Year End Review

Last year at this time we had gone through some serious, life changing , events. I (Rod) could not wait for 2005 to end. Kristin and I celebrated the New Year in the hospital. I remember us both watching the ball drop and then asking for 2006 to be better. Well, it was! It has been a great year all around and we have a lot to be thankful for. I can only hope that 2007 will bring as much joy to our lives.

Leaving you with a picture....1 year ago today, Krsitin got her NG tube out. The picture shows relief as we knew things were already getting better.


So close!

Click here for the latest video of the cruiser in action.


Tub time

And time to show all you who doubt there's any hair... it's there, just still kinda sparse...

Big mouth? Who? Me? No way! I'm just practicing to be an expert at drinking from a drinking fountain, or shower head, or raindrops, or whatever!


We've successfully passed the peanut test. Victoria tried peanut butter on some whole wheat bagel about two weeks ago, with no problems. I know kids with peanut allergies, and it's not fun for them, or for the mom.

V's new mid-day snack is peanut butter and bananas on whole wheat bagels or toast. To quote Rachael Ray, Yum-O!


Nothing to report

Which for me will always be a good thing on this day. Last year, December 27th's events led to Rod's WTF??? post. Truthfully, the thought had occurred to me the other day that we were almost on the one-year anniversary of my surgery/hospitalization/disaster of a reproductive system, but today I hadn't given it much thought. That's a good thing. No use dwelling on the past, on things we cannot change. There is use, however, in relishing every moment I have, and in remembering what an amazing support system I have surrounding me each and every day.


Picture perfect

Merry Christmas

Four long days of fun were to be had around here. Dec 22 we had Christmas at our house with Jaj and Busha, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Marie, and Kasia and Moira. Dec 23 and 24 were spent up north with Grandma Penny, Papa Jim, Grandpa Russ, and all the rest of Rod's family. Today, we're home, everyone napping at the moment and just plain tuckered out from all the excitement.



Well, I think we may have successfully quit the bottle. Cold Turkey. Rod and I decided the best route was just to take a few days of misery but not even offer Victoria the option of a bottle. It wasn't fun, but I think we successfully transitioned to a sippy cup. She'd be just as happy using just a regular cup, but that's a little messy.

And some pics, of course:

Gotta say 'Wassup' to my homies in purple!

Dirty, dirty windows... fingerprints and mouthprints inside, noseprints outside!


Not so much fun

I thought it would be great for Victoria to go to her first show yesterday. Actually, last night. Rod, V and I met up with mom and dad, Jeff & Marie, and Marie's family to see White Christmas at the Fox Theatre. Silly me figured it would either A) be entertaining enough that it would keep V occupied, or B) start late enough that as long as we were equipped with bottles and a pacifier, we'd be good. Not so much. V is officially at the point that she doesn't really want to be held, when there's so much to explore on the floor. Needless to say, Rod and she spent almost a good 2 hours sitting in the car in the parking garage. I thought for sure as soon as she was strapped in the car seat she'd calm down and fall asleep. Again, not so much. Turns out she screamed almost the entire time the two of them were in the car. She slept the hour and a half drive home, but then started screaming again for about 45 minutes (this would be around midnight) before falling asleep.

So... a late, restless night makes for a sleepy baby at breakfast:

I really hoped this wouldn't happen, but I fear we may be entering the "can't take our child out in public for extended periods of time" stage...


Almost there

Victoria had her 12 month checkup today. She's still got a pound and a half to go before she can get out of the rear-facing carseat/carrier. I think there will be times when I miss that carrier (like when she's sleeping and I can just pick the whole thing up and throw a blanket over her) but my back will certainly not miss that thing. She weighed in at 18 pounds, 9 ounces. I don't remember what her height was (29 inches, maybe) but she's in the 50th percentile for her adjusted age for both.

The next big steps (besides the carseat, since that one's probably a month off): no more formula, no more baby food, no more bottles. The bottle one is going to be the most difficult as she still tends to throw fits and refuse anything but a bottle. We'll see... nobody says we have to quit cold turkey.

Miscellaneous pics

Here's V's birthday outfit. Somehow with all the photos that were taken Saturday, none got her in her special outfit (other than her birthday suit, of course!)

And look! I've got an elephant on my butt!


What a day!

Wow. What a fun-filled, busy, exciting day we all had yesterday! I think I counted over 50 people all packed into our house (thankfully they all fit, even if it was a little tight at times) to help us celebrate Victoria's first birthday.

First, before the party, we had to go to the FOP Christmas party, where V did much better with Santa.

Then it was back to our house for the fun!

The "before" cake picture:

During Cake:

After Cake:

Opening presents... we quickly learned that all kids flock to presents like hungry seagulls to a bag of french fries:

How the night ended (by 7pm):

And the aftermath today:


The tickers at the top of the page say it all...

What an amazing, wonderful, scary, fun-filled year it has been. Happy birthday, my sweet angel!


What a little Ham!

Victoria and I got her first Wal-Mart photos done the other day. It really does make it tough to say no to all their upselling when she takes such great pictures! I am a little disappointed that you can buy a CD with the images, which I did, but then the quality is reduced on the pics. You get the idea, though!


