Friday, January 28, 2011

01-27-11 Breathe!

Every day, twice a day, in fact, Ben has a breathing treatment.
He sits and watches a video or we read books.
He's a pro at it, and as much as we hate that it must be part of his routine, we're hopeful that it will prevent a repeat visit to the hospital. 

01-26-11 Neighbors

Last Spring, our neighborhood was  privileged to host a family of nesting hawks.  Nearly every day, we'd walk over to our neighbor's deck to check on them.  It's always a thrill to discover one of the hawks in our back yard, and we're hopeful they'll nest here again this Spring.  We're happy to let them use our yard as their hunting grounds; they can have all of the snakes and rodents they want!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

01-25-11 Crafty

While we were in the hospital, Inga (my Mom) came to stay with Anna Kate. After teaching school for 30+ years, Inga is an expert snowflake cutter.  Anna Kate was thrilled to discover Inga's hidden talent, and to work they went.  These French doors into the playroom were the perfect place to display them, Anna Kate said.  I hope we're allowed to take them down when Winter is over...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

01-24-11 Queen

Anna Kate received Usborne's I Can Draw People book for Christmas from Grandmama and Grandpa.
So far, she's drawn the giant, the pirate, and this queen.
So far, this one's my favorite.
I think there's an artist in the house!

01-23-11 Couch Potato

Watching his favorite video, "All About Firetrucks".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

01-22-11 Snowmaker

A week ago, I happened to mention that I was considering a snow themed birthday party next February.  The idea inspired me to wonder aloud whether or not anyone in the area rented snow making machinery.  One thing lead to another, and before I knew it, Ben had ordered a kit from
The package came today, and after 2 trips to Lowe's for parts, he's in business.
It works, in theory, but we're waiting for the temperature/humidity ratio to be just right.
I'm thinking the neighbors hope he gets it right or gives up soon!

01-21-11 Flowergirl

Today, we took a trip to David's Bridal so Anna Kate could try on the dress she'll wear in Cousin Andrea's wedding in May.
(Sidenote:  the size FOUR fit her perfectly. Who sizes these things?)
When I told her why we were going to this store, she replied, "Will I get to open the door and show lots of people how I look?" 
I guess I watch too much "What Not to Wear".
Indeed, she did come out to show us how she looked.
I suppose you could say that her inner princesss was channelled. 
She danced.
She pranced.
She twirled, curtsied, and grinned.
She sat down and was surrounded by crinolines. What a thrill!
I told her she looked like a cupcake.
"Yeah!", she replied.  "A cupcake princess".

Friday, January 21, 2011

01-20-01 Balloons!

Ben received a special delivery of 6 helium balloons and a stuffed puppy this afternoon from Carmel's preschool department to celebrate his recovery from RSV.   He LOVED them, and so did his big sister.  They'll enjoy them for many days to come.
I love our church!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

01-19-11 Bo Peep Revisited

I found Bo Peep coloring in the kitchen today.
2009's Halloween costume was resurrected from the depths of the dress up basket, and she wore it all day long.
It was nice to see her dancing, coloring, and playing games incognito.

01-18-11 Home!

Today, Ben's condition improved dramatically.
He woke up happy.
He played; he ate.
His O2 levels stayed up.
And we got to come home! 
He was as excited as we were to be home sweet home, and his sister was beside herself to have him back.
Right where he belongs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

01-17-11 Improving

Day 4.
He's improving.  For the first time since we've been here (and since a few days prior to that, actually), Ben sat on the floor and played.
It didn't last long, but at least he wasn't crying to be held immediately after we sat down with him.
He needs to be a little more active to improve his lung function, but mostly, he just sleeps.
So, this was a step in the right direction. 
Not only did he play, but he also snacked (see the snack trap?).
His oxygen was also dialed down to less than one.  Major milestone.  It has been as high as 2.5, so we're making progress!
(Credits:  Life Sized Penguin - Grandmama and Grandpa Marion; Little Cars - Hales Family.  Thanks, y'all!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

01-16-11 RSV

Yesterday, we learned that Ben tested positive for RSV.
That explains a lot!
Don't let this smile deceive; it is a rare sight right now.  Whines, moans, "Daddy" signs, and cries for  "Mama!" are much more the norm. 
The endless supply of Fruit Loops and Oreos has officially lost its appeal.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

01-15-11 Patient

Day 2.
I wouldn't say Ben  is enjoying his stay; but he's tolerating it.
He needs to keep his oxygen levels higher, and he needs to eat and drink more.
In the mean time, he's mastered the art of charming the nurses.
We're ready to take him home; he's not ready to go home.
He's the patient.  And we're trying to be.

01-15-11 Joy Ride

This morning's trip to the peditrician to check on Ben's cough, congestion, and clingyness turned out a little differently than we anticipated.
After evaluating his oxygen levels and breathing, an ambulance was called to transport him to the hospital.
He. Loved. It.  LOVED it.  Every minute of it. 
Each time we stopped at a stop light, he grinned, signed, "More!" "Truck!" until we rolled once again.
He was admitted to Levine Children's Hospital with a tenative diagnosis of the flu.
I'm thanful we live in a city with a first class children's hospital; I just wish we didn't need to experience it first hand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

01-13-11 Coiffed

It isn't the first one; it might be his fifth.
It certainly won't be his last.
But, with each one, he looks a little less like a baby.
A little older.
A little more like a boy.

