Monday, November 13, 2006

Stupid carpoolers.


9:54 p.m.
Me - at the office finishing up for a meeting tomorrow
Ryan - stuck in Virginia, thanks to a guy in his carpool who worked five hours later than planned
Katrina - asleep in her stroller in the conference room of my office

Did I mention Davis had her tail amputated today? And that she's at home, overdue for her pain medication by two hours.

Did I mention I still need to go to the store to get food for tomorrow's meeting?

Did I mention I still have to review our children's handbook for presentation for approval at the executive committee meeting tomorrow night?

Did I mention I am NOT in a good mood??!!!

Davis is about to lose her tail.

Warning: if you have a weak stomach or are sensitive to animal stories, do not read this post.

I just got back from taking Davis (one of our two cats) to the emergency veterinary hospital. While petting her tonight, I felt something ... moist ... on her tail. I thought it was stool (a la Avery - our other cat often gets stool particles stuck in his enormous hairy tail), but saw it was blood when I looked at my hand. Ryan examined her tail and found that approximately 1.5 inches of skin had been peeled back. We called the local emergency hospital and they said to bring her in. There, the vet informed me that it's a 'degloving' wound and may have actually happened yesterday, based on the dried edges of the wound. Poor kitty. We had no idea. :( The vet also said the tail wounds are poor healers, and she recommended amputating the tail from just below the wound (about halfway up the tail). She did leave it up to our regular vet's discretion, though. She said the wound was not life-threatening and could wait until morning. They shaved the area a little (not much - Davis wasn't cooperative), applied antibiotic ointment, as well as gave her an antibiotic shot and pain medicine. With strict instructions to call our regular vet first thing in the morning, we are home.

I'll spare you any photos. I had a hard time not gagging at the vet hospital during the exam tonight. Right now Davis seems to be doing well, if you don't notice the dangling length of tail. The pain medicine might make her disoriented, so we're not supposed to let her near stairs tonight. We're going to keep her in my computer room, just to be safe. Even with the baby gate closed at the top of the stairs, I'm afraid she might try to jump over the banister like she usually does and fall and hurt herself worse.

I'm thinking I am so not ready to be a parent. Yes, I know we have an 18-month old daughter (today, actually - happy eighteen-month birthday to Katrina!). But I'm so emotional about my cat's tail! I can't imagine what I will be like when Katrina has her first real wound.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Now I understand.

I've always wondered how just one shoe of a pair ends up alongside the road. Now I understand. You see, it happened to us. :) We had a campaign dinner for church at the Holiday Inn Saturday night, with childcare provided at a pediatrician's office nearby. (The husband of the lady who headed up the event is the head of a pediatric group.) We got to the place to drop off Katrina when I noticed only one of her shoes was in the car. Ryan had set the other one on top of the car while buckling Katrina in ... and drove away. :) So Saturday night (in 30 degree weather, while the baby slept in her crib) we walked up and down our road looking for her shoe. We found it! It was on the opposite side of the road, slightly smashed, but still wearable. We spent forty minutes looking for a $9 shoe. (Actually, it was a $4.50 shoe. The pair was $9.)

God's been working on me and my attitude lately. Friday I was surprised to get an e-mail response from a coworker-friend that was a little strained. I talked with my manager, and he spoke some truth that I was totally oblivious to ... I've been coming across as rude and rather insensitive to two people in a specific department lately. :( I've been pushing a proofreading issue to them and they finally had enough, I guess. The more I thought about it and talked through it (and prayed!), I realized I've been pushing the wrong issue. I thought I was being unappreciated and ignored because of what was happening, and so I kept bringing up a certain problem. The ladies of the department did appreciate the proofreading I was providing to them, but not the way I was presenting it. I e-mailed them both on Friday to apologize and said that I'd like to talk to them more and hopefully find some ways to communicate better.

Carol (another coworker) has said all along that it's not what you commuincate, it's HOW you communicate, and she is so right. (I call her our wise office sage.) And I was SO surrounded by it all weekend, too. Sunday Pastor Paul preached about speaking the truth in love. He said all truth is harsh and hurtful, while all love is gushy and not necessarily helpful. It's important to find the right balance of truth and love. Then Sunday during Sunday School a lady apologized for pushing an issue where she thought she was right and that her way had to be the only way; she said she realized later she was wrong for forcing her way. Then Sunday night (I told you I was surrounded!) we were talking in small group about love and respect and one of the people in the group reminded us of a quote from early in the book we read. The quote was from the author's wife, and she said something to her husband like, "You may be right, but at the top of your voice, you are wrong." She was saying that it's HOW he was communicating that was hurting her, not what he was saying. That's where I was wrong, and I was totally blind to it, too. I was upset and frustrated that I was being ignored and unappreciated (as I perceived it), which was not true.