The Season for Giving

All of you know that the March of Dimes is an organization that is very special and important to us. I know sometimes money's tight, and there are endless charities/organizations that could use our hard-earned dollars. But sometimes there's a little added incentive (beyond feeling good about donating), and right now that's exactly what March of Dimes is doing. Between now and December 31, MedImmune will match each and every donation made to M.O.D. up to a total of $50,000. Essentially that means you're donating twice as much! Sometimes donating to something like this is a thought never followed through on. If you'd like to make a donation, please visit the March of Dimes website or click here.


Indian Summer

It was fun while it lasted...



To those of you who might be coming up for Victoria's party, please note the time has changed.

The party won't start until 3:30 (instead of 2). We've got an FOP Christmas event to attend earlier in the afternoon. Hope this doesn't mess too many of you up.


Skippin' the sippy cups

Apparently we're just going to skip over the sippy cup transitional phase (all she wants to do is chew on the mouthpiece!)

Victoria now likes to drink water from a straw...

Or straight from the glass.

The former of the two is much less messy, though! She still drinks milk from a bottle, just can't get her to give that up... it's more the security of it than anything, I think.


Our Day

Oddly enough, Santa made V smile, but the two workers made her cry!!!


Happy Thanksgiving

We're celebrating by playing even more with Jaj and Busha. I think it's time for a nap.

More babies on the way!

Or at least, could be more... we'll see.

Congrats, Nat & Joey!


Go Team!

Deeetroit Basketball!

Not always rosy

For all of you who think every day is all fun and games... sometimes there are fits.


Then there were three

The third tooth (top left) appeared this afternoon. At least, it's slightly visible, and I can feel it. That may have had something to do with why Miss V decided that 4:50 AM was when it was time to get up this morning!!! Hopefully we're not in for too many of these early mornings... I had enough of those a few months back!

Day In, Day out

Not too much going on around here... Rod's off hunting for opening day/week. We're here and there, visiting family, etc. I can't really share any new pics, as Rod took the digital camera with him!!! Oh... here's the official birthday party invite! Everyone's welcome to attend, invites mostly went out yesterday (except for the few whose addresses seem to have removed themselves from my book).


SHE's here!!!

Last night Mandy had a (not so little) baby GIRL!!!! Kathryn Elizabeth came via c-section last night weighing in at a whopping 8 pounds, 10 oz... two weeks early!!! Congrats to their whole family... one more little girl for Victoria to play with!


How things change

I think Mandy and I have some wierd cosmic connection. A year ago, our little nightmare/scare began with a flu shot (I think, anyway) on Nov. 8. Nov 9 I started feeling really crappy, Nov 12 marked the first of many trips to the hospital. Victoria was born on Dec 9, which should have been Mandy's due date but she lost the baby.

I've been thinking about last year's events the past few days, reflecting on all we've endured, hoping I wouldn't always have a negative connotation to this time in November. Well, Mandy's pretty much taken care of that for me. She went into the hospital last night because her water broke!!!! That baby's coming today or tomorrow. If you get a chance to send her well-wishes, please do. So now we've both been able to take a date that held some pain and add some joy to it.

And of course, I'll leave you all with a pic of a sleeping child in her pack n play.


A Bit Early

Victoria wanted everyone to know that she accepts Christmas gifts at all times during the year and of all shapes and sizes. How could you resist this face?


My gift

Apparently for 5 years, the anniversary gift is supposed to be something wood. Rod spent the past month(s?) over at Scott's building this rolling island for me... from scratch, complete with marble tile top. Guess I can cross one thing off my Christmas wish list!


0 to 60 in no time flat

Or more like 10 to 60 in a week. Victoria pretty much got the hang of the crawling thing this week (Tuesday she really started to take off). Now, four days later, not only is she crawling everywhere, she's also seemed to master the art of climbing up, pulling up, and overall getting into everything! I guess I'm back to sitting in the living room making sure she's not getting into anything she shouldn't for a while. Here's what I found when I walked into the room this evening (and don't worry, there's no fire in the woodstove) - Miss V trying her hardest to ignore all the baby toys and get into the dog toys!

On a side note, Rod and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary yesterday. We headed to Traverse City for a couple of days to take in the sights/smells/tastes of the local vineyards. We came home a few dollars poorer, but a few bottles of wine richer! Happy Anniversary, my love. Here's hoping the next 5 hold fewer life-threatening situations.


The downside

The downside to having a great piece of property with lots of mature trees is the gathering of the leaves. Rod and I spent a good 4-5 hours out there raking leaves onto a tarp and hauling them off into the field. I think he made 10 or 11 trips. We're both going to be sore the next few days. And it started out 34 degrees and sunny. By the time we were done, it was 29 and snowing! Victoria hung out with us, all bundled up, and loved it!

Posting catch-up

A few other photos from the past few days:

Faith and Victoria in their matching Dora outfits Grandma Penny bought.

The girls with Great-Grandma Mavis.


Ugh. Mommy brain struck again the other day! I had bought the cutest costume for Miss V to wear for Halloween. So what do I do but forget it when we went up north for 3 days!?! Luckily Uncle Steven and Aunt Pam had cousin Faith's costume from last year (a pink leopard). It was way too cold (for me, anyway) to go trick-or-treating, but the girls got dressed up and went to visit their great grandma.

What should have been the cutest halloween costume EVER: This ain't my first rodeo, cowboy!