Monday, April 30, 2007

Gettin' Ripped!

Lucy is working on her upper body strength, here she is doing her morning set of push-ups. She has pretty good form (for a baby) and a lot of determination. I'm starting to see some real definition in her biceps.

If you're wondering what on earth she is wearing, it is the yellow overalls from when Kelly and I were babies. I believe they were purchased for Kelly in 1979.

More Lucy Pics

Bike Ireland

Saturday night my sister Kelly left for Ireland with her friend. They are going to ride their bikes around the southwest countryside, and see some really beautiful sights. When she comes back she will have had some unforgettable experiences. I'm really excited for her to have this opportunity, and I remember when she first told me she was thinking about going, not quite sure if she should. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing, and I'm glad she decided to take this trip.

She said she would try to post updates on her blog, but probably won't be able to upload any photos... I'm sure she be taking hundreds! She might even have to start a SmugMug account, like ours.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Step Right Up, Folks!

This morning I took Lucy to her opthalmology appointment, per the recommendation of our pediatrician. Our pediatrician's thoughts were that her vision, eye movement, focusing, dilation, and everything else eye-related seems normal, but it's just a good idea to get her checked out by an eye doctor. I agreed with him in all respects, so today was her visit to Dr. Peters.

At first a technician came in and administered a variety of vision and tracking tests, which Lucy passed perfectly normal for her age (just under 7 months). She then put 3 drops into each eye (three times, 5 minutes apart) to make her pupils dilate. Lucy did not like this, but stopped screaming as soon as it was done.

Then after a bit of a wait, the doctor and his intern came in to take a look. He shined lights in her eyes, and turned off the lights in the room and held up this amazing little device with whirling colors (I was transfixed, so I imagine Lucy liked it too). I don't know what it was supposed to do... but it was amusing. Then the two of them were just asking me general questions (he even shined the light in my eyes to see their color) and sort of leaning back, pondering gaze at my child. "hmm... yeah, it's subtle but I see what you mean..." regarding an alleged droop to one of her lids. I have stared at her and analyzed her and cannot for the life of me see this. I suppose if you try hard enough, you can see an asymmetry in anyone's face, but I tried not to let it bother me. A few more questions, and a screaming session which involved restraining her on my lap while I held her arms down (as she was kicking me repeatedley), the intern holding her head still, and the doctor shining a light behind a magnifying glass into her dilated pupils. Sound like fun? Imagine if the people doing this to you are 10 times your size!

Anyway, the conclusion is: yes her eyes are different colors. This is known as heterochromia iridium (which I knew thanks to the information superhighway). It can be a genetic abnormality (harmless, but rare physical trait that is not associated with any other disease, or trauma), or it could be caused by disease, injury, various "syndromes" (great), tumors, lesions, etc. etc. etc. All I can say is, aside from her eyes being different colors, there are no symptoms present which would make me think she is anything but a perfectly healthy child. I would suspect that if her heterochromia was a result of something serious, there would have been something more noticeable in her development, behavior, or temperament.

Moving on - they want us to come back in June for further examination. He wants to see how her pupils react to light change before anyone administers drops. He also said that it might be something where we explore more in-depth genetic history, and then I sort of stopped listening. I do take this seriously, but I am not going to spend the next (indefinite?) number of months letting curious doctors and specialists conduct experiments on Lucy. If there is cause for concern, I will pursue it and take all their advice, but I don't like how it made me feel when they were scrutinizing her face. She has her whole life to be scrutinized. In our society it is hard enough for young women to feel good about the way they look. She is unique and beautiful (I have proof).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Panic Attack!

I decided that when it was time for Lucy's afternoon nap, I would let her fall asleep in my arms, on the couch, while maybe dozing off for a while myself. Afterall, I'll only be able to do that for so long until she is either too big, or too old to nap... I read two books to her, and we were all bundled up with a blanket and before I knew it we had both just barely entered dreamland. Suddenly our weather radio started beeping - loud and fast! And LOUD. I remember looking through the little booklet at all the different types of beeps and what they could represent. Loud and fast was the *worst* kind of alarm there was, so I lept off the couch with Lucy in my arms, letting the blanket fall onto the floor.

