Saturday, May 29, 2010


Until I have more time to post the rest of our sprinkler fun.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can I Rant for Like 5 Seconds?

If you're one of "those" parents that I'm about to rant about, you'll probably get mad at what I'm about to say. I guess I don't care because if you are one of those parents, you need a little tough love right now.

Today after picking up Ian from his last day of school for the summer, I heard a little girl pitching a huge fit in the parking lot. It caught my attention because tantrums, no matter who is throwing them, usually do. I looked up and noticed a dad a couple spaces away having an epic battle with his 3 year old daughter. (How do I know she is 3? Because the only people at school today were 3 year olds.) I have never seen him before, although I have seen the girl in Ian's class. I quickly decided she was not being kidnapped because while she was screaming she was also calling him daddy and yelling about "my seat." It was an obvious parent-child battle over getting in the car seat.

After strapping both of my own children in their seats, I thought about going to ask if I could help in any way (he had a younger boy with him too), but I decided to mind my own business and hope for the best for that poor dad. I hopped in my seat, put the key in the ignition and looked out the front window.

And I saw him push her into the back seat of the car, slam the door, hop into HIS seat, and drive away!

He looked my way as he was driving out and shrugged his shoulders at me. My mouth was hanging open. I'm sure it was pretty obvious I was aghast at what he was doing. I'm sure he didn't really care what I thought. I sure hope they got home ok.

And this is where my RANT begins. (I know, begins? I thought I said I was only going to rant for 5 seconds...)

Dear Dad of the Screaming Preschooler,

YOU ARE THE DAD. YOU ARE IN CHARGE. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR CHILD'S SAFTEY. YOU CANNOT LET A TANTRUM GET IN THE WAY OF STRAPPING YOUR CHILD INTO HER CAR SEAT! You just let her win. You just gave her ALL the ammunition she needs for the NEXT epic battle that ensues between parent and child. You just broke the law. You just taught her it was ok to ride in the car without being in a car seat. You just did something REALLY bad.

I know, I know, 20 years ago they hardly even had car seats and kids weren't required by law to be in a car seat while riding in the car. But times have changed, my friend, and for a reason.

So next time, please, grow a backbone and put your 3 year old in her damn car seat. Push her in, hold her down with your elbow while you buckle the straps. Use a little force. You are a 180 lb grown man, she is a 30 pound child. You have the strength and ability to out-muscle her. So what if she is yelling! Kids yell! They scream and they scratch and try to bite, and kick their little legs. Yep, you might get kicked in the face, but you know what? Riding in the car seat is non-negotiable and it is a battle YOU must win.

I'm big on picking my battles. I believe there are many instances where it makes more sense to pick my battle and redirect instead of give a time-out or a spank. I'd never argue with you on that point. It's part of parenting.

Riding in a car seat is a battle I will (and do regularly) fight every time. Why? Because when it comes to the safety of my beloved children, I am NEVER going to let them win and put themselves into danger. I really do not care if I have to break a sweat in the 90 degree parking lot while getting kicked and punched while other parents are watching my child go demonic on me over getting in the car seat. He will ride strapped safely in, he will stop screaming eventually, he will not win that battle.

That is all.

I hope that anyone who reads this isn't one of "those" parents. And if you are and you're mad at me now because I called you out on that terrible decision, I hope you think about me next time you have to force your child into her car seat and then, after thinking about me, I hope you just take the bull by the horns and get 'er done.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Little Football

This is Roger... probably in the only post I'll ever make.

So, we have a baby girl who will be here in around 10 weeks. As a dad, I think there's is something different about having a girl versus having a boy. Even at three years old, I can see the capability and possibility in Ian. He watches out for himself. In Aaron, he's extremely cautious and knows where to tread lightly. I really hesitate to say "I think they'll be just fine", but I also am not at all worried about their ability to adjust to the world, to make their way, to hold their own.

With a girl.... it just feels...... different.

Is it in a father's nature to feel extremely protective of his daughter ? I think it is. Hollywood examples abound. Mostly guarding his daughter from would-be boyfriends (thankfully, we have a few years to prepare for this type of confrontation...). But this little girl. It's just different. I feel like I really have to straighten up. fly right. do things by the books. set a good example.

The best analogy I can think of is : I feel like a running back who wants to protect the ball and stiff-arm the world.

... "stiff-arm the world". I like that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making my Heart Burst with Joy!

Sometimes for me, there is incredible joy in the most mundane of things.

Yesterday: Laundry.

When I looked at that basket of laundry waiting to be folded, I smiled. Even if it was just for a moment, until I realized there were 10 more "regular" loads to do after that "special" one.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hannah Update

This update comes directly from Hannah's mom Sharon. (with permission to repost it!) Please continue to pray for sweet little Hannah & her parents as they continue this journey. They really need it!

Hello All-

I am so sorry that I haven’t been updating this much. We’ve been at the hospital all day, every day, and at night when we return to the hotel, we’ve been crashing from exhaustion!!

