Sunday, August 29, 2010

Little Man's Long Weekend

Ian's weekend started early, when he greeted me on Thursday at the door like this:

Ian's Rash

Darrin had to pick him up early from preschool because he had a rash. After a trip to the doctor's to determine if it was contagious, we discovered that kids quite often get this type of rash in conjunction with strep throat. So Ian spent most of the day Thursday and all day Friday home from preschool. Had it not been for the rash, though, we never would have known he was sick, and apparently his tonsils were HUGE (the nurse practitioner repeated that several times to us). Ian was his normal self, running around the house and eating like crazy. I won't even get into the debacle it was to get his amoxicillin. Just know that it took more than 10 different conversations to get it right.

He asks every night when he goes to bed, "When I wake up, I can go to preschool?" So we had to break the bad news to him more days than just the weekend days, and there were a few mild tantrums that ensued. He absolutely loves it there. When you ask him what he loves, it's a 50/50 chance you'll get one of two answers: playing or sleeping. Never really sure if he actually falls asleep, or if he just lays there quietly for the time. When I ask about playing, he says with his friends, but he never really says what they do. I think he enjoys what the teacher's teach as well; Darrin said when he picked him up once he was really into the story the teacher was reading, asking and answering questions. I love the school, too. In the three weeks Ian has been there, he's gone on two field trips, every Wednesday they have water play outside (at least while it's warm), they go on nature hikes to the lake nearby. I just love how interactive and learning through play it is.

As for learning through play, Darrin and Ian headed to watch the air show at Offutt Air Force base on Saturday. Ian had the chance to explore planes and see them doing tricks. Turns out, he must have been sleepy or the strep finally caught up with him (even though he was well into his antibiotics by then) because they only lasted there two hours. Darrin said he whined a lot and wanted to be carried; things that only happen when he's tired.



He got caught up on his sleep on Sunday after Marlena, Noah, and Walter left. And even wanted to go to bed early- he knows there's preschool tomorrow and can't wait to go.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girl's Got Lungs!

I don't think Annaliese was too happy that the rest of us were sitting up at the island eating supper tonight and she was not as close. She sure let us know she wanted to be where the action was.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meeting Oliver

I made an impromptu visit this weekend to Iowa City by myself. My nephew, Oliver, was born on Thursday and transferred to the University of Iowa NICU, so I drove up to meet him and surprise my sister.

He was born three weeks early after Cara had gone in for a regular appointment, and the doctor's discovered she was low on amniotic fluid, which was forcing him to pinch his umbilical cord. After delivery, he had trouble breathing on his own and they discovered that he had an enlarged heart, so they transferred him.

The cardiologist said that all chambers and valves in the heart look good; there's nothing wrong with it except for it's big. The air sacs in the lungs were having trouble staying open, so they have him on a ventilator. The first day Cara was there, Saturday, they were able to drop back his respirator 17 points, which is a good thing. On Sunday they reported that they had reduced the meds he needed and lowered his ventilator even more. He is also on a no-stress policy, so there's no touching him, whisper voices only, no flash photography, etc.

Here's the view that greets you when you walk into the room:
Oliver's Room

And here's Oliver. On Sunday, they had to add earmuffs and a blindfold to his wardrobe to help reduce his stress level.
Oliver on Saturday
Oliver on Sunday

Here are some close-ups. You can't even see his hands or feet because they're covered.
Heart monitor
Foot IV
Hand IV

And the proud Momma:
Proud Momma

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tomorrow Ian's Life Changes

Tomorrow Ian starts preschool at a day care center here in Omaha (and Tuesday, I start a new job and Annaliese goes to day care). He's SUPER excited. When tucking him in tonight and telling him he gets to go, he asked, "And stay all day?" The other times we've gone have just been to tour and register him. He can't wait to paint there; it's all he talks about. I'm not entirely ready for this milestone, but I can't wait to see what he'll learn there.

We were asked to fill out an "All About Me" sheet for him, and I'm stuck on this question: "The best part of me is..." Now from my perspective as his mom, the best part of him is that he's a loving, good kid, but is that what you write on the sheet of paper that introduces him to his class? Or do I write something that his classmates will care about (I know, I'm over-thinking this, but those of you who know me really well know it's what I do).

So how would you answer that question?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


If I had to describe Ian, I would call him funny, cute, happy, etc. But I would also use words like timid, cautious, and possibly even wussy. I think many of you who know him would agree. That was why I was completely shocked the other day when he did this:

He has done it numerous times since then, always the same way. First he presses a "button" on his chest, makes a noise, and sticks his arms out for wings. Then he says, "To infinity and beyond!" and launches into the air. (He's obviously still not over his Buzz Lightyear kick).

At first I was torn because I didn't want him to get hurt, but he has NEVER done anything remotely daring like this on his own without A LOT of encouragement, reassuring, and modeling by others. Now hopefully he won't try to jump off the top of the slides at the park...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Long Vacation Weekend

This weekend actually started last Wednesday. Darrin took off that day, along with the rest of the week off, and we headed to the zoo. The first stop was the jungle, where the monkeys were extremely vocal that morning and Ian enjoyed the "roots" of a tree.

After walking through the aquarium, cat house, and gorillas, we stopped by Madagascar, where the kids were able to get up close to the lemurs.

The Garden of the Sense was the last stop before the train. As always, Ian had to climb up on the elephant and get his picture taken (exploring the sense of touch), while Annaliese went for the taste sense:

Almost On

We had to wait a bit for the train, but it made Ian's day, so it was worth it.

Here comes the Train!

Annaliese and Daddy

Thursday brought the oh-so-familiar drive across Iowa. We took my dad out for his birthday dinner to Gunder (the only restaurant I miss back here in Omaha), and put the kids to bed early to prepare for the busy days ahead.

We spent Friday chilling in St. Olaf until supper time, when we headed for a fish fry at the acre. No one can fry fish and potatoes like my father-in-law and Mike. We have been spoiled and made it home for two fish fries this summer. My dad came out to eat with us (mom was working) and take Annaliese home early for bed. In the meantime, she chilled with Owen and Ian had fun playing baseball. He also talked Grandpa Dan into a tractor ride, and Owen got to go on his first ride as well.

Ian and Gpa Dan

Owen's First Tractor Ride

Full Playpen

Swing Batter

My sister's baby shower was Saturday around noon, and thankfully Makenna was able to come and entertain Annaliese for me. And when Ian showed up in the end, he had to get a picture with his "girlfriend".

My Sis

Annaliese and Makenna

Ian and Makenna

That night we spent out at Kam Ham Park enjoy time with friends I hadn't seen in years. After a scrumptious supper of pulled pork and fresh sweet corn, we headed down to the fire pit. My dad had tried to talk Ian into getting his feet wet in the stream but he refused. Little did we know that a few minutes later he'd be soaked from head to toe. Some of the other kids there were crossing the stream on an old railroad tie, and Ian wanted to play, so he crossed, too. He did it successfully several times before slipping and falling into the water below. No screaming or crying followed (amazing if you know Ian), and he proceeded to play in the water for at least a half hour afterwords. I don't know which he enjoyed more, playing in the water, or the three rides he took on the Kubota through the woods.

The fun for the weekend didn't stop there. Lunch on Sunday brought a picnic with some of Darrin's extended family we don't usually see. All three kids (and Jinx) took a dip in the pool at one point, though Ian spent the most time there. After all the excitement from the days before, we really enjoyed the night just chilling around the house.

This long weekend was the kind I've wanted to have back home for quite awhile now. There were no big events (weddings, birthdays, holidays, etc) that we were back for. Instead, we were able to relax, play, and spend time with family and friends