Monthly Archives: March 2009

It’s that time again

Enough time has passed since my most recent freak out about Lauren’s health that it is time for another one. As I have discussed before, I have a very hard time having any kind of perspective on her state of health. I go back and forth between underreacting and overracting when she is not feeling well.

She is just so very petite. I can encircle her wrist with my thumb and forefinger with a good bit of overlap – it’s like the diameter of a quarter. I can fairly easily span her waist with my thumbs and middle fingers. She is also very pale.

So, when she is under the weather, so really is under the weather. I suspect she just doesn’t have a lot of reserves. She has had a cough for several weeks now and then she was throwing up with a fever on our trip. Now she has a rash under her nose and purple veins showing under her eyes which make her look a bit like she has black eyes, which is an automatic panic symptom since it was one of Nathan’s first symptoms. Now, she does not have the kind of black eye he had, not even close – it just isn’t something I like to even think about.

I know she is just having trouble getting rid of her cold. She is a bit congested and may be having sinus issues. Yesterday she was super cranky and then was sent to her room where she fell asleep. Luke got her up for a snack and then she slept on him for a while longer. All these thing can be easily explained. She’s had a cold, a virus, been travelling and lacking sleep.

Still – I just get panicked to think there could be anything more severe wrong with her. A visit to her doctor is probably in her future this week. For my sake.

These things have been bothering me but I have been trying to let them go, but tonight, Luke commented on the eyes and somehow that makes it worse that he noticed because maybe it is more valid. So, now the freak out is in full force.

I just have to add that I don’t feel this way about Julia for several reasons. She is very robust and somehow, since she grew up with Nathan through it all she passed a lot of the milestones and age ranges while we were busy with him and so I didn’t have time to freak about about her and now she is so big and so healthy. Lauren is young, like Nathan was, and so her issues just trigger the response in me.

Not while they are eating

So one thing I didn’t mention in my earlier post was that despite Excalibur being a more “family-friendly” Las Vegas Hotel, we could not get to the elevators for our room without passing (closely) an area with gaming tables and eating tables in front of a stage with scantily-clad women dancing suggestively.

After something like the 10th time we passed it I said something to Julia about hoping she didn’t grow up and have that for her job. She said she wouldn’t want to do it because she wouldn’t want to dance for people while they were busy eating.

She seemed to be completely oblivious to the reasons the women were dancing that way, dressed that way. Which makes sense, since she has no frame of reference. She didn’t find the dancing “sexy” because it isn’t even in her vocabulary. She just thought that it wouldn’t be good to be performing for people who were not paying their full attention to her and especially not doing something as base as eating.

I hesitated to post this, because quite a few of you I know will be horrified that I subjected my child to this. The truth is, it did make me uncomfortable that she was seeing it, but what was done, was done. I doubt it increases her chances of falling into such a profession. It was more about her naivitee and trying to keep it that way. It seems fairly intact…

Spring Break

        We had a good road trip. It was not without its difficult moments, but I guess that makes it truly a road trip.

What follows is a summary of our trip and it is long and likely boring so you may or may not want to read the whole thing – I just wanted to write it all down for my sake. Here is the abbreviated version:

Joshua Trees
Hoover Dam
Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyons
1 hour hotel stay
Driving through mountain pass at 1 am in the snow

We left early Friday morning heading south. We traveled for about 13 hours to Tucson, AZ. 100_2035Lauren had been excited about the trip but didn’t comprehend it meant all day in the car – so she was a little cranky. IMG_8861They have driven longer days than that before, though, so they did fine. We even did well for meals, having Fuddrucker’s for lunch and Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was a long night because Julia was restless and we were right next to some train tracks and heard train whistles all night.

Saturday morning Luke took the girls down for the continental breakfast while I showered and then I ran off to Starbucks quickly for my breakfast, which was a nice treat. We were then off to my aunt and uncle’s house but stopped at a park on the way there. 100_2042 100_2043 At my aunt and uncle’s house were also my other aunt and uncle who live in Northern Virginia. It was a good opportunity to see them all. It would take a whole post to itself to describe the relationships I have with them, but they are very special people in my life and it was wonderful to visit with them. The girls explored a bit while we all chatted100_2053  and them they grabbed my aunt Joan for a while to play with and pick interesting flowers and seeds from the yard and make lemonade from the lemons growing in the tree100_2056 . We all went to lunch and then back to the house for the afternoon. The girls ( and then Luke ) went swimming despite the pool being (currently) unheated. It was in the 90’s and so they did just fine. IMG_8898 IMG_8915 IMG_8910 The adults spent the afternoon just catching up and relaxing. It was a wonderful visit!

Saturday night we drove to Mesa, AZ and checked into a hotel there after getting some In and Out Burgers for Luke and I (McD’s for the girls). I have to admit to being quite scared of the neighborhood our hotel was in but as it turned out, it was a really nice hotel and perfectly safe. We all slept well and got up in the morning and found a nearby First Presbyterian Church to attend (after an unsuccessful detour to Target to get some sandals for Julia). It was a good service and it is always interesting to go to a different church. I was kind of thankful not to be in their choir – their robes were bright teal with big white crosses on the front and white in all the folds! After church we went our friends Jim and Pat and their kids for lunch at a really neat farm/restaurant. We then went to a park and Julia proceeded to hurt her toe. We decided to part ways for a while and went back to the hotel to let the girls swim. We had the pool to ourselves and had a lot of fun swimming. After the swim we walked to a nearby Dairy Queen for a snack. We then chilled in the hotel room for a while, watching Star Wars and reading. We went to a large mall after that and Julia tried on every sandal in the place, finding none to be comfortable and then we met our friends for dinner at Rainforest Cafe. The girls were pretty worn out by this point but were good sports and patient while we all talked. We went back to our hotel and crashed.

