Friday, February 27, 2009

Sick, take 2

You may recall that Lincoln was sick a while back with Roseola. That was tough because he was generally uncomfortable and he had his high fever, but at least he could sleep and nap well. Last night he didn't sleep too much, and after crying for several hours in a row, we were able to get into the doctor's office. He has croup and an ear infection... bummer! So we're starting his meds today and hopefully he'll be able to rest a bit.

Please pray for Lincoln as he heals, and for Jenn as she's the nurse and mom at the same time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Fun Family Day

Today Jenn and I had a rare day off together with little to do. So we spent most of the day playing with Lincoln and doing some usual house-keeping things together. Lincoln had some great play time today. His teeth are becoming more noticeable, as you'll see below. Also, I'd reported a while back that he's been interested in standing up (with assistance). In the past couple of days he's been placing one foot in front of the other, and with our assistance, he's been "walking" around the house. It's funny to watch.

Now that Lincoln is able to move around, Bridget has been taking some abuse.
But the Best Boxer In The World has been a great family dog.

After the Spinach Episode, we decided to let Lincoln try to feed himself a bit more. We stripped him down to his under-onesie, draped him with burp cloths, and let him go for it. After today's display, we'll leave the soft stuff for some time down the road.

While Lincoln wasn't too successful at feeding himself, he did a darn good job of feeding Betty her afternoon snack.

So until he can maneuver a spoon to his mouth, we'll stick to practicing the hand-eye-mouth coordination with Puffs.

After a decent afternoon nap, he was in an exceptionally funny mood, and was hamming it up on front of the camera. It's been a while since he's given me the "cheesy smile."

I'm not sure what brought this smile on,
but once he started, he just kept making this face.

Tooth #1:

Tooth #2:

Jenn is looking forward to her trip to Phoenix in less than a month. After her trip west, there's a couple more trips approaching for us. I'm heading west myself in early May for cousin Aaron Bradley's wedding, and then in late May the Gates-Gates-Hopwood family is going to the Outer Banks. Yea!!! We're really looking forward to this trip with Lincoln's Auntie Em, Uncle Jeremy, Grace and Cole.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Feeding Himself

After a long day a shopping and driving last week, Lincoln was a hard sleeper.

Jenn and I recently returned from our brief stay in Columbus at the Midwest Veterinary Conference. In the past we've made a long weekend of it, but this year, given the circumstances, it was an abbreviated stay. Jenn took in some lectures on a day-trip on Thursday, then we took in a full day on Saturday. We learned more about the liver and the pancreas. On Saturday evening we went with Chris and Val to Hyde Park for our annual Hyde Park Dinner. We talked Merial products and Idexx testing, and then we talked kids, politics, wine, houses, business, etc. for about 4 hours. It was a fantastic dinner (again!) with great food and great conversation with great friends.

We had to move his Exer-Saucer up to the highest setting. He's a growing boy!

Lincoln has been fussier than usual lately as more teeth have been making their way into his mouth. He's having some good play-time, but it hasn't been lasting as long as it had over the past couple of weeks, and he's been drawing the line at If he gets a hold of your finger, you'll regret it!

Attempting to crawl is one of the latest advancements, although he's only crawling backwards at this point.

Lincoln's latest interest is feeding himself. On Friday before we left for the OVMA Meeting, Jenn tried to feed him. He was interested in his mommy feeding him every so many bites, and he wanted to be in control of the spoon. What followed was a spinach fling.

After a couple of "bites," he threw the spoon to the floor, and Betty started licking it. She's not usually interested in anything green, but she gave the spoon a try. Then while Jenn left to get the camera, Betty propped the spoon up between her little Pug-paws and began to gnaw on the spoon. We had to throw it away.

A Boy and his Spinach.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tummy Time

I don't have any pictures for you today, but I'm here to report that Lincoln is growing at lightening speed before our very eyes. You've seen the photos of his interest in standing, and now it's progressing to interest in steps... multiple steps. He's also now showing interest in being on his belly. I don't think it's his first preference, but he's tolerating "tummy time" much more now, and he's even initiating it sometimes. Jenn watched him roll over onto his belly yesterday on the floor, and proceed to "moon-crawl" across the floor. He gets very frustrated when he sees a toy in front of him that he wants and in his attempt to crawl toward it he ends up crawling away from it, but he's clearly making progress.

