Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Walk to Familiar Territory

Mark and I have been switching off walking Mellon in the mornings, ala Dog Whisperer advice, but this morning Mark had to go to a meeting and so the dog walking got put off so that we could have some morning together and after he left John and I took her. Before leaving I was looking at google maps texting directions to Mark so that he could get where he was going and John was really interested in the map, so I printed off a map from our house to the church and we set off on our walk.

When I was a little girl my mom would take us on walks around out long long block in Louisiana, we would take buckets and gather berries for jelly, or pinecones, or flowers or whatever. She taught us the names of the different plants, we talked about which ones were good and which ones were poisonous, she taught us about all the bugs and stuff that we saw and how to run and scream from a snake, and told us stories about all kinds of silly stuff. These were great times with my mom, days that I miss. Later when Tina, my sister, was pregnant with her first baby, she, Mom and I would walk for an hour or so each night around the little town that we lived in. Those nights in Iowa were the best ones there, oh we still talked about the different flowers and such, but we had a lot of good laughs together too and got to be friends.

The walk today with John was not only to the familiar places that he and I have walked over and over again since we've been here but for me it was a memory of fun days when I was a little girl and walked with my mom. We watched the map and named the streets and looked for the turns. The wind is blowing like crazy today so we got to pick up a Robin's egg that was knocked intact from it's nest, count leaves on branches that blew out of the tree, look at different kinds of seeds that are blowing around and smelled one that really stinks, followed a contrail to see the plane, listened to the train blow it's whistle, discuss why church was closed and he couldn't get a drink there, watch John back up all the curbs that he could never get up forwards (he figured this out on his own, I guess from watching us back his chair up into the truck), he got to run his tires in the water in the ditch, run over sticks and bumps in the pavement and even say hi to the mailman.

All in all it probably wasn't an effective walk for the dog other than she learned to not walk in front of me and got to sit and wait a bunch, but for me and John it was lots of fun and a memory that I will treasure right next to those ones of walks with my mom.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Drinking Standing Up





Mark and I sat impressed just watching John do this, thankfully he did it a second time so that I could remember to get the camera :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


When I came home from running errands all day John was so thrilled to see me, after hugs and hello's and checking out the bags he disappeared for a bit and came back to show me...


...the sign he is making is 'on'.


Have you guessed what he's got dangling from his ear yet?


Since I took his picture he needed me to take a picture of the dog too!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comforting Words

Losing someone you love is never easy, miscarriage is hard on so many fronts and words of comfort are often foolish like 'oh your baby is an angel now' or misplaced 'oh well you can try harder next time', 'I guess it just wasn't meant to be'. There are real words of comfort from friends and family who have been there before, there is even real comfort from friends and family who haven't and yet know that you hurt and want to help even though there just are no good words to say. Rarely is there comfort from sound theological places, but I know many many women who have traveled these tear filled roads and more who have had friends that did and don't know what to say. Here is a link to Pastor Harrison's blog today, for me I'm going to print it out and stick it in my purse, then maybe on day's like yesterday I will reread it and not find myself so low.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Dog


You can just see John's arm sticking out of his blanket, he's sound asleep. Mellon was just waking when I got the picture. Each night when we take John to bed to say prayers she comes and lays down by his bed. She sleeps there for a while, sometimes a few hours but always at least until he is quiet and sleeping peacefully and then she comes to find us. Good dog!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bonding Rituals




Leaving your litter mates is not easy on a puppy. It takes them a while to adjust. One of the things that they can do is stop eating or not eat much. Mellon spent several days around here eating very little, I was quite worried about her but have spoken to friends, family and her new vet and was assured this is all part of puppyhood. When we took her to see our friends she ate like crazy with their dog, Toby, but back home again that tapered off and it was obvious that she was missing him. Her eating is picking up each day, but she eats best when John throws her a few pieces at a time and so we have taught him to use the horn on his chair to call her (we're still teaching her that those two short beeps are her name) and then he pitches a bit of dog food on the floor for her and as she eats it he pitches a bit more. Each time this little ritual happens both boy and dog find that they are bonding closer and closer together.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let's Go Fly a Kite


