In case you're wondering, Hot Rods is for Anthony & Hasselblads is for me, because he's into cars & I'm into cameras (well, not directly, more like into photography). He has a 65' AMC Rambler & I have a Nikon D200. Our blog typically features neither obsession. :)
My brother & sister-in-law (Eric & Tiffany) had their ultrasound today to find out what they're having. My mom just called to tell me that it's a GIRL! She's due at the end of October, which means Ella will have two cousins within a year of her age (one on both sides of the family). Poor Wesley doesn't have any cousins on mine or Anthony's side of the family within three years of him since he was the first grandchild & only has one on his dad's side within two years of him. Lucky for Ella, she'll always have someone to play with at family gatherings & I'll have someone to pass down all the pretty little outfits that she outgrows way too fast (she just turned 3 months old and is already out-growing some of her 3-6 months clothes).
So, congratulations, Eric & Tiffany. Can't wait to spoil her!
And, what's a post without a picture...
Ella & her daddy - watching Wesley's baseball game last week
Wesley has impressed me with how he has moved easily into the role of big brother. He really loves Ella - as evidenced by:
He hates to hear her fuss or cry & will make sure Anthony or I do something to make her happy when she starts - I think this is partly because he doesn't like the sound of her cry since he covers his ears when she really gets upset.
He's interested in her daily routine - "Is it time for her to eat?" "Is it time for her bath?" "Are you changing her diaper?"
He likes playing with her & her toys - or maybe he just likes playing with her toys : )
His car seat is in the back seat with hers & he'll move her sunshade on her car seat to make sure the sun isn't in her face (without me even asking him to) & he'll put her pacifier back in her mouth when she spits it out.
He gets her things when he's gone to his dad's - he got her some baby sunglasses with a strap that holds them on (she did not care for those much when I put them on) & asked his granny (Jody's mom) to make her a baby blanket when she was making one for Jody's brother & sister-in-law.
He asks to hold her (usually when we're visiting people & someone other than me or Anthony is holding her).
When he gets to daycare in the afternoons he goes to her room to "check" on her (which I think is oh so sweet).
He has dealt with not being the center of attention like he used to be fairly well and he seems to have matured since she was born.
And, he gives her kisses & hugs before he goes to bed at night.
Top five characteristics of Ace's that indicate he's confused about his species:
1. He growls when he hears someone come to the door.
2. He sits in chairs like a human, not curled up like a normal cat. (see picture below)
3. He likes for us to play fetch with him with his toys (which consist of rubber bands or those rubber bracelets like the yellow "Live Strong" ones). He will usually bring it back to us each time so we'll throw it again. (I really need to get a picture of him doing this - only have it on video & am clueless as to how to post video on here)
4. He gets lonely & whines if our other cat goes outside & he's left inside, which is not a normal cat trait (she likes to escape when the door is open, but he is afraid of the outside).
5. He prefers the water out of the faucets in the kitchen & bathroom rather than from their water bowl (even though they get clean water each day).
Wesley moved up from t-ball this year to the 7-8 yr. old machine pitch league. The machine they use is different from the ones you typically see in batting cages & doesn't have a motor or need electricity. It will throw strikes as well as balls so they have to learn to judge where the ball is going. Wesley has been adjusting from hitting a ball off the tee to hitting a moving ball pretty well. That is, until a few weeks ago (the day my mother-in-law passed away to be precise) at one of his practices. My mom was watching him for us & had taken him to his practice. I had just gotten home & was about to step in the shower & then take a nap, because I had been up since about 5 am with no shower. I had gotten my clean clothes together & was on my way to the bathroom & the phone rang. It was our friend Chris (who has a son on Wesley's team & was the one who graciously let Wesley stay with them the week that we were at the hospital 24/7 with Anthony's mom). He said, "Hey. I know you're having a rough day, but I've got some more bad news." I was thinking, "Oh, no. I'm not sure how much more I can take." Me: "What is it?" Chris: "Wesley got hit in the nose with the baseball & we think he may have broken it. Your mom is going to take him to the ER." So, I gathered Ella up & raced back out the door (sans makeup & still not having taken a shower).
