered looking for a new place. We’d like two more rooms: one for my office and another for Vickey’s office and scrapbooking. We’re thinking about adding on to the house, but certainly wouldn’t do that unless we're sure we’ll be staying here for several years. A move may be in our future ... who knows when.

We’re waiting for news on two births: my brother and sister-in-law in South Jordan, and our kiddy corner neighbor, Rick and Monica Royce. It’ll be fun to see the two new little ones. I’m sure You Don’t Know Jack is anxious to get here and receive a real name, one more permanent than YDKJ.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

I’ve been accused by Vickey of having a telephone headset fetish. I admit I’m particular, but I’m no headset freak.

Today, in my normal course of shredding paper (which many of you know is an activity I truly enjoy) I inadvertently got my new phone headset cord caught in the papers I was shredding. The next thing I knew, the cord was all cut up and cut apart, separating my headset from the phone, and the headset was headed for the shredder.

I was able to yank on the headset and pull the cord out of the shredder before it damaged the shredder. I’m sure you’re amused just considering what it must have looked like and my reaction.

I don’t think it’s fair to claim this is a fetish! Certainly logic demands when something’s broken, you fix it or replace it. Time after time the headsets I’ve purchased stop functioning and continued use proves they’re not as comfortable as they were when they were purchased.

True, I’ll need to purchase another headset, probably only the second or third this year, despite what Vickey says. But such purchases do not a fetish make.

Of course, that’s not counting the couple I have purchased for Vickey who doesn’t get the same enjoyment I do out of using a headset. I keep trying to tell her how much more productive she could be with both hands free, but she doesn’t buy-in to it.

All I have to say is I’m frustrated I can’t find the right headset. If I ever do, I’ll be sure to let ya’ll know so you can run right out and get one of your own. They all have their flaws, the most recent flaw being a cord that’s too long and in too close a proximity to the shredder.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

You Don’t Know Jack

In talking with Brian and Melissa, my brother and sister-in-law, they’re expecting their third son in a couple weeks, and they haven’t yet decided on a name.

They have decided they want his middle name to be Jack, after Melissa’s mom Jackie.

They want to call him something J, like TJ or AJ or BJ. Something like that.

But they can’t come up with a good first name to go with Jack. They just don’t know and haven’t settled on a good first name choice.

So, I took the liberty of naming him for them. My name for the newest little Codella: You Don’t Know Jack.

I think it’s clever!

Movin’ On Out

Well, the neighborhood just took an unexpected, but much hoped for, turn for the better.

Our troubled neighbors are moved out. It didn’t take long.

There were signs of movement yesterday, then today a moving truck pulled up and finished the deed.

I believe the owners were at the property as well.

They’ll be doing quite a bit of cleaning up in there, I’m sure.

Let’s hope the next neighbor doesn’t decide to open another meth lab.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Why You Shouldn’t Park on the Street

A couple weeks ago my cousin, Lisa, had her Grand Am parked outside her Henderson home next to the curb. Her car was parked legally, just like her highway patrol neighbor’s squad car. And her husband was out of town, visiting family up in Richfield.

In one moment her car went from minding its own business to being shoved, at around 40 miles an hour, up the side of the street and into the parked patrol car by some crazy man driver who wasn’t paying any attention while he drove on a residential street.

Lisa’s car was totaled; totally smashed-up in front and back. They’re waiting now on the insurance company to decide how much they’ll give them for it. And they’re working on finding a decent used Grand Am to replace hers.

So, I guess our street isn’t the only crazy street in Henderson. In fact, from what I hear people say, it’s happening everywhere.

Several of our troubled neighbor’s teenage residents have been seen packing up their cars with their things. Whether or not that means some of them are moving out, who knows. At least things have been pretty quite this week. Then again, it’s only Monday.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Large, Jumbo and Italian

Poor Dominic has been struggling with thrush (candidiasis of the mouth and throat; a fungal infection that occurs when there is overgrowth of candida fungu) this week. He has lots of white sores around his mouth.

Yesterday Vickey took him to the doctor to get a prescription. Our usual pediatrician wasn’t there, so one of his partners tended to Dominic.

He was examining Dominic and when he pulled his diaper down exclaimed, “Holy moley! Won’t he be the pride of the locker room?” (or something to that effect).

According to Vickey the doctor went on to say that Dominic is better endowed than most four and five year-old boys. Aren’t we proud parents.

And the doctor went on to say, “You know what they say, there’s large, jumbo and Italian.”

Now that’s funny!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Morning Paper and the Metro SWAT Team

Ever wonder what it would feel like to be in a war zone? This morning I stepped outside to pick-up our morning paper only to be surrounded by a half-dozen armored vehicles with about eight SWAT team members on each vehicle. There were also a half-dozen or so unmarked police vehicles and armed officers parked alongside the street.

It was surreal being out there and watching the SWAT team, wearing bullet proof vests and helmets and toting machine guns, bust open the neighbor’s door (two doors down to the east) and enter their home.

If this was the first experience our neighborhood has had with the police and this particular neighbor, that would be one thing. But this is at least the third time an entire entourage of policemen have descended upon their home.

A single woman and several teenagers live there. Needless to say, they really don’t have their act together. Rumor has it that the last time the cops were there, and a do not cross police line was draped across their front yard for a couple days, a teenager was hauled out on a stretcher, headed for an autopsy, after overdosing on drugs. Before that there was a fire and part of the house burned.

So, even though we live in a nice neighborhood in Henderson, we’re feeling a bit like we’re living in a war zone. I’m sure those people could use some help. I’m just not sure how I feel about extending myself in this situation.

I am certain however, that I’m not fond of the environment they’re creating in our neighborhood...a place so many good families call home and in which so many young children are being raised.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Getting Old

You know you’re getting old when you start collecting health conditions.

Recently we dropped our Cobra insurance (hello expensive!) for a plan of our own.

After completing our health questionnaires, really just red flag tools for the insurance companies, we went through underwriting and received our new health insurance.

For several reasons, we decided to split-up the family’s coverage. Vickey and the kiddies are on one plan, and I’m on another.

For my coverage, no company would take me unless they charged way more than was reasonable or put a rider on my policy exempting them from covering either of my recurring prescriptions (did I mention how the health questionnaire was just a red flag generator?).

So, although we’ve got health insurance, I’m left to fend for myself for my acid reflux and cold sore symptoms. How cruel is that?

Still, we figured it out and we’ll be paying less by going 100% out-of-pocket on those meds than we would to secure complete coverage. Go figure!

Anyone interested in a career in the insurance industry? You can set your own hours and your own rules.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Weight Watchers Anonymous

I suppose by posting this blog, the title is really an oxymoron.

Regardless, I like the allusion to a group of overweight losers sitting around reciting, “My name is ________ (fill-in the blank), and I’m overweight.”

This is my first personal experience with the publicly traded Weight Watchers International, Inc. (I watched from the sidelines a couple years ago as Vickey succeeded in dropping her pregnancy weight after Eliana was born.) I’m the supportive husband and willing participant after gaining a few too many pounds with my poor eating and exercise habits over the past few years.

If I can get back to my college glory days (that would mean losing about 35 pounds) that’s fine by me. In fact, if I can drop 25 pounds I’ll consider this endeavor a success.

