Sunday, March 10, 2013


Rakai had big plans for his twelfth birthday - March 11, 1996. We were letting him take the day off school and he was going skiing with his dad. Pretty exciting! But Asa had other plans.

Sunday morning, March 10 something wasn't right with my pregnancy. The baby wasn't due until the end of April. I called the doctor and he said just to lay down and take it easy. We lived in Heber Valley and the Doctor was in Salt Lake, a 45 minute drive. I followed the Doctor's orders for a couple of hours but things kept getting worse. We drove to Salt Lake. A quick check up in the emergency room and they sent us home. "You just need to rest," they said. Around 6:00pm things were getting really uncomfortable. I was really worried about the drive and we debated going to the Heber City emergency room. We actually were driving there but decided at the last minute to head down to Salt Lake.

I had lost a lot of blood and was white as a ghost. I was rushed up to the women's center. The doctor met us there and after doing a check up said the placenta was ruptured at 35% and rapidly declining. "At 50% the mother dies," he said. I was prepped for a c-section.

On the way down we called Grandpa Scoville and he met us at the hospital. He was out in the hallway telling the Doctor a story. The doctor tried to be polite but said, "if you want to give your daughter a blessing you should do that now. We don't have much time." He gave me a quick priesthood blessing and I was whisked away to delivery.

Asa was born at 8:53pm. I saw him from afar and then they took him away.

I woke up the next morning too tired and groggy to leave my room. It would be 48 hours before I would be united with my son. Each time the nurses came in I asked how he was doing. "Stable. His stats are neutral. They are steady and are not getting better or worse."

Finally I was well enough to be wheeled into nicU. There was my newborn baby, under an oxygen hood and hooked up to too many wires. I reached over, held his hand and sat by his side for nearly an hour. Nurses came over and talked to me, I talked to Ra, we talked to our baby. I was tired and needed to go back to rest. A few hours later the nurse came in and told me that Asa's stats had jumped up on the charts. They told me he had probably recognized the familiar sound of my voice and realized he was in a comfortable place.

A few days later I left the hospital without my baby and we drove back to Heber. I was too far away and still recovering from the surgery so I couldn't go see him as often as I wanted to. Ra worked in town and was able to visit him everyday. I would call the nursery to ask about him. The nurses only knew him as Puriri Boy. Unable to sleep in the quiet of and dark of the night I created a sign for his crib.

We went to visit Asa on Sunday March 17. We were surprised when they told us we could take him home. We had nothing with us. The nurses wrapped him up in a gown, gave us a few extra blankets and sent us on our way.

Rakai was happy to have his little brother and he still got to do his skiing trip. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Ammon - Isaac - Hamilton - Rakai - Karamea - Asa

This picture was taken on December 30 at a farewell party for Rakai and Asa. The next day Rakai left to go live in Kona, Hawaii and Asa left for an adventure in New Zealand. Rakai found a job a few weeks after being there. He loves the Kayak tours...HA...job...that's not a job. He's very happy meeting new people from around the world and spending time on the ocean every day. Asa is enrolled at Hamilton Boys School in Hamilton and lives in the hostile on campus. Ammon and Isaac live in Provo. Isaac is a student at BYU and Ammon at UVU. Karamea lives in Salt Lake and works as the Marketing Coordinator for SLUG Magazine. Someone always has to be the youngest and be the last one at home...alone...with mom and dad. Hamilton does his best to stay busy but he desperately misses having his older siblings around. 

The house is quiet.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


We experienced the phenomena of the RING OF FIRE! Blue skies, sunshine and warmth. It was perfect weather for an eclipse.

Our original plans were to drive over to Rakai's and then up to the old airport but when we realized there was a perfect view from Tonaquint Elementary we decided to go there instead. We called the boys and told them to come to us.

Asa was the driver and drove the Montero up the dirt road behind the school. We were on top of the hills and had an excellent view of the sky and Green Valley. It was pretty awesome. Ra got out and set up the chairs. Asa got out and lifted the hood of the car to check the oil while we waited for the boys to show up. I turned on the acoustic blues channel of Pandora Radio. Asa said, "mom it's like we are stranded in the middle of nowhere and dad's over there playing the blues on the guitar."