I know I have a long way to go in terms of interpersonal relationships. I'm so thankful for the friends who love me unconditionally! And honestly, I'm glad for the friends/coworkers/fellow church people who grate my nerves some times and I'm glad for the people whose nerves I grate and they tell me. I'm not perfect, that's for sure, and we all need shaping and molding in personality and communication.

And just for clarification, I AM NOT PREGNANT. :) Yes, I did post below that we are thinking about adding a sibling for Katrina, but not necessarily this very moment. I'll let you know when we're pregnant. We're not now. (It was so embarrassing! On Friday when I went to my boss for advice, I jokingly started the conversation with, "I'm not pregnant." And he said, "Ahh. I was going to ask. I heard a rumor." WHAT?!?! He may have been teasing, but still. I was so embarrassed!)

I better post this before Blogger decides to short curcuit and lose everything I've written. I leave you with this: fall family pictures. If you live in the Frederick area, give Sarah Spielvogel a call. She's great! (Leah, even though you don't quite live in Frederick, I bet she would head down your way. Think of the fun pictures she could take of your boys!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Updated Gallery

Check out new photos in the gallery:

August 2006 -

September 2006 -

October 2006 -
(October includes pictures from this weekend of Katrina in her bunny costume and playing pool.)

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I've had this post floating around in my head for almost two weeks now. I can't believe it's taken me this long to finally share the news. (Leah, I'm sorry if you heard it from Laura first - I've been meaning to call you!)

Our big news is ... Katrina is walking!! Finally! :) She basically just stood up and walked one day. Elaine, our regular daycare provider, was closed on Columbus Day, so Laura graciously watched Katrina for us. Laura IMed me about an hour after I dropped off Katrina and said, "You didn't tell me your daughter is walking." I replied, "She didn't tell me she is walking!!" Laura said Katrina sat watching her homeschool Cayden, slid to the edge of the furniture, stood up, and walked over to them. Yay!!!!! I was beginning to think Katrina was going to be the only 5-year old to crawl into kindergarten. Okay, maybe not that drastic, but she was four days shy of being 17-months old when she finally decided to walk. We were getting some pressure from the pediatrician to start her in physical therapy, since she wasn't walkng by 15-months. It's funny, in a way. Since she waited so long to walk, she's really good at it. I mean, she still stumbles every now and then, but she mastered leaning over to pick up things about two days after she started walking. Now she toddles around the house, picks up imaginary pieces of dirt from the floor, and brings them to me.

She is also talking a lot more in the last two weeks. I wonder if she was concentrating so hard on walking that talking kind of came in second place. Now that she's walking with ease, she's started saying at least three new words this week alone. She says "shoe-shoe" for both shoes and socks, "okay" even when she doesn't mean it, and the dreaded "no." But she doesn't speak "no" and mean it ... if you ask her if she loves you, she'll say "no" then smile. If she really doesn't want something, she still shakes her head no. And she's nodding now, too! This is such a fun age.

I'm pondering another child. Katrina is 17 months old. I have a Mirena IUD, so if I had it removed now, we'd want to wait approximately 3 months before trying to get pregnant again. (Assuming I get pregnant right away, which my doctor assures me I shouldn't have problems getting pregnant. She (my doctor) refers to me as "Fertile Myrtle" since I got pregnant on birth control.) So Katrina would be 29-ish months (2 1/2) when the baby came. Ryan and I have talked about having our kids three (3) years apart, but that seems so far away right now. Of course, I still haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up (work/stay at home/get ordained/do it all), so adding another child to the equation probably wouldn't be a good idea right now.

Yikes! It's past 10:30 and I have to work tomorrow. Ryan is in Colorado but comes home tomorrow ... I'm so glad!! I want to get into work early (well, earlier than I have been recently) so I can get home and make dinner for when he gets home from the airport.