At any rate, today was our first weigh-in after the initial shock of paying up for the first 12 weeks (not too much of a shock to the pocketbook, about $115). Vickey got in free because she already met her lifetime goal and she’s excused because of the baby. I think she has a few more weeks to shed some pounds before she’s back on the pay-up treadmill.

I’m happy to report, for both of us, that we each lost about 3 pounds. I’d say that’s a pretty good start to this little program. Now we’ll see how we do next week with this new point driven diet.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Eliana Takes a Ride

Ellie’s preschool class went to the petting zoo today. She had a great time interacting with the animals and riding this pony.

Vickey was a chaperone and had Dominic in tow. Unfortunately Dominic wasn’t too happy and required most of Vickey’s attention.

Eliana seems to have matured a lot lately. She’s helping out with Dominic and fending for herself more and more. She’s usually a pretty good little girl, with a few occasional moments of emotional breakdown.

Things are going well and we’re enjoying the cooling off that occurs each evening. I recently had a run-in with the surface roots of a tree in our front yard. I’m so ready to take out all our grass. It’s too difficult to maintain in the desert. Six years ago when we came here I was dead-set on grass. Now, after taking care of it since moving in, I’m much more inclined to succumb to the natural, rocky, desert landscape. Live and learn.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I’m Hungry All Over The Place

Vickey signed up to be a mystery shopper with a company called Mystery Guest, Inc. and yesterday was our first sleuth outing. We took the whole family out to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (the new one at The District on Green Valley Parkway). While we were there Eliana was very particular, go figure, about what she wanted to eat. After downing two pieces of pepperoni pizza, bread, and kiwi cheesecake, she announced, “I’m hungry all over the place!” Now that’s funny. She’s saying all sorts of funny things lately.

And, for those of you who don’t know, her comment is even funnier since on Saturday Vickey went back to Weight Watchers and I signed-up for moral support and to loose a few pounds of my own. So saying that we’re hungry all over the place is a pretty accurate commentary. I’m sure once our stomachs shrink we’ll be just fine. But we’re just jumping on the wagon, so there’s some adjusting to do.

Dominic also decided he wanted to eat while we were dining yesterday. So Vickey got to take him out to the car and feed him while Eliana and I had lunch. Vickey got to eat her salad after Dominic was satisfied. He’s growing so much lately and friends at church comment on how he changes every week. We’ve taken to calling him ‘little Gordon’ because of his uncanny resemblance to his Grandpa Snow. Eliana seems to favor calling him Dominic-ee while others seem to fancy DJ or The Dominator. What a lucky kid to be so loved and have so many nicknames.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hello Aunt Betty

Today my Aunt Betty dropped by as an unexpected and very welcome visitor. I was upstairs working, Vickey had just taken Eliana down to the Coglianeses and managed to stay and talk for a while, when the doorbell rang.

Dominic was downstairs in his pack-n-play crying his head off and I was trying to finish my thoughts on my work project.

I finally got Tank under control, he enjoys freaking out when the doorbell rings or company comes over, and made it to the front door…and there was Aunt Betty.

She was down for a doctor’s appointment and to spend some time with Gina (her daughter) playing bunko with her Vegas friends.

We had a fun visit and got to inspect her new Honda Pilot. If Honda had made the Pilot when we got rid of the CR-V, there’s a good chance we’d be driving a Pilot now. Instead we went with the Highlander, but with the two kids and 70 pound dog, we’ve since then upgraded to a Sequoia.

We talked to Betty about making some stained glass windows for our master bathroom, you know, something to keep her occupied in her retirement years so she doesn’t become too bored. We also got caught-up on the extended family.

It’s always nice to welcome family and friends. In fact, we’re going through quite a lull right now in guest registrations at Hotel Codella. We had a bunch when Dominic was born in July and when he was blessed in August. Now we’re holding out for the BYU vs. UNLV football game on November 5 (that usually draws Gordon and Murriel down).

At any rate, thanks for dropping by Betty. And thanks for putting Dominic to sleep in your lap. He must love you because he didn’t even pee through his diaper and get you wet.

Ode to Technology

At a Public Relations Society of America luncheon today (I’m the president of the Las Vegas Valley Chapter this year), someone at our table commented on how professionals utilize Microsoft PowerPoint. He mentioned that there was a website that illustrated the point well. I looked it up and sure enough, it does a good job. At least I got a big kick out of it.

If the topic interests you, check out the Gettysburg Address in PowerPoint — how President Abraham Lincoln would have presented his address on November 19, 1863 had PowerPoint been available.

And for what it’s worth, our seminar today on Communications in Times of Crisis, led by Dan Burns (director of communications for Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt and a member of the State of Nevada Public Information Officer Committee's Joint Information Center, and part of Nevada Homeland Security) and Erik Pappa (Clark County director of public communications and former public information officer for the City of Las Vegas) was certainly an informative and though provoking discussion on effective crisis communications with commentary on hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and potential disasters, natural or manmade, that could occur in Las Vegas.

In the words of the Backstreet Boys, “It’s a Weird World.”

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Capistrano Beach 2005

Our second annual trip to the beach proved fun for all. We loaded up the Sequoia, including the luggage rack on top, and headed for Southern California on Sept. 9. We rented a roomy beach house on Capistrano Beach with the Coglianese family and Amber’s mom and step-dad Kim.

It was a week full of playing in the sand and ocean, and pretty much just hanging out. I had some work to do while we were there, but other than those couple of hours for a few days, I was able to rollerblade and just enjoy time with the family.

The kids built sand castles, watched movies and did a pretty good job of behaving themselves.

The trip included the traditions of going to Crazy Shirts, dining at Ruby’s and Harbor House.

It also included throw-up episodes from Jared, Sarah and Amber, which was unfortunate, and some sinus infection troubles for Mark, Vickey and I, but what can you do. Usually when you travel at least one family member manages to get sick.

Tank stayed home with our friends, Travis and Kirstin Reed, who did their best to console a dog used to having daytime company. Tank managed to break free from his crate and do his typical separation anxiety doggy poop all over the carpet and tile. We could tell by the smell when we returned that something wasn’t right. Poor Travis and Kirstin did all they could to clean it up. We ended up moving all the furniture and having the carpets cleaned on Saturday after we returned. So in addition to returning after a week long trip, we had a house turned upside down with furniture stacked in the garage. It was a crazy few days.

Eliana keeps saying she misses the beach. Maybe we’ll find a way to visit before next summer. Or maybe she’ll just have to be patient and wait.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vickey’s Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Vickey’s birthday. We enjoyed a relaxing day at Capistrano Beach and are enjoying our time with the Coglianese family. We took in a sacrament meeting in a beautiful new stake center building in San Clemente and went on a walking tour of the old town. We tried going into the Catholic mission here, but they were closing just as we arrived. This area’s history dates back to 1776.

We enjoyed a lasagna dinner (I made it a few days ago and brought it frozen to the beach house) and a great double chocolate bundt cake for Vickey’s birthday. We also had a campfire on the beach and made smores, with a caramel addition suggested by my sister-in-law Melissa. Good suggestion Mel, it was a hit!

Eliana’s enjoying the sand and water. Most of us have managed to get a little sun burned. All of us are enjoying the gorgeous weather. And little Dominic’s taking it all in stride, eating, sleeping (through most of the night) and growing like a cute little weed.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Eliana’s Birthday

Today was Eliana’s fourth birthday. She’s growing to be such a cute little girl.