Ammon to the rescue! Blazing a trail of dust they pulled up in the toyota. They all climbed up on the mattress in the bed of the truck and we watched and waited for the RING OF FIRE. Excellent memory!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Three months ago I walked into a room in the Intensive Care Unit of the Flagstaff Medical Center and saw my son hooked up to machines. I watched him struggle to get in and out of the hospital bed and I agonized over the pain of the wound vac change. I sat on the sidelines of the basketball court of the Sanctuary house and wondered what the future would hold for our family. I imagined the long process of recovery. A couple of weeks ago Ammon walked into my office without his crutches. Now he wears two shoes and plays basketball.

How is this happening? Life saving measures at the lake, amazing team of medical professionals, hyperbaric chamber, this really cool AFO...and Ammon is being watched over by angels in Heaven.

Life offers experiences that challenges our senses. How these obstacles affect our life is a choice only we can make. It is through prayer, miracles and Ammon's inspiring attitude that this rapid transformation continues to empower us.

At the very moment I learned of Ammon's accident I turned to the Lord in my request that he be given a priesthood blessing before the first surgery. Three hours later the Doctor had a bleak prognosis. Prayers have been spoken. Angels have been near. Miracles have occurred. God's will for Ammon is apparent and we are grateful for this outcome.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I have mounds of homework to do but I'm way overdue on a blog update so I'm delaying my deadlines to catch up on the blog.

First of all, thanks to all of you who continually ask about Ammon. We continue to feel your love and concern and your prayers continue to work miracles in his behalf. Ammon started sitting in the Hyperbaric Chamber at the IHC wound clinic on September 6th. He goes every day for two hours. Sadly we do not have pictures. 

I've often thought how much better it was when he was in Flagstaff and I could leave the world of work and school behind every weekend. When I was in Flagstaff I could devote my entire focus to his care. While it is wonderful to have him home in St. George, I am surrounded by all the responsibilities of daily living and I am unable to attend doctor appointments or the hyperbaric chamber when he goes.

As a result I get visits and phone calls at work. Yesterday Ammon showed up at work stood in the doorway of my office and said, "look crutches." It was a time to celebrate. Of course I pulled out my phone and clicked a few photos. He ran up and down the hall, did a few karate kicks and showed me how the new boot works. Pretty awesome! I warmed up some soup for him and he ate at my desk while I continued to work. Then he was off to hang out with his friend and I was back to work. 

Doctors are impressed by the miraculous speedy recovery and healing that is taking place for Ammon. We know it is through the power of the Priesthood and the prayers offered in his behalf that he is alive and he has a leg. There is no greater joy than to remember the first phone call from Matt and then to see where he is now. He is alive and he has his leg. There are not words to describe the gratitude we feel for the ability to experience Ammon's positive perspective on life every day. 

A couple of weeks ago Ammon surprised Karamea as he traveled up north. She sent this beautiful picture of the two of them. 

Now we look forward to the return of our missionary in six weeks time. This thanksgiving will be filled with the sweet sound of Love At Home. This was the scene in my home two years ago and will be the scene in my home in six weeks. The joy in my soul cannot be explained in words.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Ammon posted on his Facebook page - "There are places like home, but there is definitely no place like St. George. It's good to be back."

I was doing homework Thursday night when the doorbell rang. I opened the door and -SURPRISE - there was Ammon and Ra a day earlier than I had expected. A visit to Dr. Durham on Thursday morning cleared Ammon for a trip home. They cleaned the Sanctuary house, packed up the car and headed for home. A friend of a friend made an offer to fly Ammon home but that wasn't happening until Friday. He gave up the flight and endured the five hour drive. Ammon was more excited to see his bed than he his mother. He sleeps well in the dark and silent basement, away from the clamor of the trains.

The Dixie High Soccer girls planned a 5k run for Ammon. It was an early morning wake up call but he was there at the finish line to greet those who sacrificed their sleep to run for him. 

Then it was a day of soccer. Asa played two games and Hamilton played one. Ammon is climatized to the beautiful mountain weather of Flagstaff but he choose to sit on the bleachers in the stadium and support his brothers. He took notes and said he's going to help them polish their game. If he can't be on the field then he'll play vicariously through his brothers.

Our ward meets at 9am. I didn't expect Ammon to get up for church but he did. I went downstairs to see what he was doing. He was sitting on the side of his bed and with a smile as wide as his face he said, "I'm wearing pants." It is by small steps that he will conquer this mountain.

An overwhelming sense of peace came over me as I sat in the chapel. I'm not sure I've ever missed four weeks of church all in a row. Loving ward members came over to welcome us home and give us an encouraging hug. It is through the strength generated from their fast and prayer that we are able to have courage through this journey. The hymns, the prayers, partaking of the sacrament - I was filled with an overwhelming conviction of the heart. I realized that I need this weekly communion with the spirit. Looking down the row to Ammon, I felt a deep sense of gratitude to my Father in Heaven. He has allowed Ammon to remain here so that I can continue to bask in the light of his spirit.

A conversation with Ammon reveals to me the experience he had just before he choose to fight for his life. Home...Heavenly...Flagstaff...St. George - Ammon has experienced them all in the last month of his life. I am thankful he choose to linger here a little longer.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


On a rainy evening in Flagstaff they experienced a bright and brilliant rainbow.


During Ammon's stay in Flagstaff they spent some time at Barnes and Noble. They found a bunch of books about nerves , went in the corner and studied.


A few days before the accident Ammon sat on the deck of the boat and stuck his go-pro in the water. This is prop that ate his leg. This is one of the x-ray photos. It shows the pins in his knee and the cuts in his bone. It also shows the staples that were used to hold his skin together. There are also pins in Ammon's ankle.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Birthday's of my children allow for moments to reminisce the span of memories contained in the years. As I review the years I look back with fondness and then ponder on what the future holds. On this 19th birthday for Ammon I've surfed the waves of my mind and recalled many happy moments. As for his future, we will watch and give our support.

Surgery number five - the skin graft - took place last week. Friday afternoon was the scheduled dressing change and one I was able to attend. Ammon endures the pain  with strength and forbearance. I sit at his bedside and watch as he takes a deep breath, winces in pain and speaks the words, "why does it hurt so bad?"

While sitting at Ammon's bedside, I connect with Mary mother of Jesus. A mother does not want to see her child in pain, yet she will not leave his side in the agonizing moments. Jesus spoke to John and asked him to remove Mary from the foot of the cross. Just as Mary would not leave, so I choose to stay at the bedside of my son. Tears well in my eyes but Ammon's strength encourages me seek the power within. We all embrace the atonement and feel the love of our Savior fill the room. There are angels among us.

On drive number four to Flagstaff in just as many weekends, I decided we needed to do something different. Ammon's birthday was coming up and he wouldn't be home for it. I knew he needed some time away from Flag. Uncle John, Aunt Moana and the Urry cousins live in Tempe so we decided it was time for a visit.

We got a mid-morning start and got into Tempe around noon. Ra and Ammon have been spoiled with Flagstaff weather so the heat was a bit of a shock. But the heat is what pulled Hamilton to the pool and eventually forced the shirt off of Ammon's back. Ammon taught Hamilton the art of the gainer and Hamilton continued to do the trick until he felt that he had mastered it. I'm not sure you can master this when you are 12 but he gave it his best effort.

A couple of weekends ago I was just leaving Flagstaff when my brother called to tell me that my sister Moana had passed out while preparing dinner and was in the hospital for observation. Once  the bad news hits a certain level you become numb. Shock and awe are not the response anymore. It simply becomes, "oh of course she is." It was discovered that her heart rate was about 35 beats a minute and she needed a pace maker. She cannot move her right arm above her head but this did not stop her from making Kalua Pork,  chicken long rice and her famous wheat bread with honey butter for Ammon's birthday dinner. John said, "we're glad you're here Ammon cause we would never eat this good on a Saturday afternoon." She topped it off with a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. Again from John, "I don't think we've ever had this cake before. Ammon can you come every year on your birthday?"

Ammon was joined by Corbin and Dan, a couple of St. George friends who have moved to Mesa and we enjoyed the birthday party as family and friends.

Another sad Sunday goodbye as we leave Ra and Ammon in Flagstaff. I watch and weep as Ammon throws his arms around his brother, "stay Hamilton...just miss school and stay."  Monday in Flagstaff was another dressing change. I ordered balloons and tried to be there in spirit. Today is Tuesday so we are two days away from Thursday when Dr. Durham will check his skin graft to see if all is well. We hope that is what he finds because WHEN they do HE WILL GET TO COME HOME!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


It's kind of surreal to be sitting here in Flagstaff on this beautiful Sunday morning. It's peaceful and quiet except for the occasional thunder of a train rolling by. Memories of Alpine Days scroll through my mind. The weekends when I was able to break away from my duties at the Washington County Fair and hang out with the Puriri Clan. 

Just behind Grandpa and Grandma's house there's a waterfall. The rocks are slick and the pond is deep. This Alpine Slide holds a place in our hearts. It's where the kids cool off. It's where they dive into the water with the bike. (Somewhere on youtube there is video of this) It's where we build memories.

When I wasn't able to attend Alpine Days I was at the Washington County Fair working a booth or holding down the gate as we filled the Demolition Derby stands with crowds and crowds of people. While I was there Ra was on the road assisting my Red Rock Rotary club with parking duties. Hamilton remembers riding the rides and eating hot dogs and going where only the "workers" get to go. (Yes fair board members and their families get preferential treatment.) 

But everything was different this year. The second weekend of August 2011 will hold different memories for us. This is where we realize that nothing in the world is more important than family. The Washington County Fair, Alpine Days - if you can't be there with your family then why would you want to be there at all. 

Flagstaff - weekend #3. We arrived late Thursday night and found Ammon and Hamilton at home in the Sanctuary House. Ammon had been discharge from the hospital on Wednesday, much to his delight. He was home on a portable wound vac but at least he was home. 

The wound vac continues to work miracles on Ammon's wounds. The dressing is changed every other day. This is a painful experience. The change requires constant contact to his wounds. Ammon understands what is happening and is stalwart in his effort to endure the pain. I sit at his side and wish for a way to transfuse the pain from Ammon. Once again I am reminded of my Father in Heaven and the pain He must experience as he watches his children suffer the pains of this life. I commit to being a better child simply because I understand how it feels to sit at the side of my son knowing that he suffers and there is nothing I can do to take the pain away.

Back at the house we enjoy the company of each other. Ammon finds joy in the smallest of things including meals prepared by his mother. Hospital food was not contributing to Ammon's weight gain so that will be my job over the next few months. Not that it hasn't been my job for nearly nineteen years but now the light shines differently on every little thing. 

Ammon speaks more detail of his accident. The helicopter couldn't find them on the lake. They waited and waited and kept contact by cell phone. Jim finally decided to shoot off a flare. Ammon lay on the deck of the boat and Jim was in his view, "Jim get out of the way. Move so I can see." We laugh at this. Ammon is near death but he wants to see the flare go off. Apparently he'd never seen the excitement of a flare going off in a distressed situation and he realized now was the chance.

We decide to see what's going on in town. There's a movie in the square and there are lots and lots of people. We walk over to the candy store for a treat. A few weeks ago Ra and the boys went into the candy store and asked the owner where they could get a good smoothy. They explained Ammon in the hospital. The owner was saddened by the story and gave them a bag of candy for Ammon. On this Friday night the candy store is crowded with people but the owner recognizes Ra instantly and then sees Ammon. She leaves her post behind the counter and comes out to talk to us. We realize that this accident has an impact on so many people. The candy store, the medical professionals, friends back home, family all over the world - we feel the love of God and see by the light of Christ. These qualities exist in all of us and seem to be enhanced when even one of us suffers. 

We all come from the same place and we all feel the pain of each other. I'm not sure we completely comprehend this eternal concept. I have experienced it in this circumstance and feel humbled and enlightened because of it. 

Saturday on the Sanctuary compound. The boys from next door came over. We shared our lunch and played some basketball. Later in evening dinner and more basketball. 

Sitting outside under the apple tree typing this post.  The life flight helicopter flies over. I think I will never look at that helicopter the way I used to. When I see it I realize that my son went for his first helicopter ride on a stretcher

We had planned to be apart this weekend - some of us in Alpine, some of us at the fair. But here we are instead. Summer 2011 at The Sanctuary House in Flagstaff, Arizona. It wasn't in the plans but it is happening. We chose to use our energy focused on the positives and looking towards a future that will be different than we expected. Life is full of unknowns. It is best to take it as it comes and make the best of the ride.

