Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy 30th Katie Ferguson

We enjoyed a fun party with Katie Ferguson and the old gang (well - whoever could make it!) at one of her friends' house in West Des Moines. Joanna Dobson and Jenny (Jorgensen) Hoksbergen were there, as well as Mike, Erica, and Wade ... we hoped to see Liz but she wasn't going to get there until much later. A little guy needed to go to bed!

It's been a full week. We had a great dinner at Pete and De Elta's house in Adair with that side of Ryan's family. Stephen got quite a few gifts, his favorites being anything he could put in his mouth. Ryan's favorite gift of Stephen's was the Noah's Ark stuffed toy - with a finger puppet for each of his 10 fingers!

After that celebration we headed to Bernard and Evelyn's to stay with them for a couple nights. Stephen really enjoyed his great-grandma and great-grandpa. And we realize we are so blessed to have them here to get to know him! We went into Adair to see the Fay Pharmacy and ordered dinner from the Redwood Restaurant in Anita.

Thursday we headed back to Des Moines and ended up back at the Leathermans after a few of our other plans fell through for one reason or another. It was a good thing, as Stephen proceeded to take his first-ever 2.5 hour nap! We then got to see a even-more-grown-up Ian Hagenberg, who showed Stephen his new toys. At the Blochers' we enjoyed Max, too.

Today I indulged in one of my favorites - a bagel with cream cheese and coffee - with Rachel Goranson. Then Stephen and I spent the afternoon with Laurie and we ate some kale. I'm sure everyone is wondering - why? - so I'll answer. Kale tastes really really good when sauteed with garlic. Here is how I prepare it. Wash the kale, cutting off the hard ends. Then chop into bite-sized pieces, though it doesn't need to be cut quite as small as lettuce would be for a salad. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the kale until it's tender. I usually do it 10-15 minutes. Then drain and saute in canola oil with garlic for a few minutes. It is so tasty.

We were talking tonight that we've really seen changes in Stephen even since we have been here. His ability to grab whatever he sees has improved greatly and he seems to recognize people better than before. He is sitting up very well, especially with somethin interesting to look at in front of him.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

we're not shopping today

We've had a few days of get-togethers with family, and a few embarrassing moments for me and Stephen - though he doesn't really care! We were in Knoxville on Sunday with Dan and Shiela and the rest of the Fay clan. Anna and Claire really enjoyed Stephen and even put on a dancing show for him. In the morning we caught up with some friends in Mitchellville at the Wyatt's home. Then yesterday we had a turkey dinner with grandma and grandpa Fay, Dave, Susan, John, and Carolyn. Joanna came over later with Katharine and Joshua. We deduced that
Stephen really likes light blondes. He likes Auntie Em; he got pretty excited about Amy Lindstrom; and then he giggled heartily at Katharine's greetings.

The picture with the little girl is from Saturday when we got together with my symphony friend Seaeun and her daughter who is 3 weeks older than Stephen. She is just as tall but much skinnier.

Last night the toilet overflowed after I used it and it turned into a pretty big mess. We are still waiting for the sewage service to get here ... oops! Then Stephen had a pretty big poop this morning - and he did it WHILE I was changing him. It did make a mess, but I'm sure it could have been worse.

We're getting ready to leave for the Fays in Anita for a few days.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Say Cheese!

Anyone who has tried to photograph a 6-month-old in a professional studio will know what a lot of work it is! We made sure he had napped and eaten and was recently changed, but he still got worn out pretty quickly. Of course he didn't understand why there were strange lights; why mommy couldn't just hold him or feed him; why a strange man (the photographer) was trying to make him laugh. He really did very well and we were impressed with how the photographer was able to capture some smiles. We weren't able to get a family picture because John had to work. I guess we'll take some snapshots during the Christmas celebrations.

Yesterday on our way out to Des Moines we were able to stop by Laura Wells's house and say hello to her, her mom, and Hadley and Kassy. They were enthralled with watching Stephen eat.