First thing this morning I ate breakfast while she unwrapped a whole kitchen table full of presents from her grandparents and mom and dad. We had them all displayed the night before so when she came down she’d be surprised. And she certainly was excited to open them.

She got plenty of toys and fun things to do. She’s a very fortunate little girl to be loved by so many people.

She took strawberry cupcakes to her preschool group. They had the letter A on them because this week they learned all about the letter A.

Tonight we celebrated by having Eliana’s favorite pizza, pepperoni, and had the Coglianeses and Zurfluehs over for a piñata party with more strawberry cupcakes. Everyone had a great time.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Eliana Heads to Preschool

Today was Eliana’s first day of preschool. She’s going to a neighbor’s home for preschool with a half dozen other kids. Tammy Johnson is Eliana’s teacher.

It’s weird knowing your kid is growing up. But it’s a good thing too.

Eliana doesn’t seem to hold back. She’s a pretty outgoing kid. We’ll see how she does in school and how she’s able to focus on her studies.

She’s got a cute, fun personality most of the time. She gets grumpy when she doesn’t get adequate sleep…kind of like someone else I know.

She’s learning to be a good big sister and helps out on occasion during Dominic’s diaper changes and baths. She’s a good kid. We’re lucky to have her.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day 2005

We gladly welcomed Labor Day and a third day to our weekend. There’s so much to do with fall approaching.

Eliana’s first day at pre-school is tomorrow. She’s equipped with a new school outfit and book bag, although I don’t really think she understands what it means to be going to school. She’ll know after tomorrow, won’t she? We enrolled her in a neighbor’s in-home pre-school class. She goes Tuesday and Thursday morning and we’re hoping she’ll learn a lot.

We measured how tall Dominic is today and he came in at 25 inches. Of course, our non-scientific measurement style may not yield perfectly accurate results. But the point is he’s growing and healthy. He’s a patient, easy going baby. We’re blessed.

Tank and I went for a rollerblade run this morning (I rollerbladed, he ran). He had a great time being out of the house and visiting with the other pets and owners along the jogging trail. It was relatively crowded at 8 this morning due to the holiday.

We spent the afternoon at the pool and barbequing with the Coglianeses. It was a great time. We watched the news and reports of hurricane Katrina recovery for a while. It was hurricane Alicia in 1983 that really taught me the power of hurricanes. In Houston our family lived through several hurricanes and tornados, but that was the worst one. We were without power for nearly a week. We watched with amazement as the six foot tree in the front yard was blown over to the right, then after the eye of the storm passed, to the left. And I remember watching my father walk a few yards down the street at more than a 45 degree angle just to make progress against the strong winds.

Like I said before, my heart goes out to all those effected by Katrina. There’s nothing like a natural disaster, even in the world’s supposedly most wealthy nation, to show you who’s really the boss. Certainly not mankind.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina’s Punch

Is anyone else amazed by the amount of devastation caused by hurricane Katrina? How is it, with all our technological advances, communication issues seem to be a the heart of the problems in the Gulf Coast area?

Having lived through hurricanes and tornados as a child, I remember being without power for days and living off of a very different diet. My heart goes out to all those effected by Katrina. I get chocked up watching the stories on the news.

First I’m grateful my immediate and extended family members are all safe.

Second, I want to help. Our family has made a donation to our church’s humanitarian fund and we know our small offering will be put to good use. Can you imagine the billions of dollars of damage caused by one storm?

We’re certainly living in the last days. There are signs all around. Does this sound familiar? “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences…” It’s from the New Testament, in Luke 21:11.

Again, it’s just so amazing to see the destruction and ‘refugees’ on American soil. It’s almost surreal to me.

At any rate, things at the Codella household are moving right along. Vickey’s getting back in the swing of Pampered Chef things, my work is keeping me very busy, sometimes too busy, Eliana’s preparing for her first day at preschool next week, and Dominic seems to grow an inch or so every few weeks. He’s a tall baby. But I guess that’s no surprise when you consider the good genes he has.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Back in Town

We’re back in Vegas after our five day trip to Salt Lake City, Helper, Price and South Jordan, with stops up and down I-15 along the way.

Charley and Lori’s wedding celebration was a terrific, finger-lickin’ afternoon barbeque lunch on Saturday at their home in Helper. It was fun to see the extended Snow family and to meet Lori’s clan from Idaho.

We took in the fabulous Helper Arts Festival complete with snacks, clowns and balloon tying, a long kid’s train ride, some cool old restored cars and motorcycles, and just about every type of artwork you could imagine.

The family supported Charley in his second motor sports car racing endeavor Saturday evening. Charley raced twice, nearly coming in third in his first race and having to head to the pit just before the end of the second race with car troubles. He’s learning the tricks of the trade and I’m sure will be tearing up the dust in Price in no time.

Vickey was a trooper and stayed home with the little ones — Dominic, Eliana and Emma — while the rest of us braved the crowd at the racetrack. And just so she didn’t feel left out of all the action, there was quite a bit of commotion when Emma exclaimed that Eliana pooped in the bathtub after their two hour swim-a-thon in the pool at the hotel. There was also a ketchup dropping incident at a local fast food establishment that involved Eliana and Vickey’s foot. Needless to say, Vickey’s foot and sandal needed some cleaning up after dinner time.

Rachel brought her new beau from New York City, Brooklyn actually, via Philadelphia (correct me if I’m wrong, Rachel), to meet the family. It was fun meeting Kevin and learning they’ve been dating longer than Charley and Lori who are now married.

After an amazing Sunday morning breakfast at the Helper café and antique shop we headed to South Jordan to spend a day with Brian and Melissa and the two boys. We attended church with them and hung out Sunday evening. We sure can’t say enough about the perfect temperature in Utah this time of year. It was fun for Eliana to play with Carter and Luke and for us to spend some time at their place. We’re jealous of their big yard and the ability to let the kiddies play outside with plenty to entertain them and lots of little neighborhood cohorts.

Monday, after going out to lunch with Brian’s family, we dropped by Vickey’s old Mill Hollow buddy’s place. Steve and Cyndy Seeley have been dear friends since we were married and Vickey’s known Cyndy since they worked together at the Granite School District’s summer camp, Mill Hollow (I think Vickey’s first summer there was when she was 17). We learned that the Seeley kids (there are six of them) stay up on our family’s activities through my blog. Sorry for not writing more lately guys. We visited long enough for Dominic to fill his little tummy and then headed south. Cyndy talked us into stopping at their Great Harvest bread store in Orem on our way out of town. Loved the mazurkas! And let’s hear it for that new tropical bread. What a terrific recipe! The Seeley’s are so nice to stock us up with delicious baked goods whenever occasion permits.

We finally made it back to the hot desert Monday evening around 10 p.m. It was a long drive and Eliana had just had enough by the time we exited the freeway. She was screaming at the top of her lungs as we pulled into the subdivision. Needless to say, she got carried straight upstairs to potty and go to bed. After a good night’s sleep our old Ellie was back Tuesday morning.

We’ve still got a home disrupted by projects from two weeks ago, pictures to re-hang, moulding to put up, and a new French door with two broken glass panes and all the hardware to install. Someday we’ll get around to finishing that project.

