Sunday, August 31, 2008

The one benefit to these twice daily pulmicort treatment sessions is that the evening one leaves Z man pooped. After the wailing and gnashing of teeth he gives up and crashes. I don't know if I'll be able to keep this up forever though. Right now I physically cannot do them without Kent helping out. One of us holds the kid down while the other administers the steroids. I think his very least favorite part of the harrowing ordeal is that we have to wipe his mouth out afterwards to prevent thrush. Luckily he has his blanket and tigger (he certainly wants nothing to do with his torturous parents) to console him in the aftermath.

I shouldn't make it sound so terrible. I think/hope that he'll adjust to the sessions and eventually just submit peacefully. During tonight's treatment he remained calm for the entire length of Kent and me singing "Mr. Sun".

Saturday, August 30, 2008

He thinks that it's so funny to walk around with our glasses on.

Friday, August 29, 2008

goodreads and not so good reads

Many of you blog readers are already on "goodreads" but if you aren't- PLEASE join (and then make me your friend). I love that there's a place I can go and find book recommendations from people that I know and trust. It is so great to be able to scour the lists of friends and find my next book.

I've been searching for more books to use for book club these next few months and I found this one- The Time Traveler's Wife.
Has anybody read it? I found numerous sites and recommendations about it and read lots of great reviews. I only found it to be so-so. I got really bored. It jumped around so much that it didn't keep my attention as well as I thought it would. I'd love to hear what somebody I know thought about it.



and about Breaking Dawn- I've possibly overvoiced my opinion already- but I HATED it. These books make me nuts and I cannot figure out the craze. The first is pretty darn good for a YA book. The second is a little repetitive but was okay. By book three I was so done. I shouldn't have read book four because it actually disappointed and frustrated me. My true review (with accompanying complaints) is on my goodreads account.



I always love more suggestions and ideas- so really, join the dang site.
Besides all the negatives with having Kent back in school and absent from my days, I do have buckets of free reading time. I've got a pile of books to jump into these next few weeks and I am so excited.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fabulous news (for our familes and us)!

It looks like we are coming home for Christmas. We found ROUNDTRIP-NONSTOP flights to SLC for two hundred and two dollars! We snatched them up immediately :) I've been searching for months and the cheapest we could find were 420 dollars. I would call it an early Christmas miracle for sure!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kent's thoughts

Three days of school have effectively melted my wonderful summer into a vague and distant dream. In its place is Virology, Bacteriology, Immunology, and Organ System-ology. I'm back to studying the microscopic and actually loving it - I just miss Leisy already!
Jonathan Swift perfectly described all the stuff I'll be studying for the next 12 weeks:
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller fleas to bite 'em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.

the screamer


This kid HATES HATES HATES doctors and nurses. Through the weight, height, blood oxygen level, lung, ear, and eye checks he SCREAMED like a naughty naughty little boy. He even screamed while I tried to go over his history with them. Luckily we were visiting the pediatric pulmonologist and they were relatively understanding about it all. Unfortunately our concerns were confirmed and the bugaboo does have asthma. I thought it wasn't diagnosed until children were older but after viewing the x-rays, family history, and medical history the doctor was sure he has it. The doctor is starting him on Pulmicort and Singulair this week. He'll take them both daily for at least three months and most likely continue indefinitely. Hopefully this means that every little cold or upper respiratory infection doesn't turn into a breathing emergency and we won't have any more breathing treatments or prednisone.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

video

Here's the rugrat getting super excited to watch Thomas. He gets so excited that he just spurts out completely meaningless mumblings. He is so funny.

Monday, August 25, 2008

goodbye summer, hello trains, and back to boring blog posts!

It is supposed to get pretty darn chilly tonight! I couldn't be more pleased. This morning on our run Zeb wore a jacket! It smells like fall already to me. I think we may have another few days of warm temps next week but summer is OVER!! Hooray.
Also on our run this morning I ran into quite the oddity. No questions asked I would have snapped a picture had I been carrying my camera (I'll carry it the rest of this week in hopes of getting a shot). There at the top of one of the hills on the trail is a long-haired man wearing a wrestling singlet doing strange karate/kickboxing/yoga moves. He had to stop and scoot over so that I could pass him. It was SO strange and I'm sure he noticed my unconcealed smiles and giggles. I think it was the singlet that set me off. The closest thing I can compare him to is Wolf on American Gladiators -only not nearly as ripped. I will try to get a picture.

