Monday, May 28, 2007

Gimme a high 5!

All right folks, the time has come to gimme a high 5! (But only if you really think the designs deserves it.) Click on the images below to vote for In one ear, out the other and Crab Raccoon!

My Threadless.com Submission

(Alas, the above submission did not last more than 24 hrs having been removed from voting due to a low score. Hopefully Crab Raccoon and Monster Truck will fair better! If you were really hoping to own a shirt bearing the ear illustration...I'm obligated by threadless to wait 90 days after submitting a design before removing it and making it available elsewhere so check my cafepress store in about 3 months!)

My Threadless.com Submission

*UPDATE*

Here is one more design that I've submitted: Green Eyed Monster Truck Rally. Personally, it's my favorite of the three I've entered so far. It has to be preapproved before it's opened up for voting (which takes 4-8 days) but you can go ahead and preview it by clicking on the image. Make sure to check back within the next week to see when voting has started so that you can cast yours!

Green Eyed Monster Truck Rally - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Cousin Jack!

Hard to believe but Cousin Jack is ONE YEAR OLD today, hooray! We've got prezzies for you Jack, but we haven't sent them just yet because we want to get 1 or 2 (or 3..) more but they'll be on the way to you soon. Lot and lots of love from Auntie Paige, Uncle Theron and Cousin Sylvie XOXOX

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

One more 'Get Rich Quick' scheme (yeah, right)

Another day, another website that has caught my eye.

This time it is threadless.com, a site which sells graphic tees featuring some pretty kickass art. What particularly intrigued me about this site is that anyone can submit designs for the tees, have them critiqued, and then submit them for voting. People then can give your design a score from 0-5. Designs with the highest average score after a week are then in the running to be chosen by the folks at threadless as a new printed design. The very, very best part of the process is that if your design is chosen...you get beaucoup bucks! $1500 smack-a-roos! Not exactly chump change, especially considering that I've made less than $100 so far from all of the designs on my cafepress store, (which, btw, I'm not giving up on).

Anyway, I figured why not sub a few designs and see what happens? At the very least I'll get some feedback on my illustrations, which is nice.

Here are my first two efforts, currently in the critiquing phase:

Crab Raccoon
In one ear, out the other

Please let me know what you think, good or bad!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Help Theron (and Sylvie!) raise money for AIDS research

Dear Friends and Family:

I hope this letter finds you happy and healthy. I am writing to tell you about a challenge I have taken on and to ask for your help. On June 3, 2007 I will be walking with over 10,000 other people in the AIDS Walk Boston 2007, benefiting AIDS Action Committee.

In addition to committing my time and spirit for this event, I have committed to raising money for the 22nd AIDS Walk Boston that will go to the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC) to help provide needed services to people living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Action provides housing/legal assistance; meals and social support; rent and utilities assistance, just to name a few. AAC is also involved in essential advocacy and policy efforts on current issues such as passing the statewide needle exchange legislation or increasing funds for HIV/AIDS services. These programs and services are in need of funds, and I hope to be able to generate some through my efforts and your generosity.

It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause - you can make your donation online by simply visiting my personal walk page. When determining your donation amount please keep in mind the BIG commitment I have made.

Maybe making a donation on my behalf isn't for you? Maybe you'd like to join me as a participant! You can register on the website listed below as well as learn more about the event.

I hope that you'll support me in this effort. Check out the Walk online.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Sincerely,

theron wallis
To donate online, please click here.

(In case you were wondering why I'm not participating, it's because I'll be out of town that weekend visiting a friend)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Five Years and counting

Last Friday marked the fifth anniversary of our wedding. As they say, time does fly. My mother, who was visiting, stayed home with Sylvie while Theron and I went out to celebrate with a swanky dinner. (Being a SAHM, I'm generally a jeans and tshirt gal so it was nice to have a reason to dress up a bit. And because I am a maudlin sentimentalist, I wore the same dress that I wore the night before our wedding at our rehersal dinner...yay it still fits!)

We shared a bottle of Asti Spumante while we enjoyed our seafood and chatted comfortably like the old married folk we are. At one point I heard the John Denver song "Rocky Mountain High" playing over the sound system, which seemed like a funny song to be playing at a fancy seafood joint looking out over Boston harbor. "Annie's Song" would have been much more appropriate all the way around, since, as those of you who attended the ceremony know, it is the first song we danced to.

We are very aware that have a great deal to be thankful for: A happy marriage (despite occasional squabbles), an adorable daughter (despite occasional tantrums), good health (mostly, more on that in a sec), loving family and friends that we can count on it times of crisis. This last blessing was especially brought home to us when what could have been a major life changing event occurred this past March: Theron suffered a minor stroke. For those of you just finding this out, please be assured that there is no need for alarm; Theron is COMPLETELY recovered without even having to undergo any sort of speech or physical therapy.