Today Ryan has an appointment with a specialist (who Aunt Carolyn works for) to look at his hand to see what might be the problem with it. Stephen and I have chiropractor (or pirocracker as we call him) appointments. I'm planning to stop by Perfection Learning to turn in my book and say hello. We're looking forward to dinner in our old neighborhood.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

oh my!

Have you ever had two friends who you knew separately begin to date each other? I just found out about a couple like that!

We had a great weekend with Aunt Emily visiting. We started out having Matt, Annie, Israel, and Enoch Wells over on Friday for dinner. See photo of Stephen with the two boys. We enjoyed a meal together and then some time talking about some Scriptures, singing, and praying together.

We got to hang out with both Heidi and Emily, and Em's friend Bridget came for Saturday to do some shopping. I have been madly working on a book for Perfection Learning. It needs to be done before we leave for Des Moines on Wednesday.

Ryan and I got to go out last night, and Em and Bridget hung out with Stephen. We enjoyed dinner at Silver Creek and then post-dinner at Dos Reales.

Ryan has been practicing a little every day, and today has had some stagecrew work at school.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Birthdays

Happy birthday to Great-Aunt Care and Great-Grandpa Leatherman!

Stephen and I are back from Plainfield where we were for the weekend, playing in the Christmas program at Harvest Baptist--though we didn't make it back without incident. Just as we were passing through Dwight the battery light in Heidi's car went on, then the temperature gauge showed that the car was overheating. We did make it back to a bp station with a car garage so the good news is that it didn't have to be towed. The bad news was that the station was closing in 10 minutes and mom and dad wouldn't make it to town for an hour! So we bundled the boy up in the snowsuit which I had just "happened" to bring, and walked down the street to the Casey's, which was open until 11. (See photo - Stephen loved it because he wasn't in his carseat!) My mom and dad got there and gave us a car and we got back to Champaign about 11:30.

But overall the weekend was great! Stephen and grandpa bonded three nights in a row. Thanks to his hook-on high chair he sat with us at the dinner table. He even braved the bridal shops with all the women looking for a wedding dress for Emily. He got to meet many of our friends at Naperville Presbyterian. We missed Ryan but he was down here getting ready for finals and worked hard on that all weekend. For those of you who know what I'm talking about - the extra pumping to make sure I had enough supply for him while we were performing has caused me to be engorged. Talk about uncomfortable as Stephen slept through the night last night!!!!!!

Ryan is done tomorrow after his French final. His saxophone jury is today.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

To school we went

This morning we joined Ryan for his French class at 9 a.m. I made beignets. They were very tasty and left the kitchen a mess . . . but it was fun to see where he has been going every school morning (except for Wednesdays).

Stephen has had a cold but it hasn't seemed to affect his mood very much (except for when we use the nasal aspirator). I think it's on the way out. He wasn't as stuffy today.

Tomorrow we'll head up to my parents' for the weekend where Heidi and I will play for Rollie's church's Christmas program. The music is interesting - The Messiah and then a John Rutter piece, "The Reluctant Dragon."

Last Saturday I hosted Heidi's "unshower" and got to meet several of her friends who live in town but I didn't yet know. We had a great time teasing her and we played a video that Ryan and I had taken of Anthony while we were in Germany. We hung broccoli from the doorways instead of mistletoe - perfect for Heidi!

Tuesday was St. Nicholas Day and (magically) there appeared some ornaments for us. For Stephen it was a "Stephen's first Christmas" and then Ryan and I got an Illini one.

Ryan has been riding a scooter at school. I remember when Tom got it originally and used to ride it around Drake. When he walked in the house with it yesterday I thought it was a cane!

He also hurt his thumb Tuesday playing basketball. He still has been playing - doesn't really have a choice - but he has had quite the semester with injuring necessary body parts for saxophone-playing!