Rather than give a blow by blow description of the week, here’s where we are right now. Tomorrow Hannah is scheduled for a cardiac catheter. This is the same procedure that she had done last winter. Her O2 saturation is sitting in the 70s, and it needs to be higher. There are two possible reasons for this, both of which can be fixed via cath. The first potential issue is that she may have more collaterals forming, which are bypassing the necessary parts of her heart, and mixing blue and red blood. If this is the case, they will need to coil them off. The second option is that when they put a fenestration in Hannah during her Fontan, it might have been too big, and rather than working as an overflow valve, it is continuously letting the blue and red blood mix. If that`s the case, they will need to temporarily plug the hole, see what happens, and if she tolerates and responds well to that, they will plug it permanently.

Another ongoing issue is Hannah`s eating. We have created a mini-mart in the hospital room fridge, and nothing is appetizing to Hannah. So, tomorrow when they knock her out for her cath, they will be putting in a feeding tube. Hopefully is won`t last long, and will just get her over the hump and on the road to recovery.

The next new development is that Hannah has somehow caught RSV. Apparently many of the children in the PICU have caught it, and some of the medical staff has been sent home for being sick. Both Hannah and the 5 week old baby in her room have caught it, and though neither child is showing the true symptoms, they are now isolated from the other children. When we go in, we now have to wear masks, gowns, and gloves...IT SUCKS!!!! I am so mad that I cannot kiss my baby goodnight or hold her hand without a mask or gloves getting in the way. It is so not fair!!!

On the brightside, Hannah has been able to go for walks with us in her stroller, stand and play at the indoor play area, and we were able to wheel her outside for a bit today!! Unfortunately because of her RSV, we won`t be able to do this anymore, but it was wonderful while it lasted!!!

Aside from all of that, Hannah is now breathing room air and doesn`t require oxygen. She has also had her IV line disconnected, and had her central chest tube removed. All that is left are two chest tubes that drain her lungs, an arterial line that will be replaced by a venus line tomorrow, pacer wires that are connected to her pacemaker (which is still using when she is sleeping...grrr), and an IV in her hand that isn`t being used. All in all, not bad.

Weekend Getaway

We left last Thursday afternoon for a quick trip to Washington, DC. Not sure how many more opportunities we'll get before we're a 5-some, we took advantage of my friend Kari's new (very spacious) townhouse in Alexandria and went on our way. We didn't trash it TOO much. I always get really nervous about visiting homes where they aren't accustomed to the under 5 crowd. I think they did pretty well under the circumstances.

We visited the National Zoo and the Air and Space Museum and another little part of the National Building Museum (to play in the toddler play area). We went to Mt. Vernon. (My first time, and unfortunately we had a time constraint the day we went AND I was in a LOT of pelvic/back pain from all the walking that we will have to go back someday.)

We walked around historic Alexandria and just enjoyed ourselves and getting reacquainted with Kari. I think it is the most time we've spent with her since she went away to the Naval Academy 10 years ago! She just moved back to the East Coast from a couple years in Washington State.

We saw some family. And some friends. And we didn't have our camera memory card. So we have very few, low quality pictures.

Now that we've been home for a couple days (and the weather is yucky so we've been inside) I'm feeling much better. My back/pelvic pain is mostly gone and I'm able to walk again. Thank Goodness because I couldn't have made it 10 more weeks the way I was getting around over the weekend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Space of Her Own

I was waiting until we got home from our little trip to Washington, DC this past weekend to think about setting up the crib for LMV. (Little Miss Vandervort.) We also had an open house yesterday, so we had one more without the extra "clutter" in the bedroom. I use the term lightly because I wouldn't ever want to refer to a crib for my coming daughter as clutter, but it does take up formerly open space and does make the room seem a little more cramped. It is what it is.

We like having our babies in our bedroom for the first few months. It makes night nursing/wakings far easier. This time, we don't have a nursery dedicated solely to LMV, so her crib IS her dedicated space. At some point in the future we will be moving the boys into the same room, but we are trying to keep lots of things the same for the boys to help with the transition. We won't move them out of their own rooms/beds until after the baby is here and we've given them a chance to adjust to her presence in the family.

(I do think it is important, though, to actually have the crib out and set up so that we can talk about it and why it is here and who is going to be using it, etc.)

Speaking of, Ian helped me put it together this morning. He held the sides up for me as I turned the screws, I held the screws as he turned the wrench, etc. It was really cute how excited he was to help me. And then he decided that the space UNDER the crib is now his... as you'll see in the pictures... He got his pillow and blanket from his bed and put it under there, made a little space for himself to play.

And his final word on the new crib set up? "Mommy, I like baby sister's crib."

We'll see how much he likes it in a couple months when there is a baby sister in the crib.

So that should put some of my "nesting" to rest for awhile! We're moving right along. 30 weeks on Thursday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Prayer Request for Hannah

Hannah is out of surgery, she did not need a pacemaker or a breathing tube! Great news! Will post again after her parents have gotten to spend some time with her and can give us the "full" update. (5:05pm EST, 5/11/10)

Original Post:

This sweet peach...

is having surgery tomorrow morning.

Sharon, Hannah's mom & I became friends through a message board before our 3 year olds were even born. So over the past 3+ years we've shared quite a bit with each other, though the beauty of the Internet, and journeyed though life as first time mothers together.

