Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Witness of God

It is with a heavy heart that I post a link to this blog about a baby girl named Copeland Fair Farley. An advance warning to all my readers that you should not click on this link unless you have at least an hour to spare and a full box of Kleenex within your reach. Two boxes if you have children yourself. I stumbled across this site when it was linked from another blog I read on a regular basis.

The parents of this little girl truly are an inspiration of what it means to have faith and choose life. And they remind us that our children are not ours to keep but rather a gift on loan from the Lord who has entrusted in us to do our very best to raise them into kind and faith-filled human beings all the while understanding that God may call them home at any time.

I especially appreciated when Copeland's mother wrote about how much she loves and trusts the Lord while at the same time being very angry and bitter at Him. Isn't that something we all struggle with at some time? To me it made her faith seem all the more grand for being so candid and honest about her feelings.

And if you really think you've got a third or fourth box of Kleenex or a heart made of stone you should watch 99 Balloons. This is a video a father made about his baby boy who suffered from the same disease as baby Copeland. Although not nearly as serious, it reminded me of those first few days of William's life and how hard it is as a parent to watch your child struggle with something that should come so easy, like taking a breath. But at the same time it shows how beautiful and triumphant the human spirit can be especially in the midst of crisis. We should all celebrate our life each and every day just like Eliot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Little Boy's World

Already he's fascinated by anything that can be driven. A bonus if it makes loud noise. The best part? This bought me a least fifteen minutes to clean up after lunch and even eat myself! Now I'll just be Windexing the door. Small price.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Trim Around the Ears

I wouldn't call it his first haircut but William did get a little trim around the ears yesterday when I was at my friend's house to get a little color -- explaining the tinfoil in my hair. William's hair has come in quite nicely back from the days when he was five-months-old and balding. But he has started to grow "wings" lately so I thought it would be best to trim them up a bit so he doesn't (gasp!) get mistaken for a girl. Here are the pictures we got.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Our Pope is the Coolest

Hat tip:

Some homeless Minneapolis residents are walking in the pope's shoes.

That's after two big boxes from Rome arrived at Sharing and Caring Hands, a homeless mission in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, the Rev. Joseph Johnson, the rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul gave some friends from the Vatican a tour of the facility while they were visiting the Twin Cities.

Sharing and Caring Hands has an on-site shoe room, but director Mary Jo Copeland didn't know what was in the big boxes when they arrived.

"Father (Johnson) says, 'That's from the Pope.' I said, What do you mean? The Pope," said Copeland.

She opened them to find several dozen pairs of handmade Italian shoes to give to the poor.

"These are just grand! This is just the best gift. That Pope Benedict, wherever you are, God bless you!" said Copeland.

Johnson said Benedict got the shoes from an Italian shoemaker who asked that they be distributed to the poor.

Tasha Allen, who received a pair of the shoes, said, "It's a blessing for everybody. All the kids love them. The parents love them, too. I just can't stop smiling. Thank you pope."

For herself, Copeland received a note from the Vatican and a picture of the pope.

"That was very nice because now the pope is praying for me," she said. "I know I'll keep going," said Copeland.

To personally donate to Sharing and Caring Hands you can click here. As you can see from the last financial chart on that page, people are still desperately in need of Sharing and Caring Hands' support. (Their expenditures have been higher than their donations since last year.) Another great idea is to get your employer to sponsor Sharing and Caring Hands for a month. My old employer did this for several charitable organizations and I was always surprised at the overflowing generosity of the regular working American.


We went to the Como Park Zoo yesterday with some friends. It was the first time we've brought William to any sort of sight-seeing activity. Unfortunately most of the animals were snoozing in the hot September sun so there wasn't a whole lot of action. But William did enjoy the monkeys leaping around behind the glass and this lively Polar Bear. The Polar Bear was even a bit too rambunctious with his ball so I think William was very glad to be held tightly in daddy's arms.

Our Friday Night

Well this and Brian made me a delicious Giada dish called Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola. It is very easy and very tasty. I hightly recommend it. The only problem? No leftovers!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tornadic Activity

There was a tornado in Woodbury yesterday evening just before 6:30 p.m. About two miles from our house to be exact. I used to love thunderstorms. The more lightning the better. And if the sirens went off it just added to the adrenaline rush. But here is yet another way a baby has changed me because last night I was scared.

A number of factors led to my being scared. For one, Brian wasn't here. Also, we don't have a basement. As I'm sitting in our utility room with the baby on my lap I can still hear Paul Douglas blaring from the other room, "If you are in the Woodbury area you need to take shelter immediately." Shelter. Is this really shelter? There's a furnace and a water softener behind me and a water heater to my left. But I've always been told if you don't have a basement you're supposed to go in your smallest room without any windows. So that's what I did. Well that, and about 245 Hail Marys.

Of course, we're all okay. But I think it's interesting the contrast a baby gives you in your life. If it weren't for William I know I would have been outside trying to get the best photo of the funnel cloud.

Morning Glory

So excited to wake up this morning and find out that he's officially a ten-month-old today!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Add It to the List

Want these...

With this...

Why God Gave Kids Two Parents

Because who else would sit with me for an eternity and think it's the coolest thing in the world every time William starts to clap on cue when I say, "Yaaaaaay William!"? It's one of those moments when you realize if it were someone else's baby you'd get bored after the second or third time. But when it's your own, I mean c'mon! Is he the smarest little ten-month-old or what?!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Staircase Blockade Effort

As most of you know from my recent posts William is now crawling around like a maniac. I think this crawling phenomenon jump started a few other milestones because soon after he was pulling himself up to standing on every piece of structure in our house. It has provided for a lot of bumped bums and smashed faces. But as Brian's mom puts it, these are good cries. Referring, of course, to the bad cries when he was so sick with his ear infection.

When we are upstairs William is fascinated with making a mad dash toward the staircase. I haven't found it in me to go out and purchase a gate yet. Yes, I'm one of those people. The kind that will try every other tactic before having to lay down hard-earned money.

At first I thought I would just try to see what he would do once he got to the staircase. Would he really try to go down them or does he just want to peer over the edge? It turns out William seems to believe stairs are flat. While I sat a few stairs down he came arm over arm, knee over knee as fast as he could. And then he just kept going. Right over that first stair and came down into my arms.

My next idea came when I brought my handheld vacuum into the upstairs bathroom to pick up all my hair that sheds on the floor. When I turned it on William started shaking and then wailing. He's terrified of this vacuum. (But curiously, he's not scared of the much larger version that we use on our carpets.) That's when the light bulb went on. I placed this vacuum in front of the stairs like a guard protecting a castle and then waited to see what would happen. The scene is so hilarious that I'm going to try to get it on video so that I can post it here. Right on cue William makes his way cruising like a wild man to the stairs but as soon as he saw that vacuum he stopped in his tracks, sat up, spit out the pouting lip and started crying. And while this idea provides some good footage, I don't think I can rely on it while I'm in the other room out of sight.

The next idea was Brian's and it seemed foolproof but oh how those babies will prove you wrong. Every night after his dinner Brian gives William his bath. This is my time to clean up the kitchen, eat dinner or watch the evening news. Since William has started crawling it has been a struggle for Brian to get the water running, find the bath towel, jammies and lotion and get that all laid out all while trying to chase William away from the stairs. So last night Brian decided to shut the door on William in his baby-proofed room with all his toys. Seemed like a great idea to me because he's not tall enough to reach for the door knob yet.

Answer me this: What do crawlers do when you leave a room? Say it with me. They follow you! So William did just that. And when the bath was ready Brian couldn't open the bedroom door because William was sitting up against it. When I came upstairs to see all the commotion it was truly a hilarious sight to be seen. The more Brian tried to tell William to back away from the door, the closer William came to the door to see what daddy was doing.

So there is no grand idea so far but I also haven't given up. I'll let you know if there's a gate in our future.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thirsty Thursday's Pick

Again, gotta love those blue eyes. Especially with the green of the trees as the backdrop. But the best part of this photo is that it was completely unplanned. We were in the midst of walking to the beach to take more pictures and I was having a conversation with Lisa, the photographer, as Brian was walking ahead of us with William. Suddenly Lisa whispered, "I've got to get that!" And she started snapping away unbeknownst to Brian. In my opinion, it's those unknowing and candid moments that provide for the optimal photo opportunity. It's when a picture can capture the tenderness of everyday moments without a stitch of fabrication.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Cookie Conundrum

Last night I am upstairs brushing my teeth getting ready for bed when suddenly I hear the vacuum cleaner go on downstairs. I walk down the stairs halfway and peer over the railing to see Brian in the kitchen. And he's vacuuming.

I look at him inquisitively. The question doesn't even have to be verbalized.

Brian: What? I'm just cleaning up a bit.

Me: Uh huh. What happened?

Brian: Well...I may have dropped a cookie.

Me: Just one?

Brian: Yep. Just one.

Me: And that required getting out the large vacuum?

Brian: Wellllll... I may have dropped the whole bucket of cookies.

Me: Oh I see. And then you put them back in the bucket?

Brian: Yep. It's a whole bucket of 5-second-rules now.

It's Hump Day's Pick

Even though we did take family pictures I realize I have yet to display a family photo. So here's one of my faves.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday's Pick Pic

"I'm the king of the world!"

This was at the end of our shoot session. And William was at the end of his rope. Very tired. Very hungry. But our photographer wanted to quick get a shot from behind as he was looking out at the river. To show his frustration about having to take yet another picture William picked up two handfuls of sand and started throwing it around. What resulted was this very cool Superman-looking photo.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Much Ado About TiVo

Last Thursday Brian and I received our spankin' new TiVo in the mail. Thus the reason for my lack of posting anything substantial as of late. Even though we've only had it for four days I find myself wondering what we've been doing without it. For those dear readers who are new parents, expecting parents or hoping to be expecting parents someday, let me offer a little advice about those handy dandy baby registries. Screw the $300 stroller. Put the celeb-inspired baby bjorn on the back burner. A Pottery Barn nursery? Pah-lease! Save your money. All you need is a TiVo.

