Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy B-Day B-Girl

Yesterday was Violet's 4th birthday. She said that it was the best birthday ever. I cannot imagine how it could have been - it was cloudy and misty all day and I even made her clean her room ;) In honor of her birthday, here are some recent quotes:

"I wish I was still 3. I don't want to be 4 anymore." Me - Why not? "I just wish I could still play toys."

"Mama, do you hear that? Do you hear that hmmm hmmm hmmm (hummed Whistle While You Work) in your mind?" Me - Do you have that song in your head Violet? "Yeah, can't you hear it in your mind? Here (she put her ear against my ear so I could hear it in her head too)."

Last night I asked if she still had that song in her head and she said, "No, I have a different song in my mind now." When I asked which song, she hummed "Happy Birthday to You."

"Dear Jesus, help Anara not to cry and to eat her salad and not to be scared of her salad and to think, 'ummmm, that's good'"

I showed Violet a newborn picture of herself wearing the pink, hospital hat and she said, "I remember when I got that hat even."

"Sometime I would like to go to a frozen yogurt store. Mr. Lopart got some and it made me think that I wanted some."

"Here's mommy coming right up." When she was handing me the phone.

"I don't even know how this works but it's pretty cool." (About her new spyglass)

If only there were food on the spoon
Birthday pancakes
Waiting for his cake
"When is my birthday?"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It might be obvious that robin watching has become one of my favorite past times. I walk to the front door several times a day to see what they are doing. This morning I caught one attacking a worm. You can hear my neglectful parenting in the background (I don't know how to cut the sound out).

Here is a video that makes the fecal sack a little more obvious and disgusting.
Bottoms up.

Picture from Sunday

Picture from today. They are making quite a mess.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I know it's shingles cause it tingles

It's been yet another exciting week in health news. We went to Evansville this weekend and stayed in a hotel. I found some red welts Monday and assumed I got bit by something. They have been driving me crazy all week. I can't sleep at night and I am pretty sore during the day. Today I finally gave in and went to the MD since the "bites" were getting worse. Turns out it's shingles - gross. Apparently there is nothing I can do but take stuff for pain and let it run it's course. I guess two nights spent not sleeping was a little taxing on my immune system (not to mention the coldsore on my lip and fighting whatever bug the kids have). The MD said to get some sleep - ha! The shingles won't let me, which is why I am posting at 1:13am.

Violet had a fever Sat. night and Sunday night she felt even warmer. She seemed okay during the day so I thought that might be it. Tuesday all 3 kids had fevers and were snotty. We had one bad night of coughing and it seems like everyone is on the mend. Cold season had to thumb it's nose at us one last time. Eddie was a little warm tonight and didn't eat well during a couple feedings today. I am hoping it's just the cold and not the beginning of chicken pox from my shingles.

And, unfortunately we have a urology update. Anara's last urine culture came back positive with a pretty high number of Proteus. Proteus is the stone former that caused the last two surgeries. We have been irrigating her with a treatment dose of gentamicin three times a day but it's not made a dent in the bacteria (the culture said it was sensitive to it). She had a CT today to check for stones or fragments in her kidneys and bladder. The MD called this afternoon and said it was clean - phew. She is taking a 10 day course of oral antibiotics and we are hoping this finally kills it. We would really like to avoid another procedure.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twinkle feeding the kids

I have been trying to get a video of this. Every time I go outside, mama flies away without feeding the chicks. I decided to wait inside and video through the door - it worked. I think this is pretty cool. It's nothing you haven't seen on a nature show, but it's more exciting to watch on your front porch. The dad comes first and feeds the birds and then takes a couple white things back (I have no idea what that is). Then the mama bird feeds them and gets back on the nest. If anyone knows or finds out exactly what is happening, I am curious.


Lona and I have been good friends since junior high and I think even better friends in the last 10 years despite the infrequency of our conversations and the physical distance that separates us. She, her husband and six children live overseas. You may remember them from our trip to pick up Anara. We spent the 2nd portion of our trip in their home. This past weekend we took a trip to Evansville to spend some time with them before they leave to go home. I can't believe they have been here for 10 months and this is the first time we saw them - man time gets away from you.

Lona Allen (is that spelled right G-ma Eicher?)
Natalie, Ellie, Annabelle, Violet and Anara
Reading together
The twins and Eddie Uhhh... I think this is Jonathan
I might be wrong
3 happy boys
Crazy EddieHe looks almost as big as her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bathtime and other things

Eddie's toes

Violet's favorite chore

G-pa P. helping with dishes too
"What is this?" - the singing, dancing bunny
Bath foam beard
Bath in the big tub (Nate thinks his thighs look like 1/2 dozen donuts)
Sink bath
Anara helping wash Eddie
Andy and Eddie

Twinkle, Tweet, Jane and Bob

An update on our mother robin, Twinkle, and her babies. The eggs have hatched into 3 scary looking chicks. It's hard to catch Twinkle off her nest to take pictures but with Violet's help we found times when she was missing. I got a severe scolding from the dad today (or at least I think it was the dad). He was sitting on our fence yelling at me for getting to close to the nest.


Chicks on Sunday

Tweet, Jane and Bob today

Resurrection Sunday vs. pagan traditions

Holidays... it seems like I am constantly trying to work out how to extract the significance of a holiday without losing all the "fun" stuff too. When I was a kid, Christmas was completely about Santa and Easter was the baskets and bunny. I may have been able to tell you that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and Easter his resurrection - on second thought, maybe not. I want my kids to grow up with a knowledge, conviction and faith that I didn't have as a child. I want them to contemplate the enormity of these events, not just on the holiday but every day. I don't want to deprive them of fun traditions but I also don't want these things to be the focus of the holiday. I find that it is a tough balance. What 3 year-old wouldn't rather open gifts than read about Jesus's birth? We have decided not to do Santa or the Bunny because they were so much the focus of my childhood. I was sincerely devastated when I found out that Santa didn't exist. I felt bamboozled by adults and I stopped being excited for Christmas once the mystery was gone. In my adulthood, I have learned to appreciate these holidays again for the spiritual implications, family time, and food of course. I'm not sure if we are doing these things "right" but we are trying.

This Easter we stayed home. I had mentioned to the neighborhood kids that we might do an egg hunt for them (I knew we would be around after Anara's surgery). A might to the adult-attention-starved neighborhood kid is pretty much a binding contract. Anara ended up having surgery early but we stuck around to keep my word. We hid 70 eggs thinking that this would be quite the hunt. It was done in about 10 minutes (if that long). I couldn't find any way to infuse the resurrection story in this event as they were simply here for the egg hunt and treats. I knew Bible verses in the eggs would be a disappointing find for them and probably become litter, so we stuck with candy and change (thanks Mom). Hopefully our daily interactions with them will afford us more opportunities to talk of our Redeemer. Here are some pictures.

Family photo after church
Silly photo - I panicked and couldn't be silly
Grandma Janet and her grandkids

Victoria was so overwhelmed she started bawling
Sabrina and Marlene

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Thursday was the 2 year anniversary of meeting Anara. We called it her "Happy Adoption Day" because it sounds so celebratory like "Happy Birthday". It is also referred to as a "Gotcha Day". We made the whole day a celebration starting with a family gift of a toy piano. We had Uncle Andy, Uncle Joel, Aunt Nicole and Nina over for a special dinner of macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and chocolate cupcakes. Here are some pictures.

New piano

Vi's "Schroeder playing jingle bells" finger