He was on his way to work one morning when he started to feel 'funny' and realized we was veering into the hedge lining the sidewalk. He made it to the corner where he decided to sit down and try to figure out what was wrong. his right side went entirely numb, no feeling whatsoever, and he collapsed onto the ground. Luckily, it was a high traffic area and lots of people were on their way to work so some folks came to his aid immediately and dialed 911. He said that by the time he was being lifted into the ambulance, he'd regained most if not all feeling on his right side but that he couldn't seem to communicate very well. He was rushed to the hospital where they proceeded to do a battery of tests on him. He was able to call in to his work and tell them he wouldn't be in and then called me to fill me on. Obviously I was horrified because even though they had yet to come out and say he'd had a stroke at that point, it sure sounded like he'd had one from his description. He sounded almost normal on the phone but I could tell something was off in his speech. I was somewhat relieved that Theron sounded mostly ok, but still incredibly freaked out. Do 32 year old men in good shape normally have strokes??? What exactly had happened? WHY? What did this all mean long term?

I wanted to go to him right away but he said to wait because they were still doing tests and hadn't put him in a room yet; he'd call me again when he was settled. I figured that when I did go it would be better to leave Sylvie with someone because for all I knew he could end up in an ICU where children aren't usually allowed. So I called up our close (literally and figuratively) friend Amanda. She in turn got a hold of her husband Sean and filled him in. He offered to leave work early to come take me to the hospital while Amanda stayed at our place with her baby Bryce and watched Sylvie. So once I knew Theron had a room we did exactly that.

Despite having had a stroke, being poked multiple times with needles (including 2 IVs), Theron seemed pretty good. The only obvious sign that something had happened was inability to clearly communicate all the time. His speech wasn't slurred, but he had trouble thinking of the right word, at one point substituting 'mayonnaise' for 'artery'. He was aware that he was saying the wrong word at times and was very frustrated about it. He was put in the Neurology ICU overnight in case of another stroke, but moved back to a regular room (still in the stroke unit) the next day. Though the doctors initially thought he'd require speech therapy, his speech improved rapidly and was almost completely back to normal the next day. With the continued help of Sean and Amanda, as well as our friends Joanna and Dave and my cousin Randy, (Thanks again all of you!!!) I was able to see Theron every day he was in the hospital while knowing that Sylvie was well looked after. I did bring her in to see Theron once for a short visit, but her toddler energy could only be restrained for so long before she wanted to go exploring and we had to say our goodbyes for the day.

Amazingly, Theron was released from the hospital in less than a week. He initially had to give himself injections twice a day as well as take the pills he's still on in order to get a certain level of the medication in his bloodstream. A visiting nurse would come every few days to check on him and take a blood sample to test the level of meds. In fairly short order, the home visits and self-injections ended but Theron still has to go get his blood drawn once a week for now to monitor the levels. The good people he works with showed great concern over his and even sent us a ginormous fruit basket. He was out of work for 2 weeks but has since returned with no problems.

While Theron was still in the hospital, we were told a variety of things about what had happened and why so we were a bit confused. We knew he had a stroke for sure but a lot of the details were still fuzzy to us since the doctors themselves were still assessing all of his test results. After a recent follow up visit, many things were cleared up. In a nutshell, what happened is that Theron developed a dissected carotid artery, probably from a blow to the neck. The doctors told us that it could have been received in a car accident (which he hasn't been in since he was a teenager), via playing contact sports (which he doesn't)or even simply rough housing with Sylvie. It definitely was NOT from all those times I karate-chopped him in the neck. (Yes, I'm kidding.) Basically we don't know how he got the injury in the first place and probably never will, but at least we know that it was more of a fluke occurrence and not anything to do with some undiagnosed congenital defect or disease.

Anyway, while the injury healed, it developed a clot which broke loose and went to Theron's brain, causing the stroke. The medicine he takes is an anticoagulant to prevent any further clots from forming while the injury finishes healing. The doctors will scan his carotid again in a few months to ascertain it's state of repair and hopefully Theron will be able to discontinue his medication by this fall if not sooner.

As I said, we have very many things to be grateful for. I am especially grateful for the fact that I didn't lose the love of my life and that he came through the other side of this potentially cataclysmic event 100% intact; that we were still able to do something as simple as go out for dinner on our 5th anniversary and to toast the times past and the times yet to come.

I love you very much Theron.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

April Sylvie photos


Not many good photos for April I'm afraid. Sylvie has become somewhat camera shy...or at least almost always manages to move so I get a photo of the top or back of her head. This one was taken during a visit to the ICA.