This morning Jenn went to check on him in his crib and she whispered, "Ryan, you've got to see this!" I tip-toed upstairs and into his nursery, being careful not to step on the one area of the floor that makes a loud noise, and I peeked into the crib. He was sleeping on his... you may want to sit down for this... he was sleeping on his belly. I know. I know. I can hear your gasp of awe from here. We were then there to witness him wake up, stretch, and... you've been completely shocked already, so there's no reason to stop now... he rolled onto his back with ease. Whose baby is this?!!!

I'm writing this during his morning nap, and Jenn just gave me an update that he's now napping on his belly and sucking his thumb. God answers prayers in His own timing.

The house search is nearly winding to a close. We're taking a look at two potentials on Wednesday, but unless there's a big "WOW"-factor, we're going to take this as God's message to us that we ought to stay put. Which is becoming increasingly okay with us (especially Jenn), and we're now concentrating our energy into taking the next steps of home improvement: new bedroom furniture (to replace... nothing, we've got nothing right now) and talking to a contractor to find out what it is going to take to give our poorly-designed master bathroom a facelift. We'll keep you updated. For those interested in seeing photos of our latest home improvements, they'll be posted soon. (As soon as we clean up for Community Group this evening and get Lincoln's toys put away!)

It hit Jenn yesterday that she'll be in AZ in just over a month. Time flies by. Speaking of Arizona, congratulations to Haley and Pinnacle HS on their 2nd Place finish in the state soccer tourney. A couple of the games went to PKs, and I hear Haley was an all-star there, and she also scored a time or two in regulation along the way. I read some high praise for her on the website of The Arizona Republic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taking big steps... almost.

Lincoln is no longer content to stand up next to his toy basket or the coffee table or holding on to one of us, he is interested in moving, and he just started taking a step yesterday. He's has no ability to balance on his own, nor the coordination to actually walk, but with the progress that he's been making lately with figuring things out, who knows how soon that will come. Jenn has really been working with him lately on feeding himself. Last week, he wouldn't put a Cheerio in his mouth (ironic, because he put everything else in his mouth!).

Flashback: Our trip to Tilghman Island in the Chesapeake Bay, 2005. This is the chapel at the U.S. Naval Academy
But this week, he's putting Cheerios, Puffs and peaches in his mouth (pinching with the thumb and index finger has only taken a few days to coordinate!), and while bananas are still a bit to slippery, he's been working on them.

Jenn is at work today and tomorrow (she switched from Monday & Tuesday this week because of Grandma Paulette's travel schedule) and that leaves Lincoln with me today! It's going to be a busy day for us today because work was very busy for me yesterday afternoon/evening. My staff was 100% awesome during the busy afternoon, making things go as smoothly as possible. Between a dog with urinary obstruction, an anorexic cat with an abscess under it's chin, a persistently vomiting cat, another persistently vomiting cat, another anorexic cat... you get my drift... (I felt like Elise in the ER!) I had to stay late for some surgeries, and need to release them today. That means Lincoln gets to go to work with me and help me with the releases! What fun!

The snow has almost completely melted away. The only piles left are what's on the shady part of the deck, and what's left of the big pile out by the mailbox that the plows pushed up against it. On top of that, it's raining. You can imagine that things are pretty wet and that the dogs' feet are pretty muddy when the come back in the house.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Health Care Changes

I've mentioned in the past that we'll only get political on the blog here on select occasions. This is one of those occasions, and one about which Jenn and I feel very, very strongly. I encourage you to read Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan by Betsy McCaughey. The ramifications for the health care industry, and the health care our grandparents and parents would be able to receive if this piece of legislation passes are simply frightening. Please read the column and contact your Senators and Congressman to share your opinion.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lots happens in a week...