Monday morning we were off to Las Vegas. It took us a long time to get out of the Phoenix metro area and then took a four lane highway to Las Vegas. Along the way we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves driving through a forest of Joshua trees.IMG_8955  We pulled into the Hoover Dam around 2:30 and Luke and I were very impressed by the size and scope of it, especially the new bridge under construction there. IMG_8968 IMG_8965 Julia was duly unimpressed and made it a point to tell us so. In fact, she seemed to enjoy telling us how uninteresting everything we saw was! She is just seven, not thirteen, right? She did think our castle shaped hotel was cool at least. We got checked in there and went off to wander the strip a bit, play some arcade games,100_2058  and then have some dinner. We were getting ready to go out to see Vegas in the dark when Lauren threw up all over herself and then bed. She hadn’t been feeling so great for a few days. We got her cleaned up and new linens and such, which all took quite a while, and then Julia and I went out to the drug store on the strip to get some supplies for Lauren. We enjoyed our jaunt out in the night but it was almost 10 by the time we got back and Julia was so tired that she fell asleep the moment her head hit the pillow.100_2059  We had set up a little bed on the floor for Lauren with a bedspread on a plastic bag. It was a long night as she crinkled around on the plastic and asked us for things (such as kisses and hugs) but she didn’t get sick again.

The next morning Lauren was still feeling low and I went out to get donuts and failed to bring any money and so had to come back (in the large casino this took at least 20 minutes of walking) Luke and Julia then went out to get them and the credit card machine was down so they came back empty handed as well. I finally went out again and got some, but it had been something like 2 hours since I first went out. We convinced Lauren to just ride in the stroller with us rather than split up and have one of us stay in the room with her. We went to Circus Circus and she actually perked up and rode some rides (yes – rides on an upset stomach, what could we do, it was vacation?) and did not get sick. I took Julia on a roller coaster. We walked to get into the line and then we saw that it went upside down. We had recently had a discussion about how she did not want to go on an upside down roller coaster but we were in line and she bravely agreed to go. Well, she was crying by the time we got off and was terrified and hated it! We told her how proud we were that she tried it and then had fun the rest of the time. We had some lunch at which Julia lost a tooth and Lauren napped in the stroller and then went back to our hotel (stopping to have some ice cream). After a rest, Luke took the girls to the midway area while I gambled. I took five dollars and played a penny slot for a minute or two, and then some video poker for about 5 minutes and had $17. I then went to a 2 cent slot machine and played it for another 5 minutes and had $25. I was so pleased to have turned $5 into $25 and I didn’t want to lose that $20 and so I joined them playing carnival games. We all won some cheap stuff and had fun. We went to see the Luxor on the tram and then we went back to our room for a while and IMG_8997then headed out on the monorail to see the "volcano" erupt at the Mirage. This took us an hour to just get there with all the walking. The MGM grand itself took about 20 minutes to walk through to get to the monorail. The "volcano" was very cool and totally worth the walk.  100_2060 100_2062 100_2070 After that we walked on the strip a bit and then got some food and got back on the monorail. Lauren slept in the stroller after the volcano was over. We got off the monorail and I wanted to avoid the long walk at the MGM and we were convinced that they had taken us on some circuitous route through it and so we tried to walk out of the parking garage to the street. We found ourselves in the taxi staging area and then went into some dark back door of the casino after an employee let us in and found ourselves in the kitchen area. Luckily an employee opened another door for us and we were magically inside the main casino again. We hiked back to our room and went straight to bed. Our feet were killing us!

On Wednesday we packed up and got on the road. Lauren was still feeling crummy but just slept in the van. Julia watched movies while Luke and I marveled at the red rock canyons we saw in Utah. It was truly beautiful country and we were so glad to see it. We got to Grand Junction and got some food and bathed the girls. At that time I got online (had not been able to do so for free in Vegas) and saw the weather forecasts for blizzards and such for last night and today. I felt that if we left in the morning we may not get home for a few days since we had to go over mountain passes to get home and these often close in bad weather. So, we decided to pack up and drive home. IT was about 8:45 pm. we ended up driving on 2 lane highway since that was the more southerly route and looked to be less snowy. The girls went to sleep and I did some major white knuckled driving through snow and curvy mountain passes but it was manageable with not much snow yet accumulated. We made it home around 3 am.

Now we are snug at home waiting for (experiencing now as I finish editing this post)  the blizzard. It better be a good one to make my decision to drive through the mountains in the middle of the night seem wise and not foolish.

Great trip!

Road trip

We are in the middle of a spring break road trip. I am typing one-fingered on my iPod so this will be short! We are currently in Arizona and will be in Las Vegas next and then home. So far it has been a good trip. Photos and more details when we get back.

Remembering the best St Patrick’s day ever

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7 years 1 month 13 days

7 years 1 month 13 days

That is how long Nathan lived here on earth.

Today, Julia is 7 years 1 month 13 days.

Tomorrow, she is older than her older brother ever was.

This is just the first of many milestones to come where Julia overtakes her big brother.

She is already far taller and heavier than he ever was.

Time passes…too quickly

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I have been out of choir for a few weeks due mostly to the kid choir performances we were attending/helping with. I will be out for the next two Sundays as well so I was very glad to sing this morning, even though I had missed 2 weeks of rehearsals. Fortunately I knew the music.

The two main songs we sung today are completely different styles. It is so awesome to sing with a choir that can do that. Hopefully it helps to minister to all people because I know that some dislike the gospel and others don’t care for the chamber choir style.

Have a listen: