Monday, April 28, 2008

My Aunt

This morning at 4:00am my aunt lost her year and a half long battle with breast cancer. My aunt Karen is the wife of my dad's twin brother and though we didn't see each other very much, I still feel very close to them. We were just up visiting last weekend showing off Ana, she had been so looking forward to meeting her! Ana had been running a temp on and off and my aunt had just completed another (experimental) round of chemotherapy so we didn't want to take any chances on getting her sick. After a few days, we decided that the fever was due to teething (the two front bottom teeth finally popped through!) and brought her up last Sunday. I am so grateful she and Ana were able to meet, I'll be able to tell Ana some day just how smitten her great Auntie Karen was with her. I think what I'll remember most about my Aunt is the way whenever we got together she would inevitably end up sitting in each of our laps before the visit was over. She would play with our hair and ask us questions about what was going on in our lives. She just had a way of making every one she came in contact with feel so special. If you could, would you mind saying a prayer for our family as we all work through this loss? Especially for her husband, her three sons, her beautiful little grand daughter (she's only 6), and her parents and siblings. She was a generous, caring, funny, amazing woman and she will be sorely missed by so many people.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Alpha Testers

So Greg has been working on this project. Pretty cool actually; he is finagling a bird house with a web cam. He bought a bird house, and fiddled with our web cam so it would operate in low light conditions. We're going to put the house out within the next week or so and we hope that some birds will take residence in it. Wouldn't it be super cool if a bird builds her nest and lays her eggs in it? We'll see! Anyways, he has put up a web site with streaming video and has pleaded with me to recruit some "alpha testers" for him. Would you all mind going to this website (you have to use Internet Explorer) and letting me know what you see? If it is working you will see a grey picture. It's what is in the bird house right now. I asked him to put something in there so you could confirm seeing something. Then I watched the site as he went out there stuffed some unidentifiable empty wrapper or something in there, so don't expect to be able to tell me what it is, I don't even know (men!). If it's not working, you'll see a black screen. Thanks for your help! Once it's working, I'll have a permanent link so you can watch whenever you want!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Gas Man and The Bleach Sniffer

I can't believe it's been another week since I last posted! The truth is, there's not a whole lot of things to write about here, and quite honestly, I'm happy for that! Last week was our first week back to normal. Greg returned to work, Ian was in school and I found myself trying to figure out how to try and work ourselves into a routine of sorts. Of course after being couped up for two weeks, I was quite ready to just get out of the house so that's actually what I did. I visited my mum at work who was just dying to show off her grand-daughter, and visited with a friend who has a daughter Ana's age (as a matter of fact, Ian is very good friends with her oldest daughter as well). It was a nice week, but it did nothing for my getting a routine in place! Dinners ended up being sandwiches and scrambled eggs and the like. Laundry is stacked up in giant dirty piles in the basement and in a few neatly folded piles in my bedroom (which are slowly getting knocked over one by one as Ian is looking for something to wear in the morning). Nobody was complaining mind you, but I'm really hoping to get myself caught up this week and back into a routine (which I confess I haven't been on for a very long time!). Sitting in a cluttery mess has the unfortunate side effect of putting me in a foul mood, poor Greg!

Anyways, to get around to the title of my post. I swear my family is going to become famous in the ER. Besides our whole post visit to Guatemala double date in the ER, I thought I'd share a couple other doosies with you all. A couple years ago, Greg had a gas powered remote control car. I can't even remember what he was trying to do, but it had something to do with siphoning gas into the tiny car's engine. Well, the gas back flowed right into his mouth so we called poison control to see what we should do. They told us we needed to go to the ER. Upon our arrival to the ER Greg told them what he was there for and they replied, "Oh you're the gas man!". He's been teased about that on and off since! The only reason this popped into my mind today is that yesterday my mother had a similar brain lapse of a moment that resulted in an ER visit. She was getting ready to get into the hot tub when she noticed that the chemical bottles were out in the open all wet so she decided to check and see if they were okay. How did she do this? She removed the top, held it directly under her nose and SNIFFED it! This immediately resulted in her throat burning and her chest tightening up (she has asthma as well) so off they went to the ER where she received an albuterol treatment and the third degree about sniffing household chemicals; "Now Dorothy, I have to ask this. Did you sniff the chemicals on purpose?" he asked her. She replied "well of course not!" Too bad they didn't call poison control ahead of time. I can just see her entering the ER and being asked "Are you the bleach sniffer?"!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nine Months Old!

Can you believe that Ana is 9 months old today? Usually I am posting these monthly birthdays with a heavy heart because we were not together. We are so blessed to finally have her home with us! Happy Nine Months Baby Girl! Seriously, can life get any better? I now not only have my snuggly cuddly Ian to wake up to, but I know I can now always count on a big gummy grin and pure excitement from Ana first thing in the morning. Just knowing she's happy to see me immediately makes my day!

I can't believe the gains she has made in just the two weeks that we have been home. She is now sitting independently (with the occasional, "oops, looked too far backward" tumble of course), she is beginning to bear weight on her legs, she is consistently getting finger foods in her mouth, she responds to her name, and she is rolling both ways more and more every day. Oh and we've found that she's a real drama queen. A couple times now,she's been happily jumping away in the jumper as I'm making a bottle for her. As soon as she sees the bottle, she starts to fuss and cry and scream. It's like, "I see it, why isn't it in my mouth yet?" It's quite humorous actually. Today I showed her how to bang two blocks together and she just thought that was the funniest thing ever! I gave them to her and she actually copied me and did it herself. It's so amazing to see the light bulbs go on!

We had a really good first "new normal" day. It was really nice to have one on one time with Ana this morning. She was so happy, which made me feel really good. Nap times are still shorter than I'd like, she takes two 20-40 minute naps a day. It seems like that is the magic waking time. Even when she goes to bed at night, we can count on 20-40 minutes afterward her waking up crying. Must have something to do with sleep patterns, maybe it's a shallow sleep and enough for her to be aware of the noises and smells that are still different to her. I don't know, but she seems pretty happy during the day none the less, so I guess that's what really matters! Anyways, Ian got home from school, did his piano practice, his home work, and we even worked in a game of Sorry while Ana was napping. All in all, a very pleasant day. Well that was until I broke the news to Ian that he was having a bath and I was actually cooking something for dinner tonight...he's been far too accustomed to sandwiches for dinner for quite some time now! That resulted in a minor battle, but not one we aren't well accustomed to!

I'm going to leave you with a little comparison of what a difference we are seeing in Ana over the course of a week.

She went from playing with food on her tray to consistenly getting that food in her mouth:

She went from sitting with her hands supporting her to sitting up straight and sturdy:

She can really get going in her jumper now, she loves it!

Oh, by the way. The sweater that she is wearing in the top pictures is the one I crocheted for her when we got out of PGN. I couldn't fasten all the buttons, so it was likely her first and last time wearing it. Oh well, at least I got a picture!