Thursday, April 30, 2009


We've been having a LOT of rain this week. I didn't realize quite how much until I saw what Thomas made with his lunch.

For the less abstract in our audience, that's a carrot umbrella with carrot rain.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was leaving the library today when a man stopped me in the parking lot.

"Do you live in the area?"

Why, yes, I do.

"Did you loose power today?"

Why, no, I did not.

"The power was out for about four hours just a block from here. It was terrible."

Terrible? Terrible, really? I'm wondering how bad it could be. Perhaps he was in the middle of some do-it-yourself brain surgery when the power failed and he was left with exposed brain matter for the afternoon. I have a hard time imagining the circumstances that could have left someone describing a brief power failure on a day with mild weather as 'terrible'.

To him I would say, Rise up, Man. You are shaped in the very image of God, descended from explorers and adventurers who sailed oceans, crossed prairies and hewed out a living in a wild land. You are the son of men and women who came to a wilderness and created a new nation, climbed mountains and journeyed across deserts and survived long, unforgiving winters. You are the child of a people who risked it all, lit a fire under themselves and went to the moon and back.

Some days I think that we are not as fully human as we were meant to be. No TV or internet for a whole afternoon? That would crush the spirit of most men, I suppose.


I can tell that the NICU reunion made a big impression on Anna. She came down the stairs this afternoon carrying every doll she owns. She said, "Mommy! I'm your friend with many babies."

I just laughed because I know who she was remembering. Is there anything a little girl enjoys more than a passel of babies?

Monday, April 27, 2009


It's been a month of transitions. We've moved from Psuedo-Spring, which is only spring because it is Less Wintery outside, to Real Spring. We've moved from Preemie Baby to Real Baby. We've moved from Hermits Entrenched to Errand Runners. We're actually getting out and seeing people. Henry has discovered that there is a world outside of our house and he seems to find it rather shocking.

We went to the NICU reunion last Sunday. I think it's the hospital's way of letting parents know that it is really, truly OK to bring your babies out among people now since RSV season is over. I think that for many parents it was the first time they were able to show their babies off. I met two of the moms I was on the ante-partum unit with at the hospital. Their babies looked amazing. I hadn't seen one of the babies since he was next door to Henry at the NICU. You can imagine how he's changed! There's a big difference between a four pound baby and a 14 pound baby.

Now that spring has come and our worries about RSV have passed (for this season, anyway--and you can just shut up about swine flu because I'm not listening)I'm starting to feel like Henry is a normal baby. I am still washing my hands like a crazed raccoon, but perhaps with less OCD frenzy. We can go out, have people come over, and let the older two kids mingle freely with other children. Normal. Sigh. Now I can start obsessing over how little sleep we're getting.

Now for the pictures.

Thomas has this crazy, over-the-top affectionate personality. When he loves you, he loves you more than anyone has ever loved you and when he hugs you, he hugs you more than you have ever been hugged before. He hugs Henry like this every day. Every time he does it we have to remind him that we hug and then we release. Don't lay on him, Thomas. I don't know that he'll ever figure out how to give a normal hug. He reminds me of that character in the movie Tommy Boy. "Brothers don't shake hands; Brothers gotta HUG!"

Here's a handsome kid. He looks like me. Only cute. And unbeatably five years old. Don't play this kid in checkers unless you're ready to get schooled. He plays with the big boys.

Here's Henry with his auntie. He finds her both fascinating and alarming. Most of us do, too.

Before Thomas was born, Rachel was adamant about NOT being called 'Auntie'. So, of course, we called her 'Auntie Rachel'. But after seeing her beautiful nephew, she quit caring. Spoiled all our fun. Here she is with her newest nephew, Henry.

Henry is now practicing sitting on his own. He does pretty well. I cannot wait until this kid can amuse himself. I'll be really excited about it until I find out exactly what he finds amusing. Then I'll wish he would just sit still again.

And now, Anna. I realized as I was going through my copious digital pile of photos that I need to take more pictures of Anna. She's finally figured out how to pedal a bike. I took a few photos of her demonstrating her new skill. In every one of the pictures she looks like her grandmothers. How odd to see them looking so young!

Henry's baptism is scheduled for Mother's Day. I am overwhelmed that we have made it this far. When I think of where we started last year in July, to Henry's birth at the end of August, I have to hold my breath when I realize how far we have come. We've come to this Spring by the seat of our pants, but we've made it and I'm glad.

We took a few pictures of Henry when he was in the NICU. I didn't share many of them here because they are so complicated to look at. On one hand they are so sad. There is this small, frail baby hanging on to life surrounded by breathing equipment, IV tubes, monitors, buttons and plastic. But at the same time, he is so fragile and so lovely and so tough. His ability to come through these challenges is so amazing. I'm thinking of posting them some time so that you can see how far he has come. I look at them and I am sad, but I'm also amazed at what people can come through when they are loved and cared for.