01-12-11 Babies

A snow day, it appears, is the perfect opportunity to rediscover old friends.
Anna Kate has enjoyed playing with her babies all day.
We've dressed and undressed.
They've been to school and played in the (pretend) snow.
I suppose it's not quite time to pack up these friends, after all.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

01-11-11 Retake

Anna Kate and her Daddy made this terrific snowman in the yard yesterday.

We just suited up to go take his picture with her.

Unfortunately, after all snow clothes were removed, I discovered the pictures I've taken for the past three days are missing.


This one will have to substitute.

01-10-11 NotWhatIPlanned

If my camera hadn't eaten the pictures I made this morning, you'd be looking at the winder wonderland of snow that we enjoyed playing in. You'd see Ben marching through the front yard and Anna Kate sledding down the front hill. But instead, there's nothing.
I am NOT happy with my camera.
Instead, I do have a little glimpse of our snow preparedness efforts:

After playing outside, the day went downhill. After holding The Boy for most of the day, his 104.1 temperature and nearly inconsolable state helped us decide to take him to Levine to get him checked out. Sure, a trip to our pediatrician or the urgent care would have been sufficient, but a little snow paralyzed Charlotte and closed nearly everything. Two hours, a diagnosed ear infection, and an antibiotic later, we were back home. Thank You, God, for 4 wheel drive trucks.

01-09-11 Do-Over

I'd like a do-over. 
Instead of enjoying a baby shower for a friend today, I spent most of the day in bed.
Food poisoning or virus? 
Either way, it's not what was on the agenda for the day.
And, my camera ate my pictures for the 9th-11th. 
Really, can I get a do-over?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

01-08-11 Snuggle

He sleeps. 
With his dog, Spot.
(Also cuddled but not pictured: blue Pancake and green Pancake.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

01-07-11 Waiting

4:09 pm
Looking for Daddy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

01-06-11 Scoot

It seems that Santa knew what he was doing when he brought Anna Kate a scooter.  It wasn't on her "list", and she was a little surprised to discover it on Christmas morning.
But, it's getting quite a workout.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

01-05-11 Brrrr

38 degrees.
Too cold to play outside.
But, he convinced me to let him play, anyway.
I'll remember this when he whines that it's too cold outside.
Too cold to rake leaves, put up Christmas lights, or take out the trash.
I'll remember.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

01-04-11 Celebrate

Fifteen years from now, I suppose this boy will be rolling his eyes and moaning "Mom!!" at me for immortalizing this moment. 
But, it's something to celebrate. 
This boy, who is 23 months old today, used the potty for the very first time today.  I know all too well that it may not happen again for weeks (or even months), but tonight, we celebrated.
All of us.  In the half bath.  At the same time. 
It really IS the little things that thrill us when we become parents, isn't it?

01-03-11 Yum

Fresh granola bread made from home made granola.
A sure sign that we haven't begun the new year vowing to improve our eating habits.
But wait - granola is healthy, right?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

01-02-11 PINK

"I want to make my room fancy, Mama", She said to me as we read a bedtime book in early December.
Not knowing what exactly constitutes fancy to a 4 year old, I asked her.
"I want to paint my walls pink. I want streamers on my fan, a picture of me and my brother on my wall, and I want a chair for Pancake."  (Pancake is a much loved, yet grungy pink bear)
Pink.  Pink?  We are not people of pink.  Even Anna Kate usually chooses blue over pink. 
We are also not people of paint.  In the 7.5 years we've been in Charlotte, exactly 2 rooms - bathrooms - have been painted.  One, as a result of a renovation requiring it, and the other after removing very old and ugly Asian themed wallpaper.  Ben isn't a fan of painting, and I'm not very good at it. 
But, when we found ourselves with a few days at the end of December, we managed to paint a room pink. 
It made our girl grin from ear to ear, and that made the effort worthwhile.
The paint color she chose?  Princess.  Perfect. 

01-01-11 Read

While I was putting away laundry, I realized that all had gotten quiet.
Too quiet. 
Not a good sign. 
Then, I rounded the corner and saw the two of them in Ben's room reading.
The perfect way to start the new year!

A New Year; A New Goal

I'm not much of a fan of New Year Reslolutions, but I suppose I've made one despite my best efforts to avoid them. For the past 5 years, I've been vowing to be a better record keeper. I want to remember so much of the day-to-day happenings, but I just don't take the pictures I should or jot down the reminders that would preserve the memories.  I recently stumbled upon a website that hosts a picture a day for particpants:  Project  I'm a realist; 365 isn't likely to happen, but perhaps I'll shoot for one picture for everyday of January.  A meager goal, but it's a start.
 2011 is certain to be a big year in the Marion Household.  For Anna Kate, 2011 brings birthday #5, the first day of Kindergarten, the loss of top front teeth (the bottom ones are long gone), and many more milestones. For BenIII, the year will bring a second birthday, lots of talking (we hope) and all the fun that comes with toddlerhood. For BenII and me, there are trips to take and a 10 year anniversary to celebrate at year end.
   So, here it is. My effort to preserve 2011. May it be a good one!