Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Remembering Phil Penner



Yesterday we received a very tragic phone call informing us that one of Rodney's best friends, Phil had passed away. He was living in Indonesia and had contracted Dengue Fever which ended his life. When we heard the news we were crushed. Phil and Rodney had been friends since high school and remained close until he passed. He left a wife and a 3 year-old daughter behind and we couldn't grieve more for their loss.

I met Phil even before Rodney and I started dating because he would come to visit him (and their other mutual good friend, Dave) at Greenville. I remember my first impressions of him were that he was a cute, funny, and incredibly nice guy. He turned out to be one of the most loving people I knew and Rodney keeps referring to him as a saint. The individual that he worked with in Indonesia told his parents back in Kansas that Phil was one of the most godly men he had ever met. What a loss. Rodney was torn up all day yesterday and even came home from work early. He regeretted having to return today, but decided that he would wait to hear when the memorial service would be held in Kansas so he could take time off for that. From what we know, they will be having the funeral in Chicago (where he lived and met Esther before moving to Indonesia) in the next few days and then a memorial service in McPherson, KS towards the end of the week.

We are very sad about this and are going to miss Phil so much. Rodney said he would miss being able to learn from Phil the most. He informed me that he loved being able to ask him questions and even though they may not always agree, Phil would always teach Rodney something. I think Phil's life was a great lesson in how to be a loving person and a catalyst for God's will in the world. We offer prayers for Esther and Anna and his family in Kansas.

We will miss you dearly, Phil.

(P.S. The picture above of Phil, Rodney and I was taken Chicago O'Hare Airport in 2003 right before we left the country for Paraguay. This is a special memory for me since he was the last person we saw before we moved out of the country.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baseball and Busted Shoes


On Saturday the three of us went to the Cardinals v. Phillies game as a birthday/father's day gift for Rodney. It was also Will's first pro baseball game, not that he'll remember it. It was a warm day (84) and hot in the sun, but it was pleasant in the shade. Luckily our seats ended up being in the shade and it turned out to be a really comfortable and relaxing way to pass the afternoon/early evening. Will didn't seem to care too much about the game (surprise) but cared more about the people in the stands. For the first few minutes after we arrived he stood on Rodney's lap and stared over his shoulder at the people in the stands. Then, as the game went on it became apparent that the only way we'd make it through the game was to give him (very slowly and steadily) snacks and drinks due to the fact that every time he saw someone around him eating their peanuts and hotdogs he'd start whinning. Other than this, he was a very good boy and we enjoyed ourselves so much.
Enjoying the Crowd

Where did all these people come from?





A funny thing happened on the way to the game. We decided to take the bus and metro to the game and ended up doing a lot of walking. I was not really smart about my footwear choice and wore a cheap pair of flipflops. Just as we got off the metro at the stadium my left shoe broke and I had to walk half barefoot into the stadium. It was a little embarrassing. We went straight into the Cardinals store when we got in and bought these hot little numbers:

Notice the blinged-out "Cardinals" written on the straps. Ha!


Well, the other bit if news I should share before signing off is the fact that Will is walking more and more. He will stand up, take several steps, then collapse to the floor, crawl a bit, then get up and do it again. I think the most steps he's taken at a time is about 10. He seems to have moments when he cares about "practicing" his walking during the day and then the rest of the time he crawls. It is so cool seeing him walk. And funny, too. Sometimes he'll take a step or too and then teeter on his legs like he's drunk. Sometimes it seems like his head is just to heavy for him to carry (97th percentile, folks). Both grandmas will get to see him walk the next time we visit! Yay!! I haven't gotten it on video yet, but when I do I will post it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An Apple A Day

Today my voracious little eater figured out how to eat a whole apple on his own! He just picked it up, started mouthing it and then, CHOMP. Bit in. Several times. Tonight we decided to pack up some food and have a little picnic at the Botanical Gardens and enjoy some free Wednesday night Jazz. Here are the photos of the little apple-eater that led up to the video below:







Rodney remarked that our kid will be sure to have a vast array of physical talents when he grows up. He has started taking more and more steps lately, although definately prefers crawling. I think the most steps he's taken in succession on his own is 4. It's so cute and I get so excited when he does it. It will be fun if he is walking by the time we visit my folks in Florida in July.

Pointing seems to be the big thing for this kid lately. For a while now he's been pointing to the ceiling fans (not sure why) and I decided to throw in a little "spice" and show him how the fan spins "round and round." So now he points to the fan and moves his arm rapidly in circles. Whenever he does this I say "round and round and round" and he seems to get a kick out of it. He doesn't try to say "round and round" though. Once again- physical talents.