When I got to the ER a few minutes after them Wesley was still pretty tore up (I've heard having a broken nose is one of the most painful bones to break). They had filled a plastic (lunchlady) glove with ice at the ballpark & put it on his nose & paper towels to soak up the blood. He moved the ice bag so I could see & I couldn't keep myself from gasping in shock. It looked really bad (it was already starting to swell up) & just continued to get worse over the next few hours. We didn't have to spend more than an hour or two in the ER. They did x-rays that confirmed that it was broken, gave us a perscription for tylenol with codeine and told us to keep icing it every hour or two for the next 24 hours then follow up with his pediatrician the next day (this happened on a Sunday). At first he was crying pretty hard, but by the time they did the x-rays and we sat waiting for the doctor to come in he had calmed down & it wasn't hurting much unless he touched it. Then he started asking all about what they would do, if he would need a cast (on his nose, mind you), etc. He was pretty dissapointed that he wouldn't get a cast if it indeed was broken (I remember it being pretty special to have a cast for everyone to sign when I was a kid, so I understood). After he found out he wouldn't get one he said, "Well, I wish I had broken my arm instead so I could have a cast."
When I asked him later what had happened he said, "The ball went all crazy & hit me in the nose."
And, what's a post without pictures...
From the side...
These are about 24 hours later (his dad drove up the night it happened & took Wesley home with him so he could take care of him because he knew we had a lot to deal with at the time). According to Jody, this was much better than the way he looked Sunday night.
From the front...
This one was 5 days after it happened - he still had just a little swelling & the black eyes were turning yellow. And for reference, this is what he normally looks like...
I felt bad burdening you with that last post, so I thought I would put up something a little happier. Ella started smiling over a month ago, but until last night I wasn't able to get a picture of her while she was smiling. EVERY time she would start smiling & I would ask Anthony to go get the camera, by the time he got it she would stop. We would try & try to get her to smile again, but she wouldn't do it. It got pretty funny after a while. I had to get Wesley to run & get the camera last night & take a picture really quickly - it's not the best picture, but we finally caught it on film (or disc as it may be).
Thank you for any thoughts and prayers you have sent our way.
Anthony's mom passed away a few days after my last post, on Sunday, May 4th and her memorial service was a week ago yesterday.
People keep asking how I'm doing, how Anthony is doing, how Randall (A's step-dad) is doing. All I can tell them is we're making it. I think for Randall his loss is very real since he has to go home to an empty house every night, but for the rest of us, it hasn't quite sunk in & sort of hits us in waves. The other day I was in the drive thru at McDonald's and the thought of chicken tenders almost made me burst into tears (she worked at Tyson - which is the supplier for all of McDonald's chicken items). Or, when they play the song on the radio that the preacher read at her memorial service (usually on my way to work) & I have to fight back the tears so I can see the road. I've never lost anyone so close to me. Right now I feel sort of numb, like I've got to keep fighting back the emotion or it will overtake me. I think we're all using the same strategy of trying to keep ourselves busy.
You know how when you or someone you know is expecting a child & even though you see her belly growing & you look at ultrasound pictures (and as a mom you dream about your child), it just isn't real until you see the baby for the first time, hold her in your arms, hear her little noises & smell that sweet new baby smell. Well, this is sort of the opposite. One day you're cooking dinner & running around your house trying to straighten up before your in-laws get there & life is very real & a little tedious. You're chatting with your mother-in-law while she holds her granddaughter (but you don't realize it's the last time she'll ever hold her). Then, just two weeks later you wake up to the news that she has passed on. And you feel like you're reaching out into an empty space trying to find her again, trying to recount & store up every memory you have of her, afraid you'll lose them, afraid you'll lose her. And you begin to realize how precious time is, how you took her for granted a little bit and how much you long for your children to have her in their lives. And it's all so very unreal.
where we've been & why we haven't posted... besides the normal busyness of having an infant, returning to work, baseball season starting, etc. Anthony's mother, Shanda, has been fighting cancer for about six years now & her body is tired of fighting. She has been going downhill very fast over the last few weeks & we've been spending as much time as we can with her. We (her immediate family) have all been at the hospital since Monday evening when her doctor said he thought she only had about 24 hours to live. She's been hanging on. Needless to say, your prayers would be appreciated right now as the family prepares to let her go & for her to be as comfortable as possible at this time.