Thursday, November 30, 2006

Errand day

I swear that errands multiply both in number and length of time when you have children. Tuesday I spent pretty much the whole day doing errands (Jonathan is amazing and didn't even object!) but I only got half of them done!!! I think I spent at least an hour just carrying groceries from the car to the house. Because, you see, you only get to use one hand, because the toddler needs to hold the other one (it's a parking lot, so we hold hands.) And on the way to the house, said toddler must needs show you every. single. bug/leaf/cat/bird/spot on the pavement. Because they are just so FASCINATING!!! And of course, they are. But I'd rather look at them when one of my arms isn't full of groceries. :)

So we're off today to do it again. More shopping and a trip to the library, with an oil change thrown in for good measure. And if we're lucky, we'll make it to the park for mom's group. :)

Wish me luck.

(So why am I blogging instead of getting started on this lovely excursion? Because while we get up at the crack of dawn, the rest of the world doesn't open their doors until 8am.) :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Best news yet!!

Read all about it here. :)

Pictures are worth 1000 words...

Jonathan likes to sit in my computer chair and pretend to "work" just like me.

The playground is a very popular place lately. He wears me out!!!

Lately Jonathan has decided that coloring is lots of fun. We've had crayons and paper out on his table for quite some time, but usually he only did it with my encouragement and help. Now he'll decide that he wants to on his own! Here you can see that his favorite color is still green. :)

Update on Mom

Some good news! Mom is now sitting up (completely assisted, of course) for 2 hours each day. This is really great progress since a few days ago 30 minutes exhausted her. She is mouthing words and phrases more consistently, shaking her head ever so slightly for "yes" and "no", and as of yesterday has started to smile just slightly. These are all such encouraging signs. :)

It is also looking promising that she may be able to move to a rehabilitation center in the next few weeks. And there is a really good center only 45 minutes away from my family's home. Praise God for the nearness of good medical facilities!!

Please pray particularly that Mom will regain the use of her arms/hands and legs/toes. She did initially have some control over them, but since the third surgery she hasn't been able to move them at all. Please pray that the "cure" didn't make things worse, and that she will heal completely.

Tiny Christian

This morning Jonathan climbed up on his stool, peered over the top of the dresser at Gabe’s Bible, and exclaimed “Bible!!” He was very excited about it. He also can point out Jesus on every page of his bible book, and yesterday proclaimed “Jesus love” while holding our little statue of Jesus. He says “amen” at the end of every prayer, and this morning in the middle of his snack he suddenly started saying “amen”. I asked him if he was talking to Jesus, and he said “yes, Ga-ma-me”. We’ve been praying for her so very much, and I wonder if perhaps he really was talking to Jesus about her. I can’t know what exactly is going on in his head, but it seems to me that God would honor even the simplest prayers of the youngest child.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Other fun things Jonathan is doing...

He says "my turn" when he wants to use something Gabe or I are using. It gets confusing, though, because he isn't sure when to use "my turn" and when to use "your turn". And I don't know how to explain it to him, because if he wants to use it and says "my turn", then I say "ok, your turn!" But then he things that "your" is what to use for himself, and he says "my turn" when he wants ME to do something. He's not consistent at all, which makes figuring out what he means this particular time a bit tricky. Still, you can hardly blame him. The English language is insanely confusing sometimes.

He has a favorite blanket now - one that my Grandmommy (his Great-Grandmommy) knit for him. It is a lovely soft yellow blanket, nice and large and comfy. He calls it his "mee-mee" (we have no idea why) and doesn't want to go to sleep without it nestled under his chin.

One of my kitchen cupboards is his new favorite place to play. I've cleared it out so only a few Jonathan-approved items are in it, and he climbs all the way inside and plays peek-a-boo with me while I clean the kitchen or make meals.

He also really enjoys stickers. Every day he gets to pick two stickers off the sheet, and he makes his choices very carefully. Today one went onto his shirt and the second went on his nose.


This evening, Jonathan was shouting at Gabe, wanting him to get up off a pillow. Gabe, of course, wasn't going for it based on that sort of request! After awhile, he simply said "Jonathan, there is one thing you haven't tried yet. Do you know what it is?" The response was immediate. Jonathan grinned and said "please?"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Update on Mom

Dad just called with an update on Mom's condition. She is using blinks to communicate - answering yes or no questions very consistently in this way. This is good news, since she hasn't been able to do this since the third surgery a few days ago. Progress is being made, albeit very slowly.

The big concern right now is that she is still not breathing on her own. It isn't possible to leave someone on a respirator much longer than she has been on it (infection and swelling become too much of a problem, and she already is having trouble with both), so the doctors are asking for Dad's permission to perform a tracheotomy on Mom. Basically this would allow her to breath (assisted, still) through a hole in her trachea instead of having the tube down her throat.

While this may be necessary, it is definitely a "pick which evil" sort of situation. Especially given Mom's reaction to her last surgery, the prospect of another is pretty scary. And of course, tracheotomies have their own set of risks and potential complications.

