Friday, November 23, 2007

Goodbye Firg :(

I'm sad to report that my dear friend Firg passed away on Wednesday night around 10pm. Firg has been my friend for 24 years since we met as freshman in high school. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding and just a great, lifelong friend.

Firg started to have problems with her neurological system about 3 years ago, and was eventually diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter syndrome, which is a recessive genetic disorder. Initially she had problems with balance and concentration, which progressed to the point that she was in a wheelchair. This was the ultimate cruelty for Firg since she was probably one of the most adventurous people I know. She traveled all over the globe and spent time mountain climbing in Nepal, exploring New Zealand, working in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, The Virgin Islands and many other places. She would work for a bit, save up money and then go off on these amazing adventures often for several months at a time. Little did she know when she was in this phase of life, that she would be so grateful to have gone out and lived life to the fullest.

I'm so sad that Firg had to battle this illness in the first place, but I'm thankful that she is no longer suffering from it. My friend Andrea called me on Wednesday evening to say that Firg's sister had called to say she wasn't doing well. Andrea & I made the decision to go over and visit Firg with our husbands that evening. I'm really glad we did, because we both got a chance to say our goodbyes to her and to wish her on her next journey. She died just 2 hours after we were there and both of us told her it was ok to let go. We then called our friend Nancy, who was probably Firg's best friend, and she was able to get there to see her and was there when she died. We are all going to miss her so much and were blessed to call her a friend.

Here is a photo of us going out to visit Firg in 2004 in Denver. Firg is in the striped shirt.

Here is a photo of my high school friends at Firg's wedding in Sept '05:

Me & Firg on her wedding day:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Survived Vegas & Other Fun

So, our trip to Vegas is over. We survived. Jeff and I both say that we can check that off our list and never return. I would be more interested in seeing some of the surrounding sites like the Hoover Dam or just some of the desert in general. We did go to a show at The Excalibur, which was sort of a Knights dueling on horses kind of a thing. The kids thought it was great. We also walked along The Strip and looked at hotels etc. The kids enjoyed going to Gameworks. I really liked the fountain show at the Bellagio. I would probably enjoy seeing more shows, but it just wasn't feasible with small children. By the way, the kids really did great. They both tolerated the plane ride without major incident, except for the return trip when we were landing. Connor's ears got pressurized and wouldn't pop. He cried for several minutes and then fell asleep! He slept right through the landing!

Here is the only photo I got of our airplane ride before my camera battery died:

Our hotel The Platinum Hotel & Spa was great. We had a ton of space and a kitchen, so that was nice. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was very nice. Out of the 9 grandchildren, 7 are boys and they are 13 and under. They were crazy on the dance floor, sliding around, breakdancing, you name it. I'm sure Yuri's nice respectable Japanese parents were mortified by our ill-behaved children! They had a blast, and I think we were the only people in that section of the hotel, so hopefully we didn't bother anyone. I was so bummed to find out that our rechargeable camera battery was no longer rechargeable! I ended up getting a disposable camera, but of course it ran out of pictures before the reception, so I will have to rely on getting photos e-mailed to me. I even managed to drive us all home to our hotel since I was the most sober! Scary thought, but I made it down the strip and got us all home safely, despite the fact that we broke some laws about how many people were in our car at one time.

It was great seeing Jeff's sibs and their families and his mom, and having Porter meet all of them for the first time. One bummer was that our two-year old nephew Tyler had a stomach virus most of the time and was feeling pretty bad. I think Connor caught some version of this since he had diarrhea (sorry TMI) and threw up once yesterday. It was quite the geyser of vomit which landed in the decorative basket full of magazines in our half-bath! Good thing the magazines were old since they went right in the trash. I had bad visions of him vomiting for 48 hours like Tyler did, but I think maybe it was just an isolated event. He seems to feel well today, and yesterday I mostly limited him to Gatorade and rice. I'm just hoping everyone is well for Thanksgiving, which we will be spending at my brother Tom & Jenny's house.

I had my 6 week post partum visit on Monday and brought Porter in to see the girls at work. They all said "He's huge!", so we had to get him weighed. I thought he'd be around 11 or 12 lbs, so I was really surprised when the scale said 12 lbs 9.8oz, so he's gained 5 lbs in 6 weeks!! He is pretty huge! He certainly likes to eat a lot and doesn't miss any meals, so I guess all that milk I've been making has been doing some good. I'm curious to see what he weighs at his 2 month check-up. I had to look back in Connor's baby book to see how much he weighed, and it was 13lbs 3oz at 2 mos. I don't have a 6 week weight to compare, so I'll have to wait and see.