Hannah has a congenital heart defect. To be honest, I don't know much of the particulars about it. What I do know is that this surgery has been a long time coming. A lot of worry, a lot of waiting, a lot of time to love on sweet little Hannah as her heart surgery approached.

Tomorrow morning, Hannah's doctors will try to repair her heart defect. I think I remember Sharon saying at one time the procedure was called Fontan. I will update that if I am remembering incorrectly.

Please pray for Hannah. Pray for Sharon. Pray for their whole family. Pray for her surgeons, nurses, & medical staff. I've been in the waiting room during heart surgeries on my loved ones. I've also been in the waiting room during surgeries on my children. I've never been in the waiting room during heart surgery on my child. I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like for Hannah's parents... that's why I'm asking you to lift them up!

I will update this as information about how Hannah is doing comes to me (and I get permission from Sharon to share publicly).

Thank you! God Bless Sweet Hannah!

**This photo was taken yesterday, by Sharon, on the way to the hospital. I'm using it with her permission just for this post, a prayer request for her daughter.


Mr. Aaron has recently sprouted his bottom 2 lateral incisors. Just wanted to get it down on the record. It brings him up to 4 front on top, 4 front on bottom and 2 top molars. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The next thing to meeting her

We had a 3D ultrasound today! I really do love 3D ultrasounds. It was especially important to me this time because, well, I'm just paranoid that our girl is somehow a boy in there... Not that I don't love my boys. I definitely do. We're looking forward to our breath of pink and we'd be really disappointed to hear "it's a boy!" in July.

Anyway, she's definitely still a girl. There's no mistaking it. And now, to quell my anxiety, I have a real, honest-to-goodness photo to look at every time I get anxious about pink or blue. (...and no, I'm not going to show it to you... sorry. I share an awful lot with the world on this blog, but my daughter's girl parts are not something I'm willing to show off!)

She was a little uncooperative for the scan today. Apparently she is head down, doing a split with one foot up by her face and the other down by her butt. She was sucking her toes for a little while we were peeking in on her. What that means for a 3D ultrasound is that you don't get as many super pictures.

We did get some, though.

She was sticking out her tongue, yawning, smiling, just being sweet in there!

The Whole Album Slideshow:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just another Monday evening around here

Yesterday afternoon when Roger got home from work, the boys and I were outside. I was cleaning the van and they were playing. I finished up and excused myself to the kitchen to cook dinner. I recommended that Roger stay outside with them since they hadn't had much time to play outside today.

A few min later (I had just BARELY gotten dinner going...) I heard Roger coming toward the house with a kid crying. Not altogether unusual, Aaron often gets "hurt" and cries and needs to come in to where I am. But when I got to the patio door to let him in, it was IAN freaking out and Roger yelling something about the hospital!

So after he explained to me that Ian had grabbed the dandelion popper (garden tool) from him and accidentally poked himself in the eye, I went outside into the bright light to assess the situation. He had a small cut on his eyelid, but more importantly, he had a sizable gouge out of his eyeball.

Did I ever mention how as far as body parts are concerned the EYE grosses me out the most?

So Roger and I tried to maintain a sense of calm as we quickly changed diapers, redressed & shoed, turned off the dinner, changed out of our "house" clothes and took the boys down to the van.

Ian is usually pretty good about injuries, he doesn't dwell on them... but he was really fussing about his eye, which for us was another indication that this was more serious. I called the Peditrician after-hours nurse on the way and she had the on-call doctor call us back. All the on-call dr. said was, "Yes, I think going down to Children's is the best bet here. You're doing the right thing. Call us tomorrow and let us know what's happening."

We arrived at our WONDERFULLY new Children's Hospital (and it was their 1st anniversary on the new site...and Roger and I both smiled thinking, "gee! we haven't seen the new hospital yet, so that means we haven't been down here for a whole year! that's great!") got Ian checked in, waited 2.5 hours to be seen...

He has a corneal abrasion... a scratch on his eye. We pretty much already knew that. It isn't really serious unless it gets an infection, so we have antibiotic drops to give him for the next 5 days or so. He'll see his pediatrician tomorrow or Wednesday for a follow-up.

We lucked out. It could've been way more serious. We definitely erred on the side of caution tonight, but Roger is partially blind in his right eye from a soccer injury when he was 8. He was pretty concerned out about Ian's eye, and we agreed that for peace of mind we should go to CHP and have it evaluated.

None of us had dinner until after we left the hospital. I kinda feel bad that we didn't stop and get McDonalds or something for the boys on the way... they snacked a LOT at the hospital. Aaron basically had mum-mum crackers and root beer for dinner.

So that was a fun little adventure. Not.

I should also say, that in true Ian style, he was extremely well behaved and mostly laid back about the whole situation. He only cried a little when he had to get the dye test done and then flushed from his eye. It was short-lived though. (Aaron was also very well behaved.) We are very blessed in this way. Our children are able to act normally under pressure and entertain themselves quite well in medical situations.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Aaron putting his best kissyface on at the zoo last friday.