Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We are finally back to "normal" life around here. We have a new(er) washer, our pipes are fixed so we now have heat and hot water, our brakes are fixed on our car, and we made it to and from our spring break destinations without too much drama. It was so great visiting Paul and Erin in Chicago. I truly enjoy that city so much. I could definately live there if I had to. We were able to get to the Lincoln Park Zoo before we left for Michigan, and we spent gobs of time staring at the gorillas.

When we arrived in Michigan later that afternoon, my sister was recovering from the 24 hour flu that had hit her earlier in the day. Within a day my brother-in-law, Marc caught it and needless to say we used hand sanitizer every two seconds. Will seemed to stay healthy, except for the ride home when he proceeded to throw up all over himself in the car seat 3 times. It was so messy. Other than that he was in a good mood and actually slept a majority of the 7 hour trip. We made it home just in time to drop Will and Rodney off and for me to jump back in the car and drive to Bethel Lutheran where I was hired to sing at a Holy Thursday service. After singing in an 8 am sunrise service and an 11 am service on Easter Sunday, I took the rest of that day to recover from the craziness of the previous week and slept. It was glorious.

Below are some photos of our new nephew, Evan Michael along with Earon, Mia, Rodney and Will. Mia was so cute the whole time we were there. The last time we saw her she was only 18 months old and not really interacting with us much. Now she's 2 1/2 and the minute we walked in the door she was playing with us and hugging us and calling us "Uncle Rodney" and "Aunt Gina." It was so cute. One of the cutest things was in the morning when I woke up she was always sitting at the table eating breakfast and she would say "hi Gina" in her cute little toddler voice. I miss her already.

On Saturday I am singing in a vocal competition for the National Society of Arts and Letters. I have never heard of this organization before, but it was advertised through the Bach Society and Carol urged me to apply. There are six singers participating and the prizes are awarded to 1st-3rd place. In Marisa's words, I have a 50-50 shot in winning something! It's a little crazy because it wasn't advertised until the beginning of the month and we have to sing 5 songs from memory of differing styles and languages. I was freaking out about it a bit earlier in the week until my lesson yesterday. I decided that I will prepare as much as I can and then look at it as an educational experience. Whatever happens happens. In Carol's words "we're just gonna have you sing in a million of these." I am also looking forward to hearing Christine Brewer sing in Fidelio at Powell Hall on Friday night. A fellow singer has a free ticket for me and I'm pumped. I heard her sing once in college and she was magnificent. According to Carol, there are really four great singers alive in the world today and she's among them. Juan Diego Florez is another. If you've never heard of him I will post a video soon. He's amazing, and cute ;).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just What I Needed

This gave me the laugh I needed tonight. Enjoy.

Ellen and the Hawaiian chair

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Plague on Your Houses...

Or maybe just mine. Atleast it feels that way. Let me start off by telling you about Will's 9 month well-baby check up, which was yesterday.

He's doing fine in growth: 50th percentile in both length and weight (length 28 in., weight 21 lbs.). I asked about the 2 bouts of gastrointeritis and the doctor said that it was just bad luck. Babies are constantly putting their hands on things and then into their mouths. Hand sanitizer is our new best friend. Nothing much more to report other than she had a look inside Will's mouth to check out his (8) teeth and she said that his first year molars are getting ready to come in. So, any of you experts out there with advice on what I can expect here would be much appreciated. Maybe there's really nothing to worry about, but I thought someone once told me these are painful ones.

Onto the plague. So, we had two days in a row in which it seemed that Will was finally better when all of the sudden yesterday he started coming down with a fever while we were at the doctor's office. He was up for about 45 minutes in the middle of the night last night unable to go back to sleep and burning up. He seems better today, which is good because we're supposed to leave tomorrow afternoon for Chicago and then on to Michigan for spring break. What is going on with this kid?

There's more: our washer finally died yesterday (with a full load inside) and as we attempted to fix it we noticed a gas smell. Laclede Gas came promptly and informed us that our pipes have several tiny holes in them and he shut off our gas. We've been without hot water since and won't have it until Tuesday. I of course have tons of laundry to do to before our trip and thankfully Connie is letting us use her units, but her dryer is out too. So, I'm off to the laundry mat...

...I'm back

Our car: the break pads and roters in the front are completely worn down. I took the car to Meinike today and dropped $270. We got that fixed just in time to trade vehicles with a friend of ours who has a truck so that Rodney and Michael could go and pick up a new washer from Belleville. And, I'm sitting here, having not showered and needing to do laundry and pack before I rush off to another live MET Opera broadcast in Chesterfield tomorrow morning only to jump in the car and head strait to Chicago. Ugh. What's that saying? When it rains it FLASHFLOODS.