Here is Porter in a cute sleeper that my friend Natalie got for him:

I'll add more photos later when I get my film developed.

Here are some more photos, though the disposable camera I got really stunk, so they are all grainy:

Dave & Yuri saying vows:
The 6 Ingham boy grandchildren (minus Porter):

Jeff & I on the Bellagio Terrace:

Dave & Yuri cutting cake:

Porter on our hotel bed:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

6 weeks old

We are getting ready to go to Las Vegas tomorrow. I know, it sounds crazy with a 6 week old and a 4 1/2 year old, but Jeff's brother Dave is getting married on Saturday. I am hoping that we survive the trip. The next entry I make will chronicle our adventures in Sin City. I figure I can do the slots during middle of the night feedings, only we are staying in a non-casino hotel. Actually, I am perfectly content with that. I have never been to Las Vegas, and really I have never had a strong desire to go. Now I am going with 2 small children and there will be 7 other nieces and nephews there who are 15 and under. The wedding sounds very nice. It will take place at the Belagio and the reception is at the Four Seasons. My only dilemma is that I need to wear something 2-piece because of breastfeeding accessibility, so I am hoping I will be dressed up enough. Jeff is going to be the best man, but doesn't need to wear a tux, so hopefully it will be ok for me to wear a skirt and a blouse. Hey, I'm not going to be the center of attention anyway, so who cares!!

So, we survived croup last week, but Connor still has a bad cough and some wheezing, which he has a tendency to do when he gets upper respiratory infections. Hopefully he will be doing better soon, but I think I may need to bring his nebulizer with us. Porter has had a stuffy nose for a couple of weeks now, but otherwise is doing great and growing like a weed.

Here are some recent photos:

Also, we finally got our basement furniture. We got a sectional and leather ottoman and some bar stools. It's finally coming together. Now I have someplace to sit when Connor wants to go play down there. We have been sitting on the floor, which hasn't been the most comfortable place to sit, and usually I am nursing Porter too. I'm just so happy with our furniture! Of course Jeff came home last night and said he didn't like the color pillows I picked out, but oh well, I guess he'll get used to it! ;)

Here are some basement photos:

Ok, I'm off to pack and do laundry while I've got a sleeping baby!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Croup and Other Joys of Parenting

OK, so last night was one of "those nights". The nights that parents dread, but are proud that we survive. It's the stuff that makes us parents. The stuff that makes this one of the hardest jobs ever, but we still wouldn't trade it.

I was up with Porter at 12:45 to feed him. Got back in bed around 1:30, got snuggled in and just started to drift off when Connor comes in to our room and flips on the light!! He's got that cough, the one that you know means you are headed into the steamy bathroom with the shower on. Poor little guy. He was coughing and crying and said it hurt to swallow. I managed to get him to take some ibuprofen and eventually the steam did it's job. We headed back into his room and I laid down with him until he got settled in. About that time the smoke detectors went off in all of our rooms from the steam! Yikes! I'm praying that the baby doesn't wake up, and praying that they just stop soon. They did after a few minutes luckily. After a bit I left Connor and got back into my own bed, and no sooner did I start to drift off, but Connor is back in our room flipping on the lights! He said the humidifier I put in his room was too loud and was worried that if he needed steam again we would set off the smoke detectors. Before I had a chance to reassure him and get him back in his room, my dear husband invited him into our bed! We hardly ever have him in our bed, and I prefer not to have him there, but I guess there are a few times I would relax that rule, so I suppose this situation warranted him getting in our bed. Actually he was fine all night, was quiet and didn't squirm around too much. Thankfully the baby didn't wake up again until around 4:15, so I managed to get a couple hours of sleep before he was up at 6am again to be fed.

Connor feels fine this morning, though he still has a cough. At least he can swallow without pain and isn't complaining. We did have to cancel a playdate with my friend Molly and her 2 kids, and I will be keeping him home from daycare too. I may not get a nap today, but I think I see a movie and some quiet time in our future. I'm just hoping it doesn't happen again tonight! I could really use a little sleep. I'm also hoping that newborns can't get croup! Porter does have a bit of a stuffy nose, but hopefully that will get better in the next few days.