Please pray for my dad as he works with the doctors to make a good decision. The doctors are considering allowing a breathing "trial" (letting Mom attempt to breath around the breathing tube already in place) before making a final decision. They can't just take the tube out and see what happens, because then if she can't breathe, it becomes a really traumatic emergency situation for replacing the tube, which wouldn't help her situation at all. Please pray that Mom will be able to breath on her own and this surgery won't be necessary.

Please pray that she wakes up soon.

(I'm having a hard time keeping track of what I've posted on this blog, what I've written to friends, who I've called with what information...if you feel you're missing background info, please see this blog for more details.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I really, really, really love my son.

We've spent the morning so far pretty much just relaxing (due to a pretty tired mom!) and it has been lovely. Lots of building towers with blocks, and pounding on pegboards, and tickles and kisses and hugs and helping fold laundry (did you know that the kitchen towels go on the bottom shelf of the changing table? Jonathan is quite adamant that they do.)

It has been really good to spend time just looking at him - holding him close and watching him laugh with delight - remembering just how very much I love him.

This past week he was sort of put on a back burner. There was so much going on that it really wasn't possible to spend much time really paying attention to him. His basic needs were met, and thankfully he was amazingly flexible with all the upset in his life. I think God was gracious to us all in helping Jonathan be so flexible...he spent most of his afternoon naps sleeping in my arms in the hospital lobby...this is not normal for my son! Anyway, now that we're home I'm finding that what I want (even more than a cleared desk or a clean kitchen!) is just to spend some time connecting with him.

And we have. And he is wonderful.

He just came over to ask for my attention - he found some baby pictures in a magazine, and they're so cool they just must be shared. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Last Tuesday (Nov. 7th) my mom had an aneurysm burst in her brain. She has had two brain surgeries since then, and is in the Trauma Neurological Intensive Care Unit at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Roseville. She's getting better, but it is going to be a very long, slow process.

I spent last week up there with her and the rest of my family. Now I'm home to take care of my family, but I'll probably be heading back up to visit (and especially if anything major changes). Part of me wishes that I could just stay there indefinitely...but I also know that I have responsibilities here. It is hard, sometimes, to know how to balance being a daughter with being a wife and mother.

I'm finding it very hard to write much about all this. It is like there is so much in my mind and heart that it just creates writer's block. Thankfully, my sister doesn't have this problem. She has started a blog to chronicle my mom's recovery. You can read about it here.

Please pray for my mom, and for my whole family. Mom is such a vibrant, determined, energetic woman that I think we all thought she was completely invincible. That such a thing could happen even to her is a huge shock. Pray for her healing, and for our family as we deal with all the changes this event brings.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pasta, chicken, and marinara cheese sauce

This is the result of my dinner attempts tonight. Wow, yum!! It really bears very little resemblance to the original recipe, but it was an awful lot of fun experimenting and the results were fantastic. So, just in case you want to try it:

12 oz (about 4.5 cups) spiral pasta
3 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
basil, oregano, red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup water
14 oz crushed tomatos (half of a big can)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks

Cook pasta (try to time it to be done when the sauce is finished.)
Saute garlic and herbs in butter; add chicken and saute.
Add water and tomatos; simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cheese and cream cheese, stirring until melted.
Toss sauce with pasta and serve immediately.

Optional additions: red bell peppers, olives

Things you find on the internet.

I was looking at this afternoon, trying to dream up an interesting main dish to make tonight. I found one...but it calls for vodka.

We don't normally keep vodka around the house. As Gabe says "the only reason you'd drink vodka straight is if you're a drunk Russian."

So I opened up a new window and searched for "substitution for vodka in cooking". I found a message board where someone had asked the same question. The response?

"Why would you not want to use vodka? What are you a prohibitionist, you must have voted for Bush."


I'd still like to know if I can use chicken broth instead. :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Golden moments

On Wednesday, I took Jonathan for a walk to the park. But I forgot his shoes. So instead of playing on the play equipment, we stayed at the other end of the park, took off our socks, and played in the grass with bare feet. Jonathan was initially disappointed that he couldn't go play in the wood chips, but he was quickly consoled by the fun things we could do with bare feet. Like walking through crinkly crunchy leaves. There was a huge tree that had lost about half of its leaves, and it was just glorious to run through them. I showed Jonathan how to twirl in circles and then look up at the sky, and he thought it was wonderful. So did I, watching him laugh with delight. We played chase - he on his feet and me on my knees (just to be fair, you know!) Only he enjoyed being caught so much that he'd only run away from me a few steps before turning and running right into my arms for a hug and a tickle. And after all that I showed him how to let me hold his arms so that I could pick him up off his feet and spin him through the air or swing him through my legs. We didn't do that TOO much, though, because Mommy got seriously worn out!

It was just one of those perfect afternoons that makes you realize afresh just how very much you love being a mother. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and fresh, Jonathan was happy and laughing, and I was able to relax and just enjoy it. We spent nearly two hours there before coming home.

I think perhaps times like this are one of God's special graces to mothers.