Vickey’s at a young women’s activity tonight while I’m with the two kids. I guess having more than one child will become the new normal but it still seems a little weird to talk about the kids instead of just Eliana.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that yesterday was Dominic’s doctor’s appointment check-up. He’s grown a little more than 2 pounds and 2 inches since he was born. He’s doing well and developing as he should according to the doctor. And Eliana got her three year-old shots so we can say she received them before she turns four next week.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Six Weeks

Now it’s been six weeks since Dominic joined us and certainly, life’s been a whirlwind since his arrival.

We had a great time visiting with the Codellas for a week and working on home improvement projects together. Today we’re in Salt Lake City for a Snow family gathering. We’re going to Charley and Lori’s in Helper tomorrow to celebrate their Vegas wedding which occurred on May 1.

Our drive to SLC went from 8 a.m. Vegas time to 6:30 p.m. We only made two long stops, Cedar City for lunch, and Thanksgiving Point for a feeding stop for Dominic, along with a couple gas-up stops. We took advantage of the ice cream parlor at Thanksgiving Point and let Eliana play with the overpriced toys. So, yes it was a long trip, but the driving time was diminished by our stops.

Dominic seems to be a few inches longer than he was when he was born. And he’s sure filling out and looking like a cute little baby boy.

Eliana’s doing better with the big sister gig, however she frequently ‘needs something’ when Vickey’s feeding Dominic.

Yesterday Angie and Vinny’s dog, Nala, had one of her front legs amputated…the result of an accident a month or so ago (she jumped out of the Explorer while it was going 50 miles per hour). And yesterday was Angie’s birthday. Fun day for them. We spoke today and learned they’re taking it all in stride and dong well.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Almost One Month

Life seems to be settling down, Vickey seems to be getting closer to functioning at 100%, Eliana seems to be over her bathroom fetish, and little Dominic continues to eat, sleep and soil his diapers (and sometimes his clothes and everything around him). Life’s good!

Dominic will be a month old tomorrow when he’ll receive his first priesthood ordinance, an infant blessing, in our sacrament meeting.

“Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name” (from the Doctrine & Covenants 20:70).

It will be a great opportunity for both our families to join together and give thanks for the arrival of the new little one. And from what I’ve observed in Dominic, I’d say he’s content and easy-going with a strong personality, and of course, since he looks like his dad, that cute lit’l punkin’ will be a real charmer.

We’re lucky to have him in our family.

We’re looking forward to welcoming grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends…probably about 40 folks…to our home tomorrow afternoon for a family luncheon as we celebrate Dominic Joseph’s safe arrival. No doubt there will be lots of activity and craziness, so I’m enjoying the quiet morning hours this morning.

Actually, I woke up about 5:30 a.m. because Dominic was making little hiccup sounds in his sleep, then Tank barked at quarter to six and woke Eliana up, who of course had to come lie in bed with mom and dad. So, Vickey and the kids are in the bedroom and I’m up and at ‘em.

I think I’ll head downstairs to begin making goodies for tomorrow’s festivities.

By the way, a holler out goes to my good friend Tyler Castleton who celebrated his 35th birthday on Wednesday. Happy birthday Tyler!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Story Goes On

It’s been several weeks now and we finally have a medical professional’s opinion on Eliana’s frequent bathroom trips. The doctor said Ellie checks out and everything’s just as it should be, all except for her attention getting behavior which her parents will just have to learn to deal with.

So, we’re glad a physician has given Eliana a clean bill of health so we can dismiss the possibility of a urinary tract infection or something else.

Dominic is doing well and even growing. His face seems to be getting more mature each day.

Tonight I’m home alone with the kiddies and the dog. Vickey’s at a Pampered Chef meeting, her first one since the baby.

It’s hard to believe that it’s August already. It’s a busy month for us with Dominic’s blessing and extended family on both sides joining us this weekend, the visit of my parents and brother’s family next week, and Vickey’s brother’s wedding celebration (they eloped to Vegas a while back, so the celebration is something for the family to participate in).

We got some exciting news Sunday morning – our neighbors, Brian and Robin, gave birth to their second child and first boy. Now Dominic will have someone to tackle, as Brian put it.

Vickey’s doing pretty good and getting around almost like normal. She’s taking regular over the counter pain medication when needed and doing her best to sleep when Dominic sleeps.

And right now, Dominic’s not sleeping. He was confused a bit by the bottle tonight, in Vickey’s absence, but he should have a full tummy now. He’s just not settling down like he usually does for Vickey.

So, I’m off to my father of two duties. Hopefully it won’t be too long of a night for us all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Eliana…Working it Out

Eliana has shared the stage now for nearly three weeks with her ‘baby brodder.’ Her love for Dominic is apparent — she’s the cutest when she snuggles up to him in the morning to say, “Good morning baby Dominic,” — and the excitement for his birth has now been replaced by the realization that she no longer owns the limelight.

In fact, she’s working on perfecting the art of grandstanding. It seems we all fall prey to her well-conceived notions of needing help to go potty, put on her clothes, eat her food, buckle her seat belt…all those independent things she was so proud of before have now been replaced by a type of regressive desire to be the baby once again.

Perhaps all families of multiples experience similar adjustments. Or maybe we’re just pushovers in the parents department and Eliana has us wrapped around her little finger. Or maybe it’s a mixture of both.

At any rate, we’re growing accustomed to each other and doing our best to maintain some semblance of order and routine.

We seem to have found a diaper that works for the power peeer — it’s the Babies R Us brand. Seldom has he soaked through one of them.

My favorite Dominic-ism is how he sleeps on his back with his head turned to one side and both arms lying to each side at 90 degree angles with his hands in a tight fist. It’s like he posin’.

Vickey’s doing better and is a real trouper to get up at the wee hours of the morning to tend to the little one. She has asked: “Is this what I get for 9 months of carrying this child, that he comes out looking just like you?” I’m not so sure I agree with her assessment, but I’ll take the compliment.

And I’m sure what she really means to say is, “How lucky am I that my newborn son looks just like his good lookin’ dad!”

We’re enjoying the visit of Grandma Codella, especially Eliana. It’s nice to have an extra set of helping hands.

So, for now, we’re all growing accustomed to being a family of four and Eliana’s figuring out what it really means to be a big sister. What a cute lit’l punkin!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Today is Your Birthday!

Three years ago today Sir Tank Thunderpaw was born into the world; a cute little blue-eyed, sweet smelling, cuddly puppy. My, how times have changed!

In honor of Tank’s birthday we bought him a new fun-filled bone (maple bacon flavored filling) and a new doggy tricks book. We’ll have to see if we can implement some of the new tricks before the family comes in August.

Also in honor of his birthday, here’s his pedigree:

Sire: Baron Von Vegas
Dam: Misty Desert Dawn

Dad's Parents: Robert Millhouse Quayle and Alana Blue
Paternal Grandpa's Parents: Casper the Original Ghost and Misty the Original Ghost
Paternal Grandma's Parents: Bandy's Maximillian Dude and Bandys Gretalyn Jezebell

Mom's Parents: Major Kaiser Von Pope and Scout II
Maternal Grandpa's Parents: Kaiser Wilhelm Von Pope and Reyna Shehzadi
Maternal Grandma's Parents: Lusco's Izac B B Clayton and Mercedes Wust Geist

So today, it’s all about you, Tank. Hope you enjoy your birthday, big boy!