On a good note, our friend Maggie came through her surgery with flying colors. They were able to repair the hole in her heart, and she was off the ventilator when I spoke with Nancy last night. They are hoping she will get transferred out of ICU today and will be able to go home in a few days.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kind of caught a smile

I sort of got this smile captured. I'm still not sure if Porter is totally connecting with smiling yet or not, but it sure is close. It only seems to happen sporadically, but hopefully soon it will be much more often.

Here are Porter and Jeff getting snuggly:

Also, special thoughts and prayers are with our good friends John & Nancy and their daughter Maggie (see earlier post photo of her holding Porter) who is having open heart surgery in the morning to repair her atrial septal defect. We are pulling for you Maggie and hope that everything goes like clockwork!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

First Hockey Practice and First Smile!!

It's a big day in our house! Connor had his first hockey practice today. All in all it went pretty well. Connor's skating skills previously have consisted of shuffling around in his skates on the ice, and when he took skating lessons last winter, he wasn't always interested in participating, and could often be found laying down on the ice. So, I would say today was an improvement. At first it was mass carnage out there. Everyone was falling down left and right, and the funniest thing was watching them try to pick up their hockey sticks with the big gloves on. Eventually Connor figured out that you don't drop your stick when you fall down, and he could get up a lot quicker. He had pretty good stamina for most of the practice, and seemed to be doing better about gliding a little more and shuffling a little less. He fell down a lot, but didn't really complain too much, though he said he hit his head at some point and complained that it hurt. The best part was that he participated throughout the practice and kept on getting up when he fell down. The coaches did a good job of having fun with them too, and Connor's favorite part was getting to play freeze tag and chasing the coaches. I'm sure his skating abilities will improve dramatically over the next few weeks and months. It sure is a lot of work getting all the gear together and on though! I'm glad Jeff's around to do that, and am hoping there aren't too many times when I will have to do it alone and bring the baby too!

Here are some photos of our first day at hockey practice:

Getting ready with Porter, and with Kyle our friend below:

Listening to the coaches:

Getting up from a fall (action shot):
The next Gretzky:

His cool Land O Frost sponsored jersey:

Porter all bundled up taking a bottle in the arena:

Earlier this morning Porter gave a few small smiles to Mommy! It was so sweet. Mostly we have just had the smiling in his sleep smiles, but I think he is starting to connect and make it happen when he's awake and alert. I am going to try to capture some on film, so we'll see if I can succeed. He is one month old today!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween & Porter 4 weeks

Well, hopefully you have found us at the new address. It's been a busy week with Halloween and all. We had a lot of fun, but Connor did not want us to take his picture, so I don't have one of him in his costume. He was a Clone Trooper from Star Wars. He went out with Jeff and our neighbors, Kirk, Carter, Olivia and their cousins. I think they had a really fun time and got lots of candy too! Porter and I stayed home and handed out candy.

Here is a photo of Porter in his Halloween outfit we got from our neighbors:

Here he is with Grandma Joanie:

Here are Connor and Porter snuggled up for storytime:

Porter @ 4weeks:

We made the trip up to Taylor's Falls for the bike race that Jeff's team sponsors. It ended up being a beautiful sunny day, and we really enjoyed being outdoors. There were a lot of fun costumes some of the bikers had on too. My co-worker Tina also did the race, and helped me with Porter & Connor after she was done.

Porter has started to be a little more vocal and has been up a lot at night lately. I haven't been getting much rest, and have been a bit cranky as a result. I try to use the days when Connor is at daycare to catch up on naps, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. I am definitely getting by on less sleep this time around, and most of the time I feel like I am managing fine despite this. Other times I feel like I would die for a good 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep! Jeff and I were talking in the middle of the night about how someday we'll get a full night's rest again. He said 6 months, but I think that may be a little optimistic.

Today is the one year anniversary of Jeff's Dad's death. I'm thinking about him a lot today, and it would have been so nice if he could have met Porter. Porter is named after Wish's brother Robert Porter, who went by Porter. He died when he was just 22 years old, from appendicitis. We never knew him, but really liked the name. I hope that Wish would have liked that we used Porter's name. We sure miss having him around.

Here are a couple of photos of Wish and Connor when he was 7 mos old. Wish sure loved babies.