John loved helping dad get the kite ready to fly and the actual flying was so much fun too, but since I got to fly it some too and was busy trying to hold the dog there aren't pics, just great memories of a fun and windy day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

John 2.0

In John's last appointment with his GI docs in Omaha Dr. Mercer told us that he thinks that John's system has been so improved by the urinary tract surgery that he just had that we should think of him as John 2.0 (that's a computer way of saying new and improved, usually with some major kinks fixed). We started g-tube feeds last night and I must say that 2.0 might just be right, I'm amazed at how well he is doing today. The last time we tried to start feeds we ran them at half the speed of last night (10ml/hr) and they ran for 6 hours before we shut them off, John threw up several times and the whole next day was just horrible, he felt bad, he just didn't have any energy and he looked sick for a few days before things got back to normal. Last night they ran for the full 12 hours, no puking, no sick, no bloating, no looking like death warmed over today. Dr. Mercer is expecting good things and from the way today looks I'm optimistic!

The other part of our trip to Omaha included time spent with our friends the Baker's. It's always like a mental mini-vacation, just time to relax in good company, spend some time laughing and giggling and enjoying dinner theater. One of John's favorite games there is to sit at the top of the stairs and throw a ball down, this visit Wyatt and Constence wanted in on the game too so Mark sat at the bottom and threw the ball back up the stairs for them, little Lydia joined in too.


John loves to visit friends, when I told him we were going up to see them he started making mail for Constence and then it was all I could do to convince him that while it was sweet of him to want to give her things he did not need to give her his entire room and all of his school stuff too. He loves getting to sit and draw with her and in general she is just a delight, both for him and us!


Mellon went with us and she spent her time making sure that the Baker's dog Toby looked like the good dog. Her puppy enthusiasm was a bit overwhelming at times but all in all she wasn't too bad of a girl that she wore out her welcome.

We look forward to returning in May, both for our appointment and for time spent in the company of good friends!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Running Water

I know, I know, it's Easter and there are definitely more important things to be said than what I have to say, but I'm going on the assumption that you have been in church this morning to hear the WORD of grace and forgiveness that is the amazing Easter message of our risen Christ.

This Lent has been a strange one for us, on one hand the joy and grief of being pregnant and miscarriage, on the other hand this is the first Lent and now Easter that John hasn't spent some or all of it in the hospital. This morning I found myself crying tears of joy and sorrow all at the same time and John my sweet boy keeps finding a reason to come hug me. He's growing up so much and while I am sad that I will not hold 2 of my babies on this side of heaven, I am so very happy and thankful that my first baby is doing so well.

Mark and I have been talking lately about just how much he seems to be coming into his own person, his personality is shining through, he holds his body different and we've been watching him develop little mannerisms, some that remind us of Mark, some of me, some completely of his own. We've known that he was growing and changing right before our eyes, but not until this afternoon did I realize how much taller he had gotten. I was getting some school stuff ready for him and he came to show me that he had marker on his hand and needed to wash it, I told him in a minute and went back to what I was doing. Then I got to thinking just why is that water running and I looked over and realized that John had turned the water on himself and was washing his hand - he couldn't reach the faucet last week!


I leave with you with a few words from my favorite Easter hymn, Christ Jesus Lay in Death's
Strong Bands, this hymn usually elicits groans and complaints but to me it is more beautiful than all the others.

See, His blood now marks our door;
Faith points to it; death passes o'er,
And Satan cannot harm us.

Christ is Himself the joy of all,
The sun that warms and lights us.

Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of alleluia!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


John was so excited that dad cut some pencils off for him so they are just the right length. While he did work on the few letters that he was supposed to be doing it soon devolved into a scribble fest.



Notice we still have a hard time with pencil grip, but he's working on it a little every day or so. We are looking forward to visiting with our friends in Nebraska for a few days after Easter and then appointments and back home to get back to work on Kindergarten, hard to believe that we are looking at 1st grade coming up fast. I am amazed at the progress we have seen of late, especially the signing that he has been doing and the hand shapes that used to be hard that he can now do better with. He's a blessing to watch and makes our days joyful, even when he's being naughty and escaping from his seatbelt!