Helping dad install the dryer at The Sanctuary House

Using Ammon's crutches to get around on the long board.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Ammon is good so far today. He has an antibiotic at 3:00 P.M. and then we get to leave with a Day Pass. We can be gone for as long as 8 hours, cause that is when his next antibiotic is. He also got all cleaned up! Thanks for all of the love and prayers!

We heard great news today before we went away. A social worker came in and told us that Ammon can go back to where we are staying on Wednesday after his VAC change that day! If now Wednesday, we can for sure on Friday i believe! So that is great!

We just got back from Ammon's day pass today. We drove around for a while, and then went to the mall. Then we went to Walmart, and Ammon and I got in those mechanical chairs and were drifting between aisles and so forth. After that we went to Dairy Queen! We went back to where we are staying and ate and took a little nap. Ammon is now back at the Hospital about to get his antibiotic . . .

Ridin' free and easy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

When I left Ammon's room on Saturday night he said "they never let me sleep in so come back early." I arrived at 9am. He was sleeping. I made a bit of noise and he just kept sleeping. He moved so I asked him some questions. He just kept sleeping. The nurse came in to hook up his IV. He slept through it. I think yesterday wore him out.

Ra and Hamilton arrived around 11. We left Hamilton there and went off to run a couple of errands. When we came back Ammon was awake. He had eaten breakfast and lunch and was ready to go for a walk. We went as far as the main entrance set up camp and played cards.

It was getting late on this Sunday afternoon and we needed to head home. But who can travel on an empty stomach? Of course we had to eat first. We made another picnic and ate it on the cafeteria patio.

There's just something heart wrenching about leaving your son in a hospital, getting in a car and driving 5 hours in a direction that is away from him.

The healing process commands our patience so we wait and wait. Ammon will experience the pain of the wound vac change every other day for the next week and then we are hoping for the skin graft process to begin. Ammon's goal is to be home for his 19th birthday on August 22.

Our main concern will continue to be the peroneal nerve. We all pray for a miraculous healing process.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Saturday morning Ra and I were sitting outside the main entrance when a rusty old toyota truck drove up. We glance over and notice it was Ammon's neurosurgeon, John Durham (but everyone calls him Bull). The nurses told us he was a real down-to-earth kind of guy. He loves the outdoors. For summer vacation he gets on a junket and cooks for the sailors. Dr. Durham's "mountain man" personality was confirmed when he pulled up in that truck hopped out and walked toward us. He was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, his curly gray locks adorning his head. "hey I've got a couple days off but I'm coming in to check on your son. How's he doing this morning?"

Ammon was scheduled for a dressing change at 10am. I walked in a little late. His wound was exposed. Dr. Durham looked my direction as the door opened, "it's your mom", he said to Ammon. "Mom you're supposed to knock first." By that time I had seen the open wound. I guess some might've passed out or shrieked in some sort of fashion but I just looked at it and said, "I thought it would be worse." I walked into and across the room and could see that Ammon was cringing in pain. I dropped all my stuff, walked to his side and held his hand. Tears of pain trickled down his cheek as he lay there enduring the agony. The process was difficult. This will happen every other day for a while.

There are experiences in life that fill our souls with joy and remind us of that which we love most. Ammon has been given that opportunity. He's been asking for days, "when can I leave the hospital" and the answer was never good enough for Ammon. After his horrible experience with surgery #4 and then having the dressing on his wound changed this morning we all knew he needed a break. Dr Durham understands a longing for the outdoors so he granted the request. WE WERE OUT ON A DAY PASS!

First stop was The Sanctuary House. We ate lunch under the shade of the apple tree and kicked back for a while. Uncle Paul showed up baring gifts from Hawaii and Canada. We like it when Uncle Paul visits. He lives in Gilbert, about a 2 and a half hour drive from Flagstaff. He's a flight attendant for USAIR so he picks up little things for us every once and a while.

Rakai got bored and said, "let's for for a drive." There's mountains all around and he had been doing some online research. He wanted to go to the top. We filled the cooler with snacks and water, loaded up the cars and off we went.