In other interesting news, Kent went back to school today and life is returning to normal with one MAJOR exception. Blue's Clues has vanished from our house. Kent turned it on for Zeb the other day and he would have NOTHING to do with it. Thanks to the influence of friends he has become completely hooked on Thomas. He has to hold the trains during my runs. He has to hold them while he watches his DVDs. He runs around at the library with train books shouting "choo-choo". Thomas is a much needed break from Steve, Joe, and Blue- but I'm sure I'll get sick of the trains soon enough.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Landfill (if you just want Zeb see below)

On one of the days in Nicaragua we visited the landfill... the dump. People live there. It was disgusting really; the smell was nauseating, the flies were suffocating, and the vultures were circling. Driving in, we were all unprepared for what we saw. Cattle were grazing in the heaps of garbage and people were following to pick up anything of value.

We began handing out packets of food that we assembled. Rice and beans and other essentials. We then handed out plates of food. It was amazing to see how grateful these people were for a single plate of food. It was also terrible to see how desperate they became when the food began to run out. We had to place a number of big guys at the front of the line to prevent people from storming the tables of food. The hardest thing was telling the kids that they couldn't have more food because we wouldn't have enough for everyone.

Right now my life is wonderful, but if there comes a day when I'm feeling down or feel like my life is pretty tough, I'll think back to this experience. I could be living in a landfill eating garbage everyday - I am so lucky and totally take my perfect life for granted.

our smart baby (yes, we're biased)

video

I don't think that we've posted a video of Z in ages! The kid is growing up so fast it's ridiculous. He understands nearly everything we say now (which means I've got to be way more careful) and he's smarter than ever. I woke up this morning to his little voice jabbering away to Kent. He's talking like crazy! Not everything (or even the majority of it) is understandable but it's adorable. He's learning new words daily! His two favorites right now are "choo choo train" and "grasshopper". In the video he shortens them to "choo choo" and "hopper" but when he says the whole word it's even cuter.
Yesterday we were trying to teach him to say his name and he kept giggling at us. After hearing us say "Z" a zillion times he ran over to his toybox and pulled out the big letter Z that Kent brought home from Nicaragua! We've been working on letter recognition (especially Zs, Es, and Bs) forever now but we never thought he was processing it until he did this! Luckily "Z" is an easy thing to say and he loves saying it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Clinic

Working in the clinics was the very best part of my trip to Nicaragua! I loved meeting, interviewing and examining the patients and coming up with my own diagnosis before the doctor took a look. It was really intense the first day since I have had very little clinical experience this past year in school. It was an incredible learning experience and I felt much more comfortable with the routine by the end of the week. It got me excited for this next year of school when we really get to learn this stuff in depth.

Here are some pictures of me interviewing the patients:
















Abra la boca, saque la lengua,
y diga "AHH"

Friday, August 22, 2008

nice pair, huh?

Don't you think they match rather nicely?

The night before Kent left for his medical mission I told him I thought he ought to leave his wedding ring at home for safe keeping. He replied that he didn't want to be ringless (and I guess therefore open to the wild advances of all those Nicaraguan women) and would take extra precautions to keep his ring safe. Guess what? His ring is somewhere off the coast of Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean.
Pictured is the ring he came home wearing! I actually didn't notice until he said something about it. Luckily for us, this is already his SECOND ring and I felt no major emotional attachments. Not to mention we paid only 17 dollars for it. We have already ordered another (this one was 18 dollars) and I've made it known that WHEN I lose my ring (it's bound to happen) Kent must be VERY nice about it and get me any ring I want :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Free Time

Free time in Nicaragua was always a lot of fun. We found time to hang out with the locals!

Swimming with the orphans:














Football with the kids next to El Ayudante:














Playing catch with kids in Leon:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nicaragua!!