Hypothetically, say your husband is really into college football. Like, um, I don't know, Notre Dame? Or maybe Wisconsin. Hypothetically, of course. Now you know these games are played on Saturdays. All. Day. And that doesn't include the time it takes to read the pre- and post-game columns on the internet blogs. I might be an anomaly but I happen to be a female who really enjoys football. The only problem is Saturdays happen to be only one out of two other days the whole week when I am not the only person responsible for little Willingham. And when I feel like I just can't change another poopy diaper, I have to pass the buck. Believe me, this is not going to be a time where I sit and complain about how Brian never helps and only watches football. Nope. Brian is a great dad and is just as much a parent as I am.

Here is where the greatness of TiVo comes in. When I tag Brian for the diaper change just as Notre Dame appears to be turning the game around (again, hypothetically speaking) he becomes a much more willing parent. Now all he has to do is press pause, run upstairs, fight with a squirmy and resistant baby, change him, come back downstairs and resume the game on command. This genius box even let us completely miss the live viewing of the Badger game on Saturday night so that we could go out. And I can already see the benefits once the new season of Grey's starts.

Actually now that I'm pondering the whole TiVo phenomenon, I may start lobbying to congress that every new mom should be sent home from the hospital with a TiVo.

Manic Monday's Pick

Three weeks ago we had family pictures done. We went down by the St. Croix River and had them taken on the beach and by various old buildings. I was pretty happy with the results. So this week I'll be posting my top five favorites. One for each day. Here's my pick for today. Gotta love the blue eyes.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Busy Baby

I remember the days (a week ago - has it only been that long?!) when I couldn't wait for William to crawl because then he wouldn't whine every time I left the room. He could just follow me around. Well now he can crawl. And now he could care less about me. He could care less about the gazillion brightly colored toys made just for babies. William only cares about the following things:
  1. The doors on the entertainment center. A bonus if he can get them all the way open and then pull himself up on his knees.
  2. The coffee table and all that exists on top of it. (See picture below.)
  3. The candelabra in front of our fireplace. This is the top reason for me shouting, "No! No! No!" But somehow in baby language that translates into "Yes! Please play with that!"
  4. The wireless USB card in our desktop computer. He desperately wants to pull it out. I guess those little green blinking lights are just too irresistible.
  5. The garbage can with its crinkly garbage bag. I'm sure whoever created those soft books that crinkle made millions on the gullible parents who fell for the gimmick thinking babies would just play with that instead.
  6. The doorstop. It amazes me how William will crawl over, around and on top of all things at mock speed so that he can get to this tiny piece of brown plastic. I'm still trying to figure out the appeal.
  7. Shoes. This one I wouldn't mind so much except that it's summer and the rubbery sole of a flip flop somehow whets his appetite and he just can't get it in his mouth fast enough.
  8. Rugs and pulling them up. Checking for dirt? Dust bunnies? Ants? I'm not really sure. Maybe he thinks I'm hiding a secret candelabra under one of them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

William's Cocktail

It's been a while since I posted and that's because since my last post William has not gotten better. At first we noticed a dramatic improvement in his mood but that was probably only because the infection started off so bad that any improvement felt better. I took him to the doctor this morning (he needed to go in anyway for his 9-month check-up) and when she checked his ear (much to William's dismay, I might add) she found that his ear drum was perforated and that the infection was still lingering. She told me that because the infection was so severe, the Amoxicillin was doing nothing. It was like trying to fix a gaping hole with a tiny bandage. So she prescribed a stronger antibiotic as well as ear drops. I am praying this is the trick that brings my William back from zombiland.

Our new regimen consists of:
  • 1 teaspoon of antibiotics daily
  • 4 ear drops, twice daily
  • Tylenol every 4 hours
  • Motrin every 8 hours

What a cocktail!

In every other area, William is doing fantastic. He weighs 19 pounds and 10 ounces which is at the 25th percentile for his age. He is at the 75th percentile for height and head circumference. They pricked his finger to check his hemoglobin and that was sky high perfection. There will be no need to supplement with formula. Our checking account sent us a thank you note after that news.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

On the Mend

I know I'm breaking my own rules about taking a hiatus this weekend but I had to post this quick video of this morning. After two doses of antibiotics, William woke up from his morning nap a brand new baby. So new that he crawled clear across the room. Unfortunately by the time we got the video camera out this is all we captured. Isn't that how it always goes? But you get the idea.

Also, notice the attire. Go, Notre Dame! (Yes, Brian has brain-washed me.)

Questions I'm Pondering this Morning

1. Who created Amoxicillin?
2. Should I send him/her a thank you note?
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