Also, please pray for our friends Leah and Mark. Leah e-mailed last night to say:

So we just heard from Mark's mom that his older cousin, Judy, was killed in a car accident this afternoon. Her husband was with her and is in critical condition in the hospital. They were on their way from their home in eastern Colorado to Pueblo where their Grandma, aunts/uncles, and Judy's sister lives. They have two boys, a 19-year-old who is in Iraq and a 16-year-old at home. Seems like she was in her mid to late 40s. Please pray for them and for Rory's recovery.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I love my Marte.

We're working on getting IM to work for a video chat. I love my Marte! :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

I saw a sign tonight that made me think of Erika Upchurch. It read,


Obviously someone with a rather immature sense of humor was having fun with "Free Highspeed Internet" ... although I did have to read it a few times to understand it.

(The sign was at a hotel. That's why I thought of Erika.)
Katrina peed AND pooped in her potty chair tonight!! Yay!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Random Concerns

Ryan and I have noticed an interesting habit of Katrina's lately. When it's time for bed, we get her in pajamas, brush her teeth, turn on a CD, and lay her in bed. And she is instantly quiet ... doesn't make a peep. At first we thought, "What a great baby! We are so blessed." Friends would comment on how she goes to sleep so quietly. But now we're noticing that she's almost ... scared. Zombie like. Tonight I walked in her room to replace the trash can (Sunday's trash night at our house) and she was laying in her crib with her eyes open. She used to sit up in bed if she was awake and one of us walked in, but now she just lays there. (Lies there? I never remember the difference.) Ryan commented on it yesterday. He put her down for a nap and she instantly was silent once she was in her bed. We don't know if it's her personality coming out, or if she's overly tired and is exhausted by bedtime. Or if it's something in response to naptime at Elaine's (her daycare provider).

Speaking of, we've noticed that it sounds like Katrina is saying sh*t. As in, "Oh, sh*t." I know I say "shoot" a lot, so maybe she's repeating that. One thing is for sure, we don't say the other word! I suspect if she is saying the swear word that she's picking it up at the babysitter, but I don't know for sure.

Sundays are now FOOTBALL days at our house. This is the time that I say we have no social life ... for sixteen weeks we leave immediately after church to get home for the one o'clock kickoff. Here's a fun picture of Katrina and Daddy watching football tonight:

(Yes, she's wearing dinosour pajamas. Daddy got them for her.)

And she PEED in the potty tonight!! Yay!!!!! I didn't take any pictures of that, though. :) We, okay, I, read a great book called Early Start Potty Training by Linda Sonna. It talks a lot about potty training from infancy, which I'm not into, but has a great section on potty training young toddlers (15 - 18 month old), which does interest me. The sooner Katrina is out of diapers, the happier we will be!

(No, she's not walking yet. She's close, though! She started standing up on her own more. Hopefully unassisted steps will soon follow.)

Ummmmm, that's about it. It's almost 11:30 p.m.! I need to carry the recycling down to the end of the lane and go to bed! Goodnight. :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

M-i-c-k-e-y ....

Found a great deal for a Disney vacation. Anybody interested in going? Maybe if somebody else wants to go, then I can convince Ryan. :)

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Ackerman, Phylicia

Phylicia Ackerman -- Bradley

Visitation for Phylicia Karrin Ackerman, 8, of Bradley, will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the First Church of the Nazarene, Kankakee, where services will be held at noon Friday. Dr. Edward Heck and Rev. Cindi Schimmelpfennig will officiate.

Burial will be in All Saints Cemetery, Bourbonnais. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Phylicia Fund. She died Monday (Aug. 28, 2006) at her home. Kankakee Chapel of the Schreffler Funeral Homes is in charge of arrangements.

She was born Jan. 21, 1998, in Kankakee, the daughter of Bert Phillip and Teresa Karen O'Brien Ackerman. Phylicia was a student at Bradley East Grade School. For her 8th birthday, she organized the "Give the Kids the World Village" fundraiser through the First Church of the Nazarene, where she was a member. Her favorite movie was "The Wizard of Oz" and her favorite colors were pink, green and purple. She loved American Girl dolls. She enjoyed playing dress-up, swimming, going to Navy Pier, the Chicago White Sox and her Disney princess collection.