Nicaragua was amazing! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to those who made this trip possible for me! The week went by way too fast. I fell in love with the people, culture and language of Nicaragua. I want to go back for a few more months to become proficient with the language and continue working with those incredible people. We traveled around to some really poor areas around the city of Leon. We spent everyday working in clinics and were able to help over 800 people get the medical care they can't afford. Medicine is SO expensive for these people and many suffer with all kinds of infections because they don't have money for drugs! We also went with a dentist who saw close to 200 patients and was able to do sealant and fluoride treatments on all of them. I worked with the dentist the first day and then worked in the clinics the rest of the week. I'm glad I was able to see what the dentist was doing but I'm SO glad I didn't go to dental school. That is not what I want to do for the rest of my life!
I loved working with the children in the clinics. They were so much fun to help. It was sad to see little kids who have bugs all over them and to see others who just can't stop itching from scabies - but I loved working with them! We gave this lady a pair of glasses and she was so excited she started crying. She was able to see clearly for the first time in her life! We had so many great experiences that changed peoples lives! My life is changed for having been down there and seeing such wonderful people and how grateful they are for everything they have! I'll blog some of my other experiences in Nicaragua throughout the week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

poor zebby!

The little rugrat has been SOOOO good the past few days. I think he is finally in perfect health (cross your fingers) with no teething or congestion or rashes or wheezing of any sort!
He has been happy and playful and is sleeping 12 to 13 hours a night with 2-3 hour naps during the day! he is so fun right now. He's jabbering like crazy and picking up new words and signs everyday.
Because of his great behavior and good health I felt extra guilty taking him to get his chest x-rays today (we have to take them in to the pulmonologist with us next week). The machine that held him in was TERRIBLE. Watching him have to be stuck in it was torture. He was shaking with terror and pleading with me to get him out. He was so so scared.
Of course, I snapped a quick picture before releasing him. It's sort of a creepy little contraption.
I don't know much about reading x-rays- but I especially like the one with his screaming wide-open mouth where you can see all of his teeth!

Monday, August 18, 2008

He's home!

I couldn't be happier to see Kent. For some reason the past two days have seemed almost longer than the whole five weeks Kent was in Alabama! I was so bored and lonely I thought I'd die! He got home early this morning/late last night and came bearing gifts! I love nothing more than souvenirs. It was always a tradition growing up -and sometimes still- that when my parents returned from their travels they brought fun stuff back. I've always made sure that Kent is well aware of this tradition.

The first day he got to Nicaragua he e-mailed to tell me that he'd gotten me the PERFECT gift- something that I'd wanted since I was younger. I was slightly perplexed and very excited to see what it was- especially considering I had no recollection of this thing I'd wanted since I was little.
This morning after a good night's sleep he presented me with a plastic sack containing THIS:

I have to admit- I LOVE it- but have NEVER wanted it or EVER thought about it. Who wants a taxidermied frog holding a baseball and bat? This isn't actually the perfect gift he'd written about (although it is pretty darn close).

Here is the gift:
I've always wanted a piggy bank with no opening besides the coin slot. I can't wait to fill it up and then throw it against the cement to get the money out!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

final days of NY

If anybody ever wants to go see Niagara Falls you can stay at my sister's place for free (I hope that's okay with you, Laney) because they only live a few miles away!! We went and rode the "Maid of the Mist" and walked all over the mini islands. It was fabulous! Thanks mom and dad for keeping the babies on land. Had he been on board Zeb would have jumped over the edge for sure. The water was pretty choppy and the mist was very thick (more like torrential rains at one point).



Some man riding around the park was offering pictures with his Parrots for donations. We couldn't resist! Here's Daysa with one of the crazy birds.





Zeb was pretty pooped by the end of the day and rather grumpy. My Dad tried to calm him with an ice cream cone. It definitely worked for awhile (although, as is quite evident, the angry face never left). Here's the rugrat finishing it off. He would not move his hand from his mouth until it was COMPLETELY gone.

We drove home Friday morning and had quite the adventurous roadtrip. We had one too many people to fit in the car and had a long five hours of squishing. My dad "accidentally" rolled Daysa's fingers up in the car window and Metta and I were in tears laughing. Daysa didn't think that it was all that funny. I should have gotten some pictures of us all squashed in the backseat. My entire lower half was asleep for quite some time.

Overall it was a great trip and I can't wait till they come back!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Maumee Summer Fair!

This morning I took the fam to the airport at five am. Bleggghh! It was far too early and I was far too tired. But it was wonderful to have everyone here and definitely worth the loss of sleep. The house is kinda quiet and lonely now with just zeb and me. I can't wait till Kent gets home!!!!