It's incredible to see Will's personality develop as he gets older. He definately likes to be on the move and often gets bored of being at home, no matter how many toy or room changes. It's usually quite amazing to me when he sits contendedly entertaining himself. Today I decided to try putting different kinds of toys on the bathroom floor and closing him in there with me while I showered. He stood at the tub and looked in the shower for a little bit, then began entertaining himself with a basket of books. When he was quiet for a minute or two I peaked out and saw him "reading" a book. It was super cute. He proceeded to do this for the remainder of my shower.

No matter how fussy he gets at home, the minute we step outside for a walk he becomes the most laid back kid. I think he truly takes after his father with his affinity for the outdoors. We've been trying to teach him to be aware of the trees by pointing them out specifically when we walk. Once again, he doesn't try to say the word, but knows what they are when we ask him to point to them. It sounds as if he's completely non-verbal, but he really isn't. Lately he's taken to "babbling" by stringing together nonsense sounds that often seems like a foreign language. He definately says "Che Che" and "Sissi" and "Ma" and "Da." He seems to think I'm also "Na," which I joked is because he's heard Rodney call me "Gi-Na ." It will be so much fun when he actually begins to communicate verbally with us, but for now I'm content with the baby-babble!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Out Like a Lamb

I know that spring is not technically over, but It feels so much like summer that I'm calling it that and I realize that I'm not alone here. What a great time of year. I know I mentioned that spring is my favorite time of year, but really I enjoy summer just as much. We've been trying to spend as much time outside as possible with frequent walks to the park and a few trips already to the pool.

Rodney and Will at the Tower Grove Park Fountain


Marisa mentioned in her most recent post that we've been searching for a pool, and I have found a couple through my friend Anna: Clayton Shaw Park Aquatic Center, and Anna's neighborhood pool. Anna's neighborhood pool allows her to bring guests for free, so Will and I joined her and Luca on Thursday for a dip. Will loved it. It was his first time in a pool and other than clinging to me, he was all smiles and giggles. Then on Friday we met up with a few other mom's/babies at the Shaw Park Aquatic Center wading pool. It is so neat. A massive wading pool that's perfect for babies and toddlers. You can also buy a non-resident pass that gives you 10 visits for $40- the cheapest I've found. We should enjoy this one I'm sure.

Well, spring started like lion for me in the nausea department and has finally gone out like a lamb. While I'm not 100% nausea free, I feel overall much better as of the past few weeks. I start my second trimester on Friday and I am so thankful that everything is going well. I had an ultrasound last Monday and got to see the baby swimming around, which was fun. On July 25th we have our 20 week ultrasound appointment to determine the sex. I have to say that I will be happy with a boy or a girl, but I do think we need some femininity in this household. I'm beginning to feel outnumbered! So, yes I'm rooting for a girl this time around.

As for William, we had his one year check up yesterday, and besides some uncomfortable shots in his arm (first time in this location) it was a great visit. You may recall that one of my biggest concerns was his weight. Well, Marisa's scale was off, thank goodness, and he weighed in at 24 lbs. putting him in the 75th percentile. His length is in the 45th percentile and head (get ready for this) is in the 97th!! Dr. Schmandt said, "that's big, but you have nothing to worry about." Yikes. Guess we have an orange-on-a-toothpick situation on our hands (hee hee)!

Another fun little happening that occurred over the past few weeks was Will's first camping trip. Rodney, Evie and Laura decided to take the Badili students on an end of the year overnight camping trip and Rodney begged to take Will. I told him that he had to talk to the nurse at the pediatricians office before they could go. My biggest concern was ticks. Well, after a great convo with the nurse confirming that it is in fact O.K. to take a 12 month old camping (you have to use lotion-type bug repellent and sunscreen with uva/uvb block) I agreed to let him go. I was to hang out with Sarah on Saturday before she left (moved) for Peoria, so I didn't plan on going. I was nervous about Will being "in the wild" all day and night, but mostly because I knew Rodney would let him roll around in the dirt and not clean him up. I just had to tell myself that Rodney loves Will and would never let any serious harm come to him. Out of sight out of mind had to be my motto with the rest. Sure enough, he did just fine and nothing horrible befell him. He even slept great that night in the tent. I think the worse part was that Rodney had to hold him most of the time and that wore him out of course.

Here's a cute photo of Will getting ready for his big camping debut:




Happy "summer" everyone!