The kids were in one car while Ra, Paul, Carly and I were in the other. How did that work? The sensible ones in one car, the crazy ones in the other. The road turned from asphalt to dirt then all too soon we were off roading on a treacherous rocky road. The sensible ones kept honking the horn. They would send Hamilton to talk to us, "he's okay mom. He said it doesn't hurt that much. Let's just keep going." Paul was monitoring the altitude on his fancy dancy watch 6 thousand, 7 thousand, 8 thousand feet. Rockier and rockier the road became, more and more worried were the sensible ones. At 8,300 feet we ran into a lady who was running down the road. "There's a meadow just around the bend. It's really beautiful." We kept going and...we made it. Ammon wanted to go to the top. Pictures speak the immeasurable beauty of what we saw from the top. It was SPECTACULAR!

Ammon's bewitching moment was 7:45pm. A quick glance at the fancy watch and we realized we had one hour to make it back. Oh...I forgot to mention that only one car was able to make it to the top so we all piled in and headed down to meet the other car that was parked on the side of the treacherous road. Lots of bumps and jerks and moans and groans later and we were separated back into the two cars.

The nurses were pleasantly surprised to see that Ammon was returning right on time. Not even one minute late. Yah...we did that cause we want them to give him more and more day passes.

On this Saturday and after lots of pain and cabin fever, Ammon saw the sky again. Lots and lots of sky. Mountains, rocks, wildflowers, forest - the great outdoors. It's right where he belongs.

Welcome home tunnel

The beautiful meadow.

Family - except Isaac and Karamea and MIA. Well not really. we know where they are and we miss them.

Hamilton and Ammon taking in the view.

Just leave me here and come back and get me in 3 weeks.

One section of the treacherous road.

Friday, August 5, 2011


This post begins with a BIG thank you to Rakai and Carly for staying the night with Ammon. I wanted to stay through the night with Ammon but it had already been a very difficult day. That's enough about yesterday because today was a happy day.

We arrived this morning with a determination to lift his spirits. The list of things to do included an outside field trip, a shower and conversation with hospital personnel to see when we can break Ammon out of this place. Not that it's a bad's just that a hospital is no place for a healthy, active young man.

Our roadside rescue started with a hello from Leo. Ammon wanted to "crutch it" to the main entrance and he did while the physical therapist (Shannon) walked next to him. It was a long walk and maybe a little bit too much too soon. I sat on the bench across from him. His face was white as a ghost. I told him he looked like one of those creepy dead people in the movies. But soon the color returned to his face. He was happy to see his dog.

The front entrance to the hospital is a really busy place. Noisy cars and trucks, people coming and going. Shannon said we could take him for a walk as long as he stayed in the wheel chair. She gave us an hour and off we went. First down to stand under the skybridge instead of in the sky bridge. Then Rakai suggested we walk back up and find a patch of grass under a tree. The road to one side, the parking lot to the other but that didn't matter. He was outside. Rakai pulled the car over and turned on the tunes. We listened to Ammon explain his helicopter journey.

Ammon looked out through the wind and watched the blades move around.  Everything happened in slow motion on this first helicopter ride. A result of low blood pressure I suppose. He said he didn't feel the pain until he was pulled from the helicopter and then it was a pain that cannot be explained in words. He yelled at the medical team working on him, "MAKE IT STOP." Then he said, "I've been thinking a lot about Jesus and the pain he suffered. I feel bad for Him. People don't understand the pain he felt, except maybe James. I'm just one person. There's all the other people in this hospital and then people all over the world. They all have pain. Pain He suffered. You can't understand His pain until you've experienced extreme pain yourself."

The clock was ticking down and we needed to get Ammon back inside. Later on in the day the shower happened and then later on after that we did an evening picnic complete with homemade hamburgers, thanks again to Rakai. Yes we did have that conversation with the social workers. No conclusive answer yet. Maybe he'll break free on Monday. For now we are here and he is waiting for my computer so he can skype a few friends after we leave.

Today was a good day and here's the pictures to prove it.

Run Rakai Run - take me away from this place.

Roadside - kind of a peculiar place to kick back.

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Evening picnic thanks to Rakai.

Okay - get in the car and let's get out of here!

I want to sleep on my stomach.