Speaking of birthday’s, we’re looking forward to President Hinckley’s 95th birthday concert tonight. Special guests include CBS newsman Mike Wallace and pop singers Gladys Knight (she lives in a neighboring ward in our stake) and Donny Osmond.

In fact, it starts in just about 30 minutes and we’ll be watching it live on BYU TV while we enjoy a scrumptious meal from the Bomans.

Isn’t technology grand? And isn’t it great how ward families take care of their own? Gotta love it!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Two Weeks Ago

Two weeks ago tonight Dominic Joseph joined our little family. Looking back it seems like such a whirlwind.

We’ve been the recipients of so many meals, baby gifts and even gifts for Eliana…we’re truly blessed.

Last night, in my effort to have quality time with Dominic, I held him for a brief period before his evening feeding and in that time had to change my shirt twice, him once, and completely remove the sheets off our bed and remake the bed so we could sleep in it.

I think Dominic enjoys projectile vomiting. That cute lit’l punkin!

Yesterday I got a call from my old (yes, he’s a year-and-a-half older...and not really wiser) high school friend, Evan. He shared the terrific news that after 13 years of marriage he and his wife are now expecting their first child in January. I was so thrilled to hear the news. They’re in the process of adopting a young boy and by next year will be adding a baby. Isn’t it strange how we all grow up eventually?

Eliana spent most of her day with our neighbors who graciously offered to let her hang with their three kids and play all afternoon. It was a good diversion for Eliana and gave Vickey some down time…if you can call caring for a newborn down time.

Vickey’s making her way through the new Harry Potter book…who isn’t?…and is getting around better each day. We’re proud of her for doing most of the work to bring Dominic here and care for him at this young age.

A cartoon I read tonight — awesome book, Steve and Cyndy (“One More and We’re Outnumbered!” by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott) — read as follows: “I thought labor ended when the baby was born.” How true that is! It’s only just begun.

Happy 2 week birthday little Dominic!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Melting with the Snows

We just broke a record for consecutive days above 110 degrees. It’s been downright hot here. At least Dominic came at the beginning of the hot spell.

Since the Snows left on Sunday morning I’ve meant to upload this photo and say how much fun we all had together…I’ve just been busy working. And that’s a good thing.

We were so blessed to have willing, helping hands the week after Dominic was born. Vickey’s parents were terrific, supportive and fell in love with our new little guy.

Eliana tried out her attention-getting tricks, with relative success, and we were just too tired to be disciplinarians. Now that the company’s gone Eliana’s relearning what behavior her parent’s won’t accept. I guess that’s the beauty of being a grandparent, uncle or aunt - you can be a pleaser without having to worry about any long-term consequences.

It’s good we all have people who love us in our lives. We’re very blessed with a terrific extended family.

As for Dominic, he’s a power-peeer. There just isn’t a diaper, onesie/PJ and blanket combination he can’t pee through. I’m afraid to see our water bill next month after running the washing machine every day now, multiple times a day, for a couple of weeks.

The good news is everyone’s happy and healthy. Just don’t ask me if I’m happy at 2 a.m. when I get to wake-up and help Vickey take care of Dominic. We made it through Eliana, so I’m sure we’ll survive this stage with Dominic. I’m just lucky Vickey’s such a good mother.

PS—check out the new photos starting on page 2 of our online photos.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Signs that Make You Go Huh?

During a trip we took a couple years ago to visit Vickey’s family, on the drive south along I-15, somewhere in central Utah, we found this sign in front of a Wendy’s restaurant.

It has caused frequent chuckles since. Chances are, that’s just the type of person you’d find working at a fast food joint.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ode to Tank

The resident in our home who perhaps gets the least respect (depending on the perspective I suppose) is our 3 year-old-this-month weimaraner. He’s energetic all right. And as hyper as they come.

When we purchased him we decided to let him keep his manhood in the hopes he’ll one day be able to earn his keep. The Vegas breeders, John and Dawn O'Brien, told us we could earn about $500 for each successful impregnation. With one successful rendezvous we’d have covered our initial cost.

It was only recently, however, that we learned we’d have to construct a dog run, completely enclosed, and watch the doggy fun to confirm it happened at least twice. Now it’s sounding like more work than we bargained for.

I guess the male dog doesn’t travel; the female comes to him. It’s done that way so the male dog doesn’t bolt weeks later looking for his girlfriend.

I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to get a dog run constructed…and I’m certain Tank would enjoy the experience…question is, would it calm him down a bit? Probably not. But the puppies would sure be cute!

This whole breeding thing is just one more thing on my already-way-too-long-list of things to do.

But I was thinking tonight about what a great pet Sir Tank Thunderpaw has been and is. Our 3-and-a-half year-old has taken to having him sleep in her room with her. It’s pretty cute how they both curl up in their respective beds each night. The only challenge is when my sister was in town this April she spoiled Tank by letting him sleep on the bed with her. Now, every morning when we open the door to wake up Eliana we find Tank curled up at the foot of her bed. Guess his doggy pillow is pretty much useless.

Tonight the grandparents, cousins, Eliana, Tank and I went to the park to play; and yes, it was 100 degrees at 8:30 p.m. Very hot! We had fun throwing the Kong ball for Tank and watching him run as fast as he can to catch it, then trot back, ball in mouth, with his tongue hanging out.

He has his moments, as we all do, but all-in-all, he’s a pretty good little…well, 70 pound…companion.

When our friend Tracy visited last month she commented on how we needed a security system. I told her we had one called Tank. And that’s the trufus, rufus!

I’m sure if someone tried to hurt Eliana or come in our home Tank wouldn’t be a welcome surprise.

At any rate, despite the hyperactivity, it’s nice to have someone around who always wants to be by your side and under your feet. It’s nice to know you’re loved and needed.

It’s not so nice to frequently have a wet nose rubbed on your calves or hands, but at least Tank's location isn't a secret.

So, for now, this concludes my ode to Tank. We’re glad we’ve got him and we hope we’re able to coexist happily for years to come.

And if you’ve ever considered breaking into our place…first of all, why, since there’s nothing of value to take; and second of all, once you’ve met Tank, I’m sure you’ll reconsider.

Thanks for being part of the family Sir Tank Thunderpaw.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What’s in a Name?

Today, since I’ve been submerged in welcoming a new baby for the past week, I’ve decided to focus on a new subject as a sort of digression.

Did you know Italians have name days? It’s true. Not only do Italians celebrate their birth day, they also celebrate their name day. And since I’m half Italian, I decided this year to implement the name day policy in our home.

My name day is June 29, in honor of St. Peter the Apostle. The only celebration for my name day this year was me mentioning to Vickey while I shaved that ‘today is my name day.’ That was as far as it went. (I guess Vickey didn’t pick up on the hint to make me a cake and host a celebration. And since she was 9 months pregnant, I’m willing to let her off the hook this time.)

Dominic’s name day is January 22, in memory of Domenico, a Benedictine abbot who died in 1031. And coincidentally, January 22 is my brother’s and one of my best friend’s birthdays. We’ll be sure to celebrate for little Dominic on January 22 next year.

Unfortunately there wasn’t information on name days for Vickey or Eliana. The origin of name days is based on patron saints and I didn’t uncover any patron saints named Vickey or Eliana.

As for name meanings, Eliana is from the Roman family name Aelianus, which was derived from the Greek word helios, meaning sun. Meanings we’ve found for Eliana include daughter of the sun and daughter of light.