As I ran to the radio to listen to the weather announcement recording (a male voice, see below) and read the message that scrolls across... the phone rings. I glance at the radio and see "TORNADO WARNING", then run and answer the phone (I know, I know) thinking it might be someone calling to warm me of the same thing. It wasn't - it was a woman from Kent County Health Services conducting their periodic checks on Lucy's development, and my questions or concerns as a parent. I immediately told the lady about the warning on the weather radio, and to hang on... Meanwhile opening the basement door and calling Killian...

... the warning was for the southernmost counties of Michigan, and has now become a tornado watch. So I was all shaking from the adrenaline but was able to answer the lady's questions.
So why does our weather radio have to send me into a tailspin of fear because a tornado touched down 150 miles away from me? Oh well... better safe than sorry. That radio is a blessing and a curse. I am sure glad we have it in case of real emergencies that could occur in the middle of the night, when no one is watching television. It just catches me off guard! I guess that's the idea.

The device also warns us when there is a volcano eruption, tsunami, earthquake, flood, social emergency (like a riot), hurricane, and a whole bunch of other things that will probably never happen anywhere near Grand Rapids. Basically for us, it's for tornados, t-storms, and blizzards... oh my. Well now I'm all keyed up and won't be taking a nap.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hannah's Wishes

My brother and sister-in-law sent this to everyone, it's the school project of their daughter Hannah (my 4-year-old niece): her 3 wishes. They said they did their best to keep a straight face. I have to admit it is a little funny, but also very cute...

My advice is don't over-analyze her choices... I'm sure she thought them through carefully! :) Basically anything involving being a princess would probably make her happy!

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Holland Brew Co.

On April 6th I took this photo - it was a snowy night and Ron and I went out to New Holland for a couple drinks and some chips. I just snapped this shot randomly (no flash) from one of the high-tops in the front of the restaurant. I was pretty happy with the composition, even though it could be clearer. Anyway, I just e-mailed it to someone from NHB. They already wrote back and said they'll probably use it somewhere (maybe on their site) and said maybe they can hook me up with some beer for my efforts! Well, that would be great, but really I was just glad he liked my picture. Hope you do as well.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Talk Me Into Anything....

I've been convinced that I am capable of running a marathon. I'm a former cross-country runner, so the sport isn't completely unfamiliar territory, but it has been quite a while since I did any running on a regular basis. Also, the thought of a marathon is quite overwhelming so the only way to really approach it is by breaking it down into smaller distances in a training schedule like Hal Higdon's example. The farthest I've ever run at one time is 7 miles, and that was when I was about 16 years old (almost 10 years ago!). But starting tomorrow, I am supposed to begin running. That's fine, since the weather is improving and I can think about the great shape I will be in this summer, and maybe have some form of a tan...

I think I have an acceptable pair of shoes, but something tells me that I'm going to have to start aquiring some "cooler" running gear. Can you imagine!? Getting into a sport as an adult was not something I expected to do... but like I told Kelly earlier, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." The best thing to do is to just embrace these unexpected turns. This one can only lead to more self-confidence, as well as improved physical fitness. I really can't see anything bad coming from it, so it's worth a shot.

The date looming in my mind is October 7, the date of the Chicago Marathon.

My sister Kelly and my cousin Luciana are going to run as well. Kelly is also training for a half-Ironman length triathlon in August, so she is way ahead of me as far as preparation, but I have the advantage of a very flexible schedule, since I'm not working outside the home. This summer I can get up early (before the heat hits) and do my running, maybe with Lucy along for the ride.

It's been a long time since I've really had a goal set to accomplish, and I think that this one is realistic. I never would have thought I'd run a marathon - and maybe that's exactly why I should. It will also be a fun experience to share with my sister and my cousin.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Babies Suck!