Surviving besides her parents of Bradley, are one brother, Zachary Phillip Ackerman at home; aunts, Becky and Rev. Tim Casey of Carol Stream, Joanne O'Brien of Petersburg, Alicia and Brad Lackner of Springfield; uncles, Dr. John and Carol Lisa O'Brien of Griggsville, Dr. Terry and Stacey O'Brien of Petersburg, Chris and Trish O'Brien of Bourbonnais, Dr. Dan and Bethany O'Brien of Peoria; maternal grandmother, Diane O'Brien of Petersburg; maternal great-grandmother, Frances Hinrichs of Oak Park; paternal grandmother, Phyllis Ackerman of Chicago Ridge; and numerous cousins.

Preceding her in death were one brother, Christian Jacob Ackerman; aunt, Debbie Ackerman; maternal grandfather, Dr. Terrance O'Brien; paternal grandfather, Albert Ackerman; paternal great-grandmother, Mabel Martin; and maternal great-grandparents, John and Alice O'Brien.

Phylicia's family would like to thank all the doctors and staff at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Joliet Hospice and the First Church of the Nazarene in Kankakee.

Please sign her guestbook at

Sunday, August 20, 2006

DS Lite

Gah. So I got Ryan the DS for his birthday/anniversary and gave it to him on ... late Wednesday night (that's when he gave me his anniversary present to me). I'm TERRIBLE at waiting to give gifts, and I knew I couldn't wait a stinking week to give him his b-day gift. Plus I semi-suspected that he was going to get me a DS for my birthday (he tends to give me gifts he wants) and I wasn't going to let him ruin another gift (like the time I got him a PS2 and he got it from Sycamore, or the time I got him a glass chess set and he got one from friends, etc. etc.). I also purchased Brain Age, because I thought we'd both like it. Ryan made fun of me for getting excited when the game wished me a happy birthday today, but I thought it was fun. Anyway, long story short, it's nearly 11:00 p.m. and he's awake playing Brain Age!!! In fact, he just showed me where he beat me at something and it said, "You did better than Lexa today!" What have I done?!?!

Stupid husbands beating me at a brain game. Er, husband. I have only one.

On another random note, do you all use MySpace? It's funny, really. I made a profile awhile back when my April told me she used it, but not much happened ... only a few people 'asked' to be my friend (mostly Apey's sisters and Trish and Marte; and Tom ... who the heck is Tom?!). But now all the sudden all kinds of people are asking to be my friend!! Er, well, it's people I know, like from high school and Olivet, but still, it's weird. Oh, well. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Can you name 21 people you think of right off the top of your head? This means, do them at random. Don't read the questions underneath until you write the names of all 21 people.

*this is a lot funnier if you actually list the names first!! No cheating!!!*

1. Ryan
2. Katrina
3. Trish
4. Sidra
5. Ma
6. Leea
7. Lalena
8. Davis
9. Carol
10. Mel
11. Donna
12. Donna (from preschool)
13. Ginny Quay
14. Ted Quay
15. Allison Paradise
16. Jenn (Trish's sister)
17. Gail
18. Carl
19. Shawna
20. Bobby
21. Laura Reynolds

Now answer the questions according to the names listed below

How did you meet 10?
She works for Sycamore - I first met her at a Syc event.

What would you do if you had never met 6?
I don't think I can really answer that since she is my sister.

What would you do if 20 and 15 dated?
Whoa. That would be weird. Bobby might not be my brother-in-law, then!

Have you ever seen 4 cry?
I'm pretty sure I have. (I miss you, Marte!)

Would 4 and 12 make a good couple?
Uh, no.

Would number 1 and 2 make a good couple?
That would be incest.

Describe number 8
Cute as a kitten, a little crabby in her older age. Likes to lash out at small children.

Do you like 12?
Not really. She's the main reason I quit teaching.

Do you think 21 is attractive:
I like her freckles and red hair.

Tell something about 17.
She is an amazing woman of God. I'm blessed to have her as a mother-in-law and as Katrina's grandma. What a heritage!

What's 7's favorite color?
It was purple, when we were younger.

What would you do if 1 just confessed they liked you?
Probably be shocked, but only because that's not like Ryan to say stuff like that. :)

When was the last time you talked to number 19?
This morning!! She and Gail and Carl just left this morning after staying at our house for a week.

What language does 13 speak?
English. And medical-ese. (She works in a doctor's office, I think.)

Who is 2 going out with?
Better be nobody! She's too young!!

What grade is 16 in?
I think she's done with school.

What is 5's favorite music?
Ma likes Peter, Paul and Mary; Neil Diamond; Michael Crawford; etc.

Would you ever date number 7?
She's my sister!!

Would you ever date 1?
Ype - we're going on a date tomorrow night, as a matter of fact.

Is 11 single?
Npe, she's married. Multiple times.

What is 10s last name?

Would you ever want to be in a serious relationship with 3?
If you mean dating her, heck no! That's gross! (No offense.)

Where does 18 live?
With number 17.

What do you think about 20?
He's so much like Ryan that it's scary.

What is the best thing about 4?
If this world runs out of lovers, we'll still have each other.

What would you like to tell 14 right now?
Get better soon! (He just had double-bypass surgery this morning.)

where did you meet 9?
She's also a Sycamore employee. I'm sure I met her at a Syc event when Ryan and I were dating, but I don't remember which one. Now I can't imagine not talking to her every day!

Are you going to know 15 forever!?
I suppose so. She's been on my mind all day today - the girl gang has been e-mailing back and forth today about Homecoming.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


The pediatrician just called and Katrina's lab results for this month are in ... her iron levels are rising and the celiac tests came back negative!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Love of Bananas

This is what happens when I leave our daughter alone for a few moments.

I was back in the computer room looking up an address and Katrina was playing in the living room, or so I thought. I came back to find her with a pair of bananas in her hands. Upon closer inspection, I found that she had already eaten half of one of the bananas ... peel and all! She loves bananas and most fruit, especially nectarines and mangoes. (More about the mangoes later.) Yesterday morning she ate two whole nectarines by herself, yet she doesn't like peaches. I love peaches! I don't get how she can like nectarines but not peaches.

I posted some other recent pictures of Katrina here:

We got some couches at Costco this weekend! Er, well, a couch and a loveseat. They are dark brown leather - for the basement. Now I just have to convince Ryan that the walls would look good if painted orange. :) And we also got a Love Sac! It's a funny name for a huge bean bag. We got it in a medium brown suede cover so that it will coordinate with the basement couches and the living room furniture (which are a sage-y green color).

After I took the bananas away from Katrina and looked for something else for her to eat, she reached in the grocery sack on the floor and found a mango. And proceeded to eat it, flesh and all, too. She loves to eat the lemon wedges that come as garnish at restaurants and will often eat the whole thing - fruit and rind. I guess it's time we teach her to peel her fruit first. :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

A trip to LabCorp

I took Katrina to the pediatrician for a weight check on Wednesday, as well as a follow-up iron test. Katrina's complete blood count (CBC) last month showed her iron levels were low, and the lead test came back with elevated levels (she scored an 8.5; at 10 the EPA investigates your house ... in comparison, a coworker's son scored 2.0). So she was due for an iron recheck and the nurse said they could do it in office. I had plenty of hours from last week and took Wednesday afternoon off. What a day.

Katrina now weighs 19 lbs 6 oz, meaning she has gained just about a pound in two months. The pediatrician ordered a couple of other tests, in addition to the CBC. LabCorp (the lab covered by our insurance) drew four vials of blood from our poor baby ... tests include determining if Katrina's body makes the protein needed to carry iron in her bloodstream, as well as a couple of antibody tests to determine if she has celiac or another type of autoimmune disease. I'm hoping we'll hear the results today so we don't have to wait over the weekend.

The visit to LabCorp was almost humorous. Katrina did fine during the draw. She fussed only a little and sighed, but that was it. All heck broke loose, though, when the technician removed the needle. Katrina freaked out and jerked her arm away. The tech placed a piece of gauze on the draw site with a band-aid and Katrina ripped it off and threw it to the ground! At this point blood was going every where (from the baby jerking her arm around). I couldn't hold her still, she was jerking and flailing so much! The worst part was when the technician gave Katrina a sticker that said, "I'm a brave patient!" ... and Katrina threw it in the technician face. I was so embarrassed!!