Dominic is from the Latin name Dominicus and means of the Lord or belonging to the Lord. The name was traditionally given to a child born on a Sunday. Even though our Dominic was born on a Thursday, we’re still grateful and know he’s a gift from the Lord.

Peter is derived from the Greek petros, meaning stone. Hard as a rock, bey-bay (this pronunciation of baby is courtesy of our Indian dry cleaning lady).

Vickey is a pet form of Victoria, an English name and feminine form of Victorius or Victor. Our friend Tracy frequently calls Vickey Ms. Vickey. I think we should teach her to use proper English and address her as Ms. Victoria. Sounds regal, doesn’t it?

And as for Sir Tank Thunderpaw…we created the name just for him to match his very large puppy paws and grey/silver color, like a royal knight. Now he’s just a royal nightmare. Just kidding…really, we love Tank in our own dysfunctional, neurotic way. He is a weimaraner after all!

So there’s some food for thought as you consider what’s in a name.

[Name meanings gathered from various internet searches.]

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Quiet After the Storm

Amazingly it’s completely quiet in our home right now. It’s so peaceful it makes me wonder what’s wrong.

Also amazingly, little Dominic slept from midnight to 4 a.m. last night. That was terrific! I think Vickey’s feeling much better as a result of some consistent multi-hour sleep. It’ll just be one day at a time and will take some time to get things back to normal…a new kind of normal.

When one of our friends emailed today she referred to us as the Fantastic Four – The Codella Four. It’s weird to think we’re a family of four now. We have yet to drive with all of us in one car (because Matt and Kristy brought Eliana home form the hospital before we checked out on Sunday evening).

I think it’ll really feel strange to buckle in two car seats and strap in two kids and head off to church or to go shopping. I guess it’s one of those things to which you gradually grow accustomed.

In some professional news, my firm, Codella Marketing, made the news yesterday on PR Newswire’s site for agency news. You can read about the firm’s three new clients here. And some additional business ventures are planned for the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.

It has been good to get things organized and focus on some work this afternoon. Grandma Snow took Eliana and her two cousins out for lunch…and that was three-and-a-half hours ago. I’m glad it’s not me out in that 100+ degree weather. It’s hot!

Grandpa Snow and I plan to do some painting for Dominic later tonight. There are two shelves in his room that were pink for his sister and we’re making them blue. With that activity we’ll complete the facelift for the nursery. Now it’s a masculine nursery instead of a feminine one. I commented to my neighbor earlier that when we decorated the nursery four years ago we made it blue and yellow so it could go either way. His comment was to just make sure my kids don’t go either way. Ooo! (That expression comes from Chandler on Friends; if you’re familiar with it, you understand how the inflection goes.)

One more little tidbit for you: did you know scorpions light up when black light hits them? They’re fluorescent! It’s really eerie. I borrowed a black light flashlight from my neighbor last night to hunt for scorpions – the only way to rid your yard of them according to our exterminator. My neighbor said he found 17 scorpions during the last week in his back yard. Gordon and I went out last night about 9 p.m. and by the time we came in had found at least 15 and killed around a dozen (chopped them up with a shovel or smashed them with a hammer – now that’s fun!). It was like fishing, only it was creepy. Perhaps it’s just one of those things you have to live with when you live in the desert.

So, life goes on at the Codellas and things have calmed down considerably.

Monday, July 11, 2005

On the Mend

It’s Monday afternoon and we’ve been home from the hospital since last night about 5 p.m. We’ve had our share of challenges getting accustomed to caring for a new baby but we’re so glad he’s a happy, healthy kid.

The attending physician at the hospital didn’t give Vickey much in the way of pain killers, just ibuprofen, so I spent a couple hours last night to secure an additional prescription.

Last night Vickey and I were up every couple hours feeding Dominic. Since Vickey had a c-section and because our bed’s so high off the ground, I have to help her in and out of bed, sit up, lie down, etc. And I’m the one to get Dominic out of his basinet and into Vickey’s arms for breastfeeding.

The natural delivery was easier on Vickey (and me), but we’re okay having to work a little harder on this one. He’s worth it.

Grandma and Grandpa Snow have been terrific. They’re keeping tabs on Eliana and Tank.

Also yesterday we were pleasantly surprised by the visit of Vickey’s brother Matt and his family. They came to the hospital yesterday afternoon to see the newest addition. We decided it would be helpful for Tessa (11) and Emma (9) to stay in Vegas and entertain Eliana.

It looks like grandma/pa and Tessa and Emma will stay with us all week.

We’ll have trouble getting Dominic used to not being held by someone, but it’s sure nice right now. And Eliana is in Seventh Heaven playing dress-ups and whatever else with her cousins. In fact, Tank’s pretty entertained as well.

Speaking of Tank, you should hear him whine when Dominic cries. Tank just doesn’t know what to do and wants someone to help the baby right away. It’s cute.

Vickey’s taking an afternoon nap and I think I’ll be joining her shortly. Hopefully in the next day or two I’ll be able to upload more photos.

Till then, we’re on the mend and everyone’s doing well.

Thanks to many of you for your kind words of encouragement and congratulations.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Dominic Joseph’s First Day

It was a great day in our family today. We had our first full day as a family of four. Already we can feel the additional responsibility of having another kid. And already we feel the added joy that comes with it.

Dominic’s a good looking, healthy boy and we’re thrilled to welcome him to our family.

It has been wonderful having Grandma Snow here to care for and be with Eliana. She has needed it. Tonight we got home a bit late and Ellie had just had enough…it was emotional breakdown time. Luckily she was willing to settle for me getting her ready for bed instead of her mom.

I’m home long enough to see that everything’s taken care of here, upload some photos and post this blog, then I’m headed back to the hospital to be with Vickey and Dominic tonight.

One of her physicians visited with us this afternoon and said he’s planning to keep us there until Sunday.

Vickey was able to eat solid foods for lunch and dinner and even got a nice hot shower tonight. She’s doing great! We’re all so proud of her.

Thanks to the great family members and friends who have called or dropped by to check-in on us.

A Baby Boy

I’m happy to report that Vickey’s consistent contractions lead to labor on Thursday. She began contracting about 8 a.m. We picked her mom up at the airport at 2 p.m. and made it to the hospital by 2:30 p.m. They admitted us and the delivery process began.

Vickey got situated in a delivery room with her happy epidural by about 5 p.m. From 8:30 to 10 p.m. she pushed and pushed and pushed, but our stubborn baby boy wouldn’t make his way down the birth canal.

After fetal feces was discovered, it was determined that for the health of the baby and Vickey, a c-section would be necessary.

At 10:49 p.m. he was born. He’s 8 pounds and 2 ounces and 20 and-a-half inches long. He looks very much like Eliana did when she was born, just bigger and with quite a bit of reddish blonde hair.

Vickey’s doing well and recovering from the surgery. The baby is healthy and already responding to breast feeding.

I came home to pick up a few things and am headed back to the hospital to spend the night with Vickey and the baby.

Grandma Snow’s here with Tank and will pick up Eliana from the Coglianeses in the morning and bring her to the hospital to meet her new brother.

And by the way, we’re planning to name him Dominic Joseph.