After the early airport run, Zeb and I went real running to Swan Creek park (have I mentioned lately how AMAZING the weather is here?!?!?!!!) and then off to the Maumee summer fair!

We enjoyed the great traditions of small town parades! Short and sweet with WAY too much free candy. We met up with some friends (thanks for the pictures cyndi!) and Zeb was so happy. He did extraordinarily well during this parade. NO tears and only mild convulsions when the fire trucks went by and when the clown approached with candy. I got a coupon for a free chic-fil-a sandwich and some tootsie rolls. Zeb wouldn't eat the candy. He used his smarties to draw on the sidewalk and chucked his sucker into the dirt after he tasted it.

My favorite part of the parade was this entry. I'm pretty sure I've posted it before (it's in all the parades around here). This truck is CREEP-O-RAMA. There are HUNDREDS of disgusting, old, faded, dilapidated, and nearly decapitated dolls and figurines covering this truck. I wish you could see the driver better. He looks like the stereotypical hermit man from the deep woods of West Virginia (or Ohio, apparently). I can't believe that they keep allowing him to drive through these parades.

Friday, August 15, 2008

home sweet home

We are back to Toledo after many long days on the road! The drive to Buffalo is only 5 hours but we did a lot of driving in the few days we were in New York. Our first stop was the half-way point from Toledo to Buffalo. We visited the Kirtland church historical sites. I saw some great missionary friends there and we had a great time touring the temple and the N.K. Whitney store (minus the fact that baby Hank ralphed all over the store floor).
We continued on to Buffalo and Laney and Taylor got all moved in that evening (their place is amazing-I'll post some pics later). Not too long afterwards we all hit the sack exhausted. Day two included a mini-roadtrip up to Palmyra to see the church sites there. We climbed the Hill Cumorah and enjoyed the place entirely to ourselves! I can't believe there were so few people in August- especially with such divine weather.Here's the Zebster trying to point out to us where the plates were buried exactly. The entire time we were up on the hill he was pointing (we aren't really sure why or at what). After the Hill, we visited the Sacred Grove. Such an amazingly beautiful place in so many ways! Zeb loved the rocks and wanted to bring every last one home with us. The flowers, greenery, and blustery clouds that rolled in made the place all the better.









Thursday, August 14, 2008

We are in Buffalo getting Laney and Taylor all moved in! Their apartment is INSANELY huge and beautiful and ridiculously cheap. Paying to keep it warm during the crazy winters may be quite the predicament however!!

I also have an update on Kent! I know everybody -especially you Millers :)- are excited to hear from/about him, so here's the most recent e-mail!! It sounds like things are going really well.

I had the best day EVER!! I have found my calling in life. I LOVED the clinic and I love clinical medicine. I diagnosed an inner ear infection, kidney infection, scabies, and helped a ton of really fabulous people get medicine they could never ever afford. I had such anxiety about the language and not knowing anything but I speak more spanish than a lot of people on this trip. I LOVE Nicaragua and the people here and time is going by too quickly. I got to see a lot of ultrasounds which were really cool except two of the girls were teenagers. 15 and 16 year old girls who are having babies! Teen pregnancies are rampant in Nicaragua. Tonight we went out to dinner and had AMAZING food. I went to the grocery store about four blocks from the restaurant after I had ordered and they were making the food. (It took forever to get our food). I went with one of the translators I have become good friends with and I force to speak to me in Spanish. Walking through the streets and seeing how poor people are makes me feel like a really selfish person. I gave some kids some money on the street and they started jumping up and down they were so excited. I can't believe the experiences I'm having!

I can't wait till he gets home and can post some pictures! I miss him like crazy!

Today we are off to Niagara Falls and Palmyra!! I'll take lots of pictures!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

happy tuesday!











We went to the museum of art today- yet another toledo gem. Cousin Amy and Craigo came up with their kidlets and made the day fabulous! Most of the adults went upstairs to peruse the art while the kiddos stayed below at the family center- lots of toys, dress ups, crafts, and painting to keep everyone busy. I can't believe that it's all free. Sometimes Toledo amazes me.


After the museum we packed a picnic lunch and took off to the beach (Maumee Bay). It was the PERFECT weather for beaching. Poor little zebby was done. He grabbed his blanket and just collapsed in the sand!

Tomorrow we take off to Buffalo! It may be a few days before I am back to the computer.