Sunday, August 31, 2008

Missing Lake Geneva

Though I haven't made it every year since going away to college in 95, I have many fond memories of our annual family reunion in Wisconsin. We were all set to go until yesterday when Stephen was still running a fever in the morning. I admit that I don't mind sparing Abby two long car trips, but I do wish we could be there. Many of the relatives haven't met Abby and now that Stephen knows some of them better I know he would have enjoyed himself, too.

Stephen woke up this morning without a fever and with a good night's rest. Yeah! We're still taking it easy. He hasn't had much food to eat in the past couple days so I'm sure he needs time to get his stamina back.

Bethany and I have watched Charlottes's Web, The Sound of Music, and King Corn in the past couple days. She's also been skyping with Eric quite a bit since he got to Germany a couple days ago.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's Pneumonia

Aunt Heidiann has already called to offer her sympathies; she has been the recipient of many a pneumonia diagnosis.

After 48 hours of fever, I took Stephen in to convenient care this morning. They took a chest x-ray and immediately sent him to the ER. There was a chance the dr there was going to want to admit him. I'm thankful that they did not deem it that serious.

So now we're home again, and Stephen is more drugged than he has even been before.

It's a no-go for our Lake Geneva trip this weekend, but I'm sure we can find plenty to do around the house instead, and we can catch up on some much-needed rest!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Not a Master of English Literature

My friend Loretta did this inventory of books read, and while she has read quite a few more than me, I thought it would be fun to do while I have a sick 2-year-old watching Sound of Music and a sleeping baby on my lap. Oh, and Bethany is home sick today, too.

I've missed some of the classics, due mostly to moving in the middle of high school. I read a couple books twice, and others I missed completely. Time to catch up? Maybe on a few.


1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them.

"THE" List
1. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
3. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5. Life of Pi - Yann Martel—in my “to read” pile
6. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
12. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
13. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman
14. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
15. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
16. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
18. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
19. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
21. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
24. Animal Farm - George Orwell
25. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
26. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
27. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
28. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
29. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
30. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
32. Complete Works of Shakespeare
33. Ulysses - James Joyce
34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
35. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
36. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
37. The Bible
38. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
39. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
40. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
41. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
42. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
46. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
49. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
50. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
51. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
53. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
54. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
55. Middlemarch - George Eliot—
56. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
57. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
59. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
60. Emma - Jane Austen
61. Persuasion - Jane Austen
62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
64. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
66. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
68. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
69. Atonement - Ian McEwan
70. Dune - Frank Herbert
71. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
72. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
73. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
74. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
75. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
76. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
77. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
78. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
81. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
82. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
83. Dracula - Bram Stoker
84. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
85. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
86. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
87. Germinal - Emile Zola
88. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Possession - A.S. Byatt
90. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
91. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
92. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
93. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
94. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
96. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
97. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams
99. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
100. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to school, already?!?

I'm glad Ryan really likes what he does at school, because otherwise I'd really feel sorry for him - it seems there really never was a break this summer. He had his recital, then a paper to work on, which still isn't 100% finished, partly due to some computer issues he's been having on the laptop. Which is also the reason it's been hard to keep up with the blog. The laptop has to be hooked up to the other monitor. Which is certainly possible, but the monitor is in the room where Eric and Bethany are staying.

That's alright, though. I have plenty to do just keeping up with my two kids! I actually have a pretty calm day right now, as Stephen woke up with a fever and doesn't want to do much. He has been watching PBS a lot, and has at least moved off the couch and onto the floor, where he is driving his trucks and tractors around. So he can't be that sick.

Eric is leaving for Germany today, and then Bethany will be staying with us for a couple weeks while she finishes up her job at the Chemistry Learning Center on campus. It's been a lot of fun having them here. We've shared lots of meal prep as well as doing dishes. But that stubborn Abby; mommy is still the only one who can feed her!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A post by the youngest member of the family

Hi. I'm Abby. Yesterday my mommy and daddy celebrated their 3rd anniversary, so grandma came down from Plainfield to spend time with me and my brother, Stephen (pronounced "Deen"). They never asked me about it, but they thought I'd be fine with grandma all night so mommy got lots of milk ready for me in the fridge.

I like having grandma here. She smiles at me a lot and I say "goo" back and giggle. I put a picture here so you can see how happy I am sometimes. I even laid in the stroller for a little bit while grandma and Stephen and I walked around the block.

But then I got hungry, and I don't like that funny-looking gadget they try to stick in my mouth with milk in it. I like having my mom right there with me to feed me. So I screamed. I screamed really loud hoping that my mommy could hear me wherever she and daddy were. Grandma helped me by calling daddy's phone and letting him hear how sad I was that I couldn't find mommy. So they came home to get me.

Then they just took me to the movie with them. OH BOY! That was the biggest TV I've ever seen! We saw The Dark Knight at the art theatre in downtown Champaign. I started talking a couple times during the movie but I never cried. I was with mommy :).

After we got home -- all 3 of us -- we watched some of the Olympics and cleaned up the house. I finally went to sleep around 11:30. I was so tired from my crazy day yesterday that I slept straight until 9 o'clock this morning!

I also wanted to show a picture of my mommy and daddy. They're really glad that they got married 3 years ago yesterday.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This House Is Great

This was parked outside our house today.

(It also woke Stephen up early. I heard him saying "tractor" and I knew I needed to get him up so he could look out the window and see it.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Update on Stephen

The doctor and nurses last night said that if Stephen was going to have any trouble with the item up his nose, it would start within 24 hours. So far so good; he isn't having any issues and seems to be unharmed by the traumatic ER experience.

We had a busy day clearing out of the old place. Now we are fully out and are setting up house. Ryan's parents are here and so are Bethany and Eric, who plan to stay here off and on while Eric finishes up grad school.

Ryan has been driving the limo and DJing tonight. I'm glad we pulled those clothes aside before we moved as we are nowhere NEAR unpacked yet.

Dwelling amidst the boxes

We moved today. I can't really think to post something clever or well thought-out, nor do I have the time, but I know some family and friends are curious how it's all going. Especially those overseas who wish they could be here to help! (We miss you, Heather and Marc-André!)

We had a scare that the truck we'd reserved wouldn't actually be available, but Ryan showed up this morning at the Budget rental store and since there was one there they let him take it. We loaded and finished packing and taping all day; Ryan and I both forgot about the attic, so there was another load later in the evening that had to be done.

It was all going smooth (though taking some time) when Stephen put a little toy coin up his nose. I couldn't fish it out with my little finger. Grandma Susan looked in it and said it's too far up; he needs to go in to the ER. So there we went, and the first two methods of getting-objects-out-of-tiny-noses didn't work. They ended up putting a tube in his nose and hoping that he'd swallow the coin and send it through his body that way. We hope it isn't just lodged in further, in which case he'll start having some respiratory problems. And then it's to an ENT we go.

It was really hard on him. Even though all the nurses and the doctor were so kind and patient with him, he was crying during a lot of the attempts. He was also tired. He calms down when I sing to him so I was going through some of the hymns that I know. This one in particular struck me, from Great Is Thy Faithfulness: Pardon for sin, and a peace that endureth; Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.

He and Abby are now both sleeping upstairs in our new house, so peacefully. Thank you, Jesus!