…more to come when I’m more rested…

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Maybe Today

Perhaps yesterday’s blog helped encourage the delivery process. This morning Vickey woke up with some bleeding and regular contractions.

The doctor’s office told her to eat something and count baby movements for the next hour.

Once that time is up, we’ll call them back and see what they want us to do.

The developments were enough to convince Grandma Snow to book her flight to Vegas and we’ll be happy to see her in hot, sunny Las Vegas today at 2 p.m.

So are we off to the hospital? Will Baby Italiano be born on July 7 (7/7/05)? That’s the question of the day!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Not Any Time Soon

I’m sure you’re all wondering how Vickey’s doctor’s appointment went today. The bottom line...she’s dilated to a one-and-a-half (barely) and it doesn’t look like the baby’s coming any time soon (maybe that’ll jinx it and he will come soon).

The doctor was surprised. She commented to Vickey that she was hoping she would have heard from us already - that we were at the hospital and she needed to come deliver the baby.

But the good news is he looks healthy and Vickey’s managing all right. In fact, he’s so healthy that the ultrasound tech estimated he’s about nine-and-a-half pounds!

Of course, the bigger the baby gets, the higher the chance of a cesarean.

So, who knows what’ll happen, or when it’ll happen.

The doctor did schedule an appointment for Vickey to be induced at St. Rose Dominican Hospital - Siena Campus on Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 a.m. If baby Italiano doesn’t manage to come before that at least we know the latest date he’ll arrive.

Maybe by that point he’ll be a 10 pound baby. Now won’t that be fun?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

‘Twas the Night Before the Sixth of July

We never thought we’d be saying this, but it’s the eve of Baby Italiano’s due date and he’s still in the womb. I guess each pregnancy and delivery is unique (Eliana was 10 days early).

So many people have commented on ways to induce labor. Almost as many people as have asked Vickey if she’s having twins.

It’s amazing how most of the women who comment you’d think would know better having carried and born children themselves. I’ve noticed men usually don’t say much except to ask when the due date is.

If Vickey’s still in this state on Sunday, I’m making a sign for her to wear around her neck that says, “It was July 6. It’s not twins. Don’t ask!”

During yesterday’s two walkathons I was intrigued by how many people stopped to size Vickey up then stare her down with either wonder or empathy for her low-hanging belly.

Through this experience I’ve determined, just like mothers teach their children, if you don’t have anything good to say, just say nothing.

The next time someone confides in me that they or their spouse is due to deliver a baby, I’ll just smile and say congratulations. None of this: you should walk around the block, eat spicy food, have lots of sex, clean the house, or go horseback/bull riding. Seriously, horseback riding at nine months pregnant?

Perhaps those things work for some but just as each child is unique, and in my observation comes with his or her own pre-developed characteristics, each delivery is unique.

Why can’t we all just be supportive and offer loving encouragement? I guess that would be too easy. And I guess that’s why we come to expect and learn to grow from opposition in all things. And as Grandpa Snow has said, ‘nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.’

With that said…it’s the night before Baby Italiano’s due date and there’s still no sign of him showing himself in the near future. Can anyone say stubborn? Certainly that’s a trait he has inherited from his mother. :)

The only thing we have left to try is for Vickey to down a large Jamba Juice. That was the last thing she ate before her water broke with Eliana. Perhaps a trip to Jamba Juice will make it on tomorrow’s docket, depending on the doctor’s prognosis at her 1:30 p.m. appointment.

Good night.

Getting Closer

Despite inducing labor trips to the mall—not one, but two—Vickey’s contractions were only about 10-15 minutes apart for 3 or 4 consecutive times. Then they’d stop for a while.

And of course, we were sidetracked by a few stores and did a little shopping. You should try Harry and David’s mint chocolate malt balls…they’re to die for.

The three of us walked at the Galleria Mall in the morning, and then spent the afternoon with the Coglianeses barbequing, swimming and just hanging out. Tracy joined us for the 4th of July activities there. We got home around 4 p.m. and Vickey and I made another trip the mall, this time leaving Eliana with Tracy. Vickey experienced some hard contractions there, but still nothing consistent.

We all had dinner then headed outside to witness a cornucopia of fireworks. Neighbors, the City of Henderson, surrounding hotel casinos and The Strip all shot off fireworks. It was very noisy from about 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

While we oohed and ahhed over fireworks (even Tank was involved) Tracy packed and cleaned-up. It took her several hours to find the floor again in our guest room. It was like a tornado hit our guest room and bathroom.

Eliana finally went to bed about 9:30 p.m., Tracy and her friend left for L.A. about 10 p.m., and Vickey and I retired about 11 p.m.

There were no contractions to speak of during the night, so we’re still wondering when this little bambino will come. Her due date is tomorrow. She sees the doctor tomorrow morning and we’ll have a better idea of progress and a possible date for inducing labor after that.

Hope everyone had a fun, safe Fourth of July!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

It’s the morning of July 4th and Vickey has felt some more consistent contractions since waking up today. Maybe a holiday wouldn’t be the best birthday, but if you think about it, there would always be a party on your birthday and you’d always have it off work. Not too bad.

It’s hard to get our hopes up though when we’re really uncertain if today’s the day. Vickey’s contractions are pretty irregular and have come and gone for days now.

It looks like we’ll head to the mall to do some power walking.

I was planning to take care of some woodworking projects today, but it looks like that’ll wait until this afternoon.

So, it’s off to the mall for us.

Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Here We Sit

Ever go to camp and sing that song, Here we sit like birds in the wilderness? That’s how I’m feeling lately. We’re just sitting around waiting for something (baby Italiano) to come along. It’s a weird sense of being anxious and excited at the same time.

We purposely went about our normal Saturday routine today, we were out and about shopping, in and out of the car, went out to dinner and a little more shopping…and still no baby. Although Vickey’s contractions are occurring more frequently they’re still not signaling an immediate delivery.

Our friend Tracy from Los Angeles joined us for the week on Tuesday evening. She’s staying until Monday or early Tuesday morning and has another friend on her way to LA headed to stay with us in Vegas tomorrow evening until they both leave for home. Tracy has taught Eliana all sorts of bootyliscious dance moves. We’re glad she’s here to entertain Eliana!

We all went swimming for a couple hours this afternoon at the Coglianese’s and had a great time. Their family is gathering for the naming and blessing of their baby, Mijken, tomorrow. Although Amber and Vickey had due dates just 5 days apart, Amber managed to beat Vickey to the punch by delivering Emma Mijken on June 16.

I guess I don’t really have much else to add. My mom thinks the baby will come tomorrow…sorry to tell you mom, it’s not looking like that’ll happen. My web designer friend’s wife’s birthday is Tuesday, so they’re rooting for that day. And on our due date, my cousin Gina was born, along with a couple other work acquaintances. I’m sure Gina’s hoping for the 6th. It’s just all pretty much a mystery at this point.

We’re hanging in there and taking the 100+ temperatures as best as we can.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Vickey’s 39 Week Check-Up

Today Vickey saw doctor Herrero for her weekly check-up. She’s at 39 weeks today. The ultrasound technician said everything looks good, the baby looks fully developed and perhaps the doctor would induce Vickey in the next day or two.

Then the doctor took a look and found Vickey still dilated to a one; same story as two weeks ago. Unfortunately, that means no inducing labor at this point because we wouldn’t want to risk having to take the baby by cesarean if she didn’t dilate completely.