Jenn's visit with LeAnne was very pleasant and they chatted until late in the evening. In some areas they've diverged, and in others they've remained scarily similar. Funny how friends go. I've got to put a big plug in for Prelude.
Learning to stand.
I had a man-date last weekend while Jenn and LeAnne were hanging out. Justin, a good buddy from church, and I checked out Prelude for the first time and it was a lot of fun. The band that night was pretty good, and the place was just really cool to spend a Saturday evening at. Cory did a bang-up job putting the whole thing together and it's well worth your time to visit on a Saturday night. (If you were at our wedding, you may remember Cory as one of my groomsmen.)

Lincoln has been showing interest in pulling himself up lately. It started in the bath tub, and has progressed to play time. Jenn had him at the Hudson Library during the midweek, and he was pulling himself up and down on one of the short play-tables that they have for kids. At home, we stand him up next to his toy basket and he stands for a good 5-10 minutes until he gets tired and has to sit back down.

He went to the doctor yesterday for another vaccine and check-up. He's still very small for his age, somewhere in the teen-percentile. If you'll recall a few visits ago how inaccurate the scale was. It makes me wonder if the same thing happened this time. But scales and percentiles aren't as important as the fact that he's healthy and growing well. He's consistently waving good-bye now, which is really funny to see. We're having little "chat sessions" where he babbles a bit then Jenn and/or I talk back to him, and then he babbles, then we talk. I'm not sure what he's thinking during these "conversations," but it's clear that he's learning how to exchange.
Happy Standing.
Also, his Grandma Paulette has been working on a thing where she asks, "How big is Lincoln?" and he throws his arms up in the air as she says, "SOOO big!" This isn't as consistent, but he's getting it.

Grandma Paulette and Grandpa Doug are heading south for vacation this week, which means I have the clinic to myself. It's hard to know what to expect. I've had a C-section and a foreign body when I've been alone, but at other times it's been pretty peaceful. So we'll see. Because Grandma's out of town, Lincoln will be staying with Sali for a day (remember Camp Lincoln?). I hear she's looking forward to it.
Not Sure
Sometimes Lincoln gets a bit uneasy
after being on his feet for a long time.

Jenn's working now, and Lincoln's been sleeping for a little over an hour. I haven't decided how we're going to spend the rest of this Daddy Day... it's still pretty cold outside so going on a hike is out of the question. This morning we read about David & Goliath, Jackie Robinson and George Washington from Bill Bennet's The Children's Treasury of Virtues. Lincoln will grow up learning Bible stories and of America's heroes.

An update on our house search:
First of all, our TV room is finished, and the walls look great (thanks, Em!). Our window treatments and wall-hangings are up and they look fabulous. Lincoln now likes to look at Teddy and George. The picture of George also allows us to tell him the story of God protecting George Washington and his soldiers and sending the fog to help them escape. If you're not familiar with the story, pick up a copy of 1776 and read it! The room is a lot brighter and looks very, very nice, if I do say so myself.

Flashback: Outer Banks 2006
Jenn and I are looking forward to Outer Banks 2009 with Grandma Paulette, Grandpa Doug and the Hopwoods!
Lincoln's first trip to the beach!!!

We've looked a number of houses over the last two weeks, and its pretty disappointing. Out of 7 houses, one was very attractive to us, but was lacking a couple of the things that we need to entice us to move. The rest of the houses were simply not very nice. Sure they had their nice features, but, for instance, one had a hair salon in the basement. What would I do with a hair salon. Another had nice big closets, but it had major carpet stains and an orange refrigerator. I don't even have to describe the look on Jenn's face when she saw it... if you know Jenn, you can picture it yourself. Most of these houses are asking way more than we'd even consider paying for them, which is kind of a shame. So now we're taking things a bit more slowly and asking the LORD to work things out in His time. We were given a major gift with the house we're in now, and I have no reason to believe that when it's time to move along, we won't be afforded a similar opportunity. It's just a bit tough not knowing right now. So it's official, if you're planning on visiting or staying with us over the next many months, you'll be staying in our guest room, unquestionably the first or second nicest room in our house!

Lincoln is officially up from his nap now. He's been stirring for the last 20 minutes, or so. Thanks for reading and keeping up with our family.