Sunday, March 29, 2009


Just kidding. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tommy's Surgery

As many of you know, Tommy had his second ear surgery today. Even though the doctor still felt that Thomas didn't actually have a cholesteatoma, the pocket/hole (where the bone had eroded) near Tommy's eardrum kept filling up with skin, so he decided it was time to go back in, remove any buildup, carve out the pocket, and then cover the hole with cartilage and skin from elsewhere in his ear, so that it would stop happening and hopefully prevent a future cholesteatoma. (I guess previously the doctor thought putting a tube in might equalize the pressure and stop all this from happening, and he was going to wait at least a couple of years for the reconstructive surgery, but we didn't have such luck.) So that's what he did today. It was a long morning, but Tommy tolerated the surgery well. The doctor said he did find an active cyst that he described as the beginning of a cholesteatoma, so it seems that it was a good thing we didn't wait longer to have the surgery done. Thankfully, the doctor was also somehow able to do it all through Tommy's ear canal, which still amazes me. (We were expecting an incision behind Tommy's ear, based on earlier conversations with the doctor.)

Thomas had some difficulty talking and with a bad cough after the breathing tube was removed, but otherwise he had no problems until dinner time, at which point chewing hurt a little. (He has 3 stitches on his outer ear, from where the cartilage was taken.) He has been happy otherwise and seems to be recovering very well. Of course he's also very excited to have Grandma here for the week!

Oh yes, and as you saw above, Mittens accompanied Thomas throughout the whole procedure. Before going in, Mittens was given a patient ID bracelet and a hospital "party hat" just like Tommy's. The nurses wheeled Tommy and Mittens in their rocket ship (aka hospital bed) to the moon (aka operating room). Tommy enjoyed the wheelchair ride out to the car too (as best as any woozy seven year old could, anyway) . He even came home with a cat drawing on his hand. (The doctor marked Tommy's ear prior to his surgery and then asked if Tommy wanted him to draw a smiley face too. Of course Tommy said, "No, a cat," so the doctor drew a cat's face on Tommy's hand.) :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gram's 80th

My father's mother will celebrate her 80th birthday this week. My aunt and uncle threw a party in her honor on Saturday, and for the first time in years, my brother, my sisters, and I, and all of our children, found ourselves in the same place at the same time. It was great, especially for the kids, who I think all had a blast. I know we all wanted to be there for Gram. It seems, as we get older, that we tend to celebrate our birthdays less and less - if at all, but I think we should throw a big party every year! It's a good time to think about the wonderful things that person has brought to the world, whether 37, 80, or 102. Our gram has gone out of her way to make it to every family event she possibly could, always making sure to be a part of every grandchild's and great grandchild's life, and it hasn't gone unnoticed. Thanks for everything, Gram! Happy Birthday!

Let's celebrate many more!

Note to Family: There was a different arrangement of family in each photo, as we always needed a few people to take the photos. If you didn't get my E-mail with the flickr link to all the photos (all family photos are marked as private, so you'll need an invitation to see any that I haven't posted here), post a comment and I'll send it to you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Early Signs of Spring

I took the boys on a nice long walk today. At first Thomas wasn't terribly interested, so I tried to make it fun by suggesting we bring the camera and try to capture some early signs of spring. We might have been pushing it. There is one type of tree around every corner here that does have buds, and we have lots of robins, but otherwise we saw mostly dirty mounds of snow and trash all over the place (early signs of spring too, I suppose). That said, we had a nice walk, and we did capture a few photos.

First, robins; my great grandmother always noted the first one she saw each year. I think she even marked it down on her calendar. (Mom?) They were the first signs of spring, and now my mom, my sisters, and I all notice those first few robins too, and a little touch of joy and remembrance fills our hearts as we think of our sweet great grandmother and all her wonderful little favorite moments. I still think of her every time I see a robin, whether the first of the year or one of many in late summer. I'm so glad-and so thankful-to know and remember such grand little things like that.

On a different note, December's severe ice storm seemed to have left its mark on almost every tree. We knew the landscape would change dramatically, but this tree really caught my eye. It was one of a very picturesque row of beautiful trees. Most of the others lost only a few branches. This one, however, seemed to have fought hard to save its thickest arches and bows. There was another branch that had completely twisted around several times. (I took some photos and uploaded them to flickr, but I didn't focus properly, and my angle wasn't ideal, so the intricate twisting turned out a bit hard to see.) There were also three pointy branches sticking straight up that had been completely shredded.

Of course we took in some of the simpler things on our walk too... like mini-pine cones and lounging with our feet up on the stroller's snack bar. Silly Monkey.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's one of my favorite holidays. The history behind it is my favorite part, but Brian's corned beef and cabbage and all the great little traditions that follow certainly add to the fun. There's something so jovial about the holiday, and the beautiful blue sky and warmer weather (and maybe the large amount of caffeine I just downed, especially since I normally avoid caffeine) have made for a wonderful start to the day.

In celebration, a short Irish quote I found today:
"Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away, But never forget the blessings that come each day" -Melissa McCorkle

And, of course, what post would be complete without some photos of the kids? ...Wearing green, of course. I took these on Sunday, the first day this year that was really nice enough for some football on the (albeit muddy) newly visible grass just outside. I purposely excluded the still-large snow pile from the photos. It's still right in the middle of our yard, and after a winter like this one, I think it will take many more days like today before it's completely gone!

Brian introduces Gabe to a real football for the first time:
Big Brother trying to get Gabe to throw the football:
(He had to settle for a handoff this time.)Getting ready for a pass:
And last but not least, a quick look at some of those wispy golden curls right at the back of Gabe's sweet little noggin:Yes, spring is on its way!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where does the time go?

I have noticed that the general public tends to assume that Gabe is my first child, as a typical follow-up to the usual beginner-walking-cuteness comments tends to include something about me having no idea how fast the time will fly. Of course I respond with a friendly, "Oh yes, it certainly does. My oldest is about to turn 7." SEVEN! That's right. My baby. Well, one of my babies. Anywho, I want to say, don't forget Tommy! Of course time probably will fly even faster with Gabe. Have I mentioned how much I love them both? Once or twice?