I can't wait to get to Michigan.

Here's a photo. I'm titling it "What Happens When Dad Dresses Baby"

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sick Again

You may remember from my post earlier in the week that Will recently got over a week long gatrointestinal virus resulting in very messy diarrhea. Well, I guess we just have really bad luck because he's got it again. The only difference this time is that he has a low grade fever. I couldn't feel worse for him. Last night he was perfectly fine, and then he had the largest diarrhea diaper and maybe an hour later he threw up. He was clearly not feeling well because he was ready for bed at 7:30. Then (as was the case frequently with the last bout) we were awakened by his cries at 1 am to find him soaked in diarrhea. Poor little guy. We had to change his diaper, clothes and sheets but instead of a new sleeper and new sheet I could only dress him in a onsie and sweat pants and lay down a blanket in his crib because our washer is not draining properly and I can't keep up with the laundry. I guess I should be more prepared this time to deal with these troubles since I just went through this. These are the moments when you truly earn your "badge of honor" as a parent. I suppose you get several when you have multiple children, all sick at the same time. Lord, prepare me now!

Here's a miserable little boy ready for a nap at 9 (2 hours earlier than normal).

Within minutes he was out.

He's now sleeping again. I know how he feels. When I'm not feeling well all I wanna do is sleep. I truly hope this doesn't last as long as before.

On a lighter note, my 30th birthday went really well. I got so many well wishes and was surrounded by several people I love. Who could ask for more? Rodney got us tickets to Madame Butterfly at Opera Theater Saint Louis in June and coordinated a little surprise cake gathering while Sarah took me out to dinner at Bar Louie. It was a great day. Thanks to all who sent me cards and birthday well-wishes. I'll close with a picture of a lovely pot of flowers that gave Anna me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

March 4th into my 30th (never to turn back)

I've been thinking about this post all week. What in tarnation am I gonna write? Here are some thoughts I've had about this day:

From today forward I will be obliged to mark the 30-35 age box on all forms. I feel that this officially categorizes me as 1. lady 2. ma'am and 3. mom. Gone are the days of "that girl," "can I help you miss?" and the like. Perhaps no one recognizes the change but me (and everyone else who knows that I officially parted with my 20s as of today). Maybe those anonymous people in public have been thinking of me this way long before, who knows? Nevertheless, here it is. Today I turn 30 and I must come to terms with this.

Many of you have either just recently experienced this yourself or have atleast turned 30 at some point, so no doubt you can relate. However, despite these gloomy thoughts I do have a "silver lining" as is a habit of my personality. How 'bout some cliches to start with:

-"30 is the new 20!"
-Think about how richer and fuller my life is at 30 compared to 20
-Looking back on the past 10 years of my life, I've experienced so much and am thankful for it all
-Most all of the women I admire and look up to are atleast 30 or older
-I still have a lifetime to good living ahead of me

O.K. so that last one made it sound as if I feel like I'm facing a death sentence, but these are honestly things that I've thought about.

So, here's to turing thirty on the only date that's a command. Happy birthday to me...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Jiminy Christmas

Yesterday Will and I met up with Preston and Marisa at Ted Drewes. While we were standing in line a guy looked down at Will in his stoller and said "What, 22 months?" My initial response was to laugh at the crazy man. Then I said, "9 months" and his response was (little kids: earmuffs) "Jesus Christ!" O.K., growing up this phrase used in such a context was definately a swear word. Please crazy guy, not in front of the kiddo! Try my favorite cheesy spinoff next time: "Jiminy Christmas."

Will is getting rather large these days. My favorite comment is: "Wow, he's gonna be bigger than you soon!" I just weighed him on our non-accurate scale and it said 22 pounds. We will unfortunately have to wait until March 13th to get the official 9 month weigh-in from the doctor. The interesting thing is that he just got over a week long gastro virus (with the main symptom being really messy diarrhea about 4 times a day) and he did not care much for solid foods while it lasted, but he still manages to look as beefy as ever. I especially notice it first thing in the morning when I'm coming out of my fog and my body hasn't quite "roused the troops" yet. Picking him up out of the crib and holding him in my jello-y arms is a difficult task before coffee. Thank God for Gerber Biter Biscuits. He mows on one of those in his high chair while I have my breakfast. Oh so messy and oh so helpful. They're like dog bones for babies. Genius.

Biter Biscuit Aftermath

We are also big fans of Gerber Puffs in this house. I usually can't leave home without a heavy supply of these bad boys. Toys only keep his attention for so long, but there's something transfixing about stuffing your face that allows for extended periods of concentration and contentedness. I think we can all attest to this phenomenon. Perhaps this is why Will seems so huge to me lately? Ha.