Ha ha...

This is her new favorite thing to do. I don't think I can stop her... she is determined to suck on her big toe.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

We Should Be Having a Priority Contest!

Okay, I have to express some thoughts here. I'm taking a risk that someone might stumble across this blog, but I'm just going to be honest about my feelings - and what better place than the world-wide web! Oh well...

Our baby Lucy is developing and growing at a totally normal pace. We're not sure how much she weighs (I'll let the doctor tell me if there's anything to be concerned about), or exactly how many inches, and half-inches she is in length. All we know is that she is perfectly healthy and happy, she smiles and loves to play on the floor, and last night - for the first time - had REAL prolonged laughing fits when our friends' dogs were sniffing around her play pen... she thought it was the most hilarious thing, apparently, and I can't even describe what it was like to hear her really laugh... just like a "real" kid! As weird as that sounds... we were tickled (lame phrase, but that's the way it really felt!), it was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. My point is, I think there are more important things than whether or not she is sitting up without toppling over, or how big (or small) she is.

I have never been huge into competition. The only thing that I really got that way about was beating my own best times in high school cross country... but all the while I was perfectly happy to be running on JV (not top 7) and not have the pressure. I just always liked doing things for "the fun of it"... not to be the best. I guess that's why I slacked a little bit in school... there were times where I thought, 'hey, good enough!' but I can't really think of a more rediculous thing to get competitive about than the development of infant children.

Unfortunately it's not always possible to avoid this weird competition (especially in a family known for lots of competitiveness), and even though we don't like it, it's important to other people and we are brought into it without even wanting to. I don't like that our child is compared to someone else's, because all kids are so different. Not to mention, they have different genders, different parents, different ages... so talk about apples and oranges! Anyway, as hard as it is to let it slide, we hope to just smile and say, "wow, that's great", and continue to focus on the things that really matter, like our little girl's giggles... okay I just had to vent there. Bye now!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's called a "Play Yard"...

Or is it a "Pack-n-Play", or a good old fashioned "Play Pen"? Or maybe it should be called "Baby Cage".

Whatever it is, we finally broke down and bought one - it's green with multi-colored safari animals as accents. Lucy plays on the floor more now, and we want to keep her safe from curious pets (ours or other people's), and eating yard treasures of any kind when we take the operation outside. I'm sure whatever were to discover would go directly into her mouth. This is a more controlled environment. Anyway, it was fun to put her in it, she rolled around and had her face pressed up against the mesh sides, and was scraping her fingers on it... no attempts yet to escape. Hopefully it will work nicely for her, and not fall apart before baby #2 comes along. We like to be economical :) (hence not spending extra money on bells and whistles we don't think are necessary). Wow - our lives are so exciting! I'll post pictures another time!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No Surprise Here

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sleeping With her Pink Bear

I know, I know, babies are supposed to sleep on their backs - but Lucy rolls onto her front all by herself - and today after she fell asleep Ron walked in to find her like this, cuddling with her pink bear (so I grabbed the camera):

Garrett & Ian Dancing

These are my twin nephews, Garrett and Ian (Ian is in the gray, and Garrett is in the black t-shirt). Free entertainment!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

6 Months Old!

Here's the cake I made for Lucy - it didn't turn out exactly as I had in mind, but it was still pretty cute!

Here's is Heath and Kelly - they came up to visit for the weekend. The 4 of us (them, Ron, and I) went out to New Holland Brewery Saturday night for dinner and drinks, and then to Buffalo Wild Wings. Sunday we went to my parents' house for burgers and to celebrate Lucy's half-birthday :)

Here is Lucy eating some frosting on her little cake (an extra cake my mom bought just for Lucy to dig into). She didn't know what to think about all the attention, but she seemed to enjoy the frosting.

Here's Kelly holding her niece before we had cake.

More Photos from the weekend!