When Eliana came she was dilated to a one when her water broke. Because of that, the doctor put her on petosin and began the labor.

So, perhaps Baby Italiano will kick a hole in the sack and a similar approach to delivery will ensue.

Or, perhaps Vickey will just have to stick it out a few more days, even a week or more, to wait until she’s dilated to at least a four.

The doctor told her if she was at a four she’d induce tomorrow…but alas.

All these hopeful statements aren’t really what a 39 week pregnant woman needs to hear. Poor Vickey’s been on an emotional rollercoaster this morning.

However, the good news is the baby looks healthy and everything checks out okay. The ultrasound did uncover swelling in his scrotum, a rather common occurrence where extra fluid enlarges the scrotum. We’ll have to watch that after he’s born.

If he’s like other Codella men, he could end up with a congenital hernia. But so far, it doesn’t look like that’s the case.

At any rate, it doesn’t look like he’s joining us immediately...probably sometime next week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Eliana's Dance Recital

This is going back a month, but for such a cute get-up, surely it’s okay.

On May 23 we attended Eliana’s first big dance recital at the Henderson Pavilion. She had a recital last December as well, but this was the big kahuna. Grandma and Grandpa Snow were terrific sports and made the trip from Salt Lake City to Henderson to be part of the action.

Ellie donned her pink-spangled outfit, tap and ballet shoes for two dances to the absolute pleasure of mom, dad, grandma and grandpa.

I was especially pleased to see the common sense gene had been passed on when she requested we leave after two-and-a-half hours of sitting in an outside amphitheater in high Vegas temperatures watching ages 3 to who-knows-what dance their little hearts out.

Eliana’s performances were sprinkled in between the other age groups. She was slated to ‘appear’ in the grand finale, but when she asked in her tired way if we could leave, dad and pregnant mom couldn’t have agreed more. Getting grandma away from the theater’s weatherproof folding plastic chair was another issue—who are we to deprive her granddaughter of one last dance—but we managed.

I especially enjoyed the experience of changing Eliana’s shoes (from ballet slippers to tap shoes) between numbers. It was me and a whole bunch of doting moms. Seriously, I was the only testosterone backstage (as long as you don’t count the post-menopausal women who shave nearly as much as I do). Although I was raised in the performing arts, I felt just a little out of place.

At least I had my darling daughter and all her first performance anxiety to keep me occupied. She was excited and just a bit apprehensive all rolled up in one cute little package.

By the time we made it home it was close to 10 p.m. (we left around 6:45 to ‘get a good seat’). I was happy to relax in the family room…but not nearly as relieved as was Vickey.

All in all, it was a fun experience. I even recorded most of it on video tape for posterity’s sake. Speaking of which, I requested and got the new Backstreet Boys album for Father’s Day this year and last night recorded Eliana rocking out to one of their songs. That’ll be a good one to play at her wedding!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Puns for Fun

To celebrate our sixth anniversary on June 26, Vickey and I went out to dinner and a movie on Saturday night (6/25). It’s difficult to believe six years have come and gone. We feel fortunate to have a good marriage and a forever family.

While we were waiting for our table at Claim Jumper, Vickey found a newspaper publication with stories about all the good Claim Jumper and its employees are doing (a good PR tactic). One of the articles was a short quiz for parents that contained some fun puns. Vickey thought my mom would especially get a kick out of them. So, here they are:

Q: Why are 1990 dollar bills worth more than 1989 dollar bills?
A: $1,990.00 is one more dollar than $1,989.00.

Q: Even when the Arctic natives are starving, why won’t they eat penguin eggs?
A: Penguins live in the Antarctic, not the Arctic.

Q: Why can’t you take a picture of a man with a wooden leg?
A: You need a camera to take a picture of a man, not a wooden leg.

Q: A man rides into a town on Sunday, three days later, he leaves on Sunday, how can this be?
A: The horse was named Sunday.

Q: How many times can you subtract 5 from 25?
A: Once you subtract 5 from 25, you no longer have 25.

Q: Clara Clatter was born on December 27, on a hot summer day. How is that possible?
A: The southern hemisphere has its summer during our winter.

Q: Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the biggest mountain in the world?
A: Mt. Everest has always been the largest mountain, even before being discovered.

Q: Which weight more, a pound of pennies or a pound of dimes?
A: A pound is a pound, the world around, 16 oz.

Q: How is it possible for two fathers and two sons to pay only for three buffets, when the buffet costs per person?
A: They were son, father and grandfather.

Q: Why can a dog only run into the woods?
A: Once the dog gets to the center of the woods, the dog is running out of the woods.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Remembering Syd Riggs

Last Wednesday I attended the funeral service for a dear friend, Sydney Ann Samuelson Riggs. She was basically my mom away from home while I attended college. While it was a bitter-sweet day, I left the service with a feeling of gratitude for this life and the experience we’re all going through together. It was a happy occasion for so many good friends from years past to be gathered together in celebration of an honorable life lived.

This is what I wrote for her family’s book of remembrance:

My first experience with Syd was when, as a returned missionary, I was cast in the 1991 Promised Valley Playhouse production of The Gift of Christmas. I enjoyed the van ride to and from Salt Lake City because Syd and I often had the chance to talk about life. I especially remember her advice to stay in the theater as long as the theater didn’t influence me to compromise my covenants. I have and always will enjoy the theater and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and all it has made possible for me to receive and benefit from even more.

Today I’m the father of a beautiful and sometimes challenging 3-and-a-half year old daughter, and my wife Vickey and I expect our first son to arrive in the next couple of weeks. Being a parent helps you better understand what our Heavenly Father must feel as He watches down upon His children.

There’s no doubt Syd lived her life to the fullest. I don’t know of many people who are more involved in so many different activities.

As a BYU student a group of my cohorts and I would spend just about every Sunday afternoon at the Riggs’ home enjoying awesome home cooked meals prepared by Syd. We ate, played games and had a terrific time with the entire Riggs family. Syd was a wonderful host and surrogate mother.

I enjoyed Syd’s friendship and support throughout my days in Young Ambassadors, various Promised Valley Playhouse productions and finally in the 2000 Thanksgiving Point production of Forever Plaid. It was after that show that my wife and I moved to Las Vegas. We’ve seen Syd a few times since then and enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce about the good ‘ole days.

Syd was a supportive mother and wife. She maintained an awesome sense of humor and was always a friend to those around her. I can only imagine the good she must have done as Orem High School’s drama teacher.

Her friendship, kind smile and hearty laugh will be missed by all who knew her.

Our warmest condolences and heartfelt wishes for strength at this time of separation are with the entire Riggs family.
I’m confident people are in our lives for a reason. We all grow and learn together.

Several comments made at the funeral were very poignant and reminiscent of the life of Syd Riggs. A comment her brother, Scott Samuelson made really struck me. He said something like: Why do we believe in things we can’t completely understand? Because we choose to believe.

And isn’t that the crux of it? Thankfully we live in an environment that is created largely by our choices. And thankfully we can decide our own attitude, direct our own thoughts and work each day toward worthy goals. Certainly our lives are impacted by the actions of others and still we have the opportunity to determine our reaction.

As mentioned in Batman Begins (yes, a blatant reference to pop culture), we fall down so we can learn to get back up again.

I’ll be eternally grateful for the influence of Syd Riggs in my life.