Oh, yeah ... and Katrina is 14 months old (as of yesterday!) and can still wear size 3 - 6 months clothing. We have friends whose babies were born wearing size 3 - 6 month and went to 6 - 9 month clothing at 8 weeks. Today Katrina is wearing a top I bought for her last summer (size 3 - 6 months) that was too big for her all last summer. It finally fits her now, although it's still a little big around the straps (it's a tank top/sleeveless blouse).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

There was an EARWIG on my toothbrush tonight. I. Hate. Earwigs. Intensely. Extremely. Pure hatred. They would appear out of nowhere in the big piles of laundry we had to do my first summer of Conferences. Sooooooo groooooooooosssssssssss.

Earwigs and other things I hate (but not JB - I don't hate her!)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Welcome home, Daddy!

Yay!!! Ryan just called to say he's in the car on his way home from the airport. I'm SO happy! I've missed him like crazy, and I think Katrina has, too. He's been gone basically since June 11, save a 12-hour stretch one Thursday night to Friday morning. Three weeks is a long time to be gone, darn it!!

We made a banner to greet Ryan when he gets home. It says "Welcome Home, Daddy!" and has handprints of Katrina and the two cats. Surprisingly, Avery was a lot more cooperative than Davis! Davis dashed off as soon as I let go, so I'm finding pink cat paw prints all over the house. And Avery's pawprint is one big hairy blob. :)

EDIT: Argh. I'm trying to add some photos and our upload speed is bottom slow.

I gave up on trying to get the pictures in here and posted them to our picture gallery instead. You can see them here.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Famous Last Words


Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"Nice doggy."

I made a few guesses and this is what it said Ryan's famous last words will be:

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I dunno, press the button and find out."

Too funny. :)

Hee hee. Sorry, Marte!! :) (Davis gets around a lot more than I realized she did! She must lead a secret life while I'm at work.)

What You Really Think Of Your Friends
Shawna Rushing is your soulmate.
You truly love Laura Yanchick.
You consider Bobby Rushing your true friend.
You know that Sara Taylor is always thinking of you.
You'll remember Cayden Reynolds for the rest of your life.
You secretly think Ryan Herbert is creative, charming, and a bit too dramatic at times.
You secretly think that Me is colorful, impulsive, and a total risk taker.
You secretly think that Sidra Schkerke is loyal and trustworthy to you. And that Sidra Schkerke changes lovers faster than underwear.
You secretly think Davis is shy and nonconfrontational. And that Davis has a hidden internet romance.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Try this... it's fun (and interesting)!!

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

5th sentence: "I know."
2nd sentence is much more interesting out of context: I nodded and told Sue what Malachi had said about the chicken being the sacrifice and the eggs being only an offering.

Monday, June 26, 2006

This crazy life.

Life is a wee bit crazy right now. Ryan is out of town (in Colorado Springs, for work) until July 3rd. I have a huge-must-win-or-the-future-of-the-company-is-at-stake proposal due July 10th. Ryan wasn't actually supposed to come home until later, but he worked it out with someone so that he can be home the week before the proposal is due. Ryan's mom and sisters are familiar with what the week before a proposal is like for me. They were out here to visit last summer right before the State Department prop was due ... I think I saw them once. Many long days and late nights at the office.

I thought I would be fine this week working at the office during the day and working some at home in the evenings (on my new work laptop!), but it's tougher than I thought it would be. So the niece of a friend from church is going to watch Katrina for me tomorrow night while I work late at the office, and Thursday night for a bit while I work from home.

(Did I mention that Ryan is gone until next Monday? And that he's working 12-hour shifts out in Colorado Springs? And that he's working midnights ... 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.? Yeah. It stinks, big time.)

Not much else is new. I totally forgot about a children's ministry meeting Saturday morning. And when I got there, Pastor Paul was finishing going over his list of twelve things he'd like to see happen. I'm sure he didn't mean it this way, but I kind of took it as a performance review ... as in, these are the things that I should be doing and I'm not. The fact that he told them to everybody else at the meeting before me tells me he didn't intend it as a list of what I'm doing wrong. I think I just took it wrong because a) I'm tired; b) I had Katrina with me and was distracted; and c) I was super embarrassed about being late to the meeting.

July 7, 8, and 9th is Holy Land Adventure, this year's VBS at our church. And I feel totally underprepared, as usual. I don't know what it is about me lately. I feel like I'm not able to do what I need to do well because I'm pulled in so many directions (work, church, home), yet I struggle to let go of anything and let someone else do it. Am I that much of a control freak? Am I that worried about looking like a failure because I can't do it all?

Now that I'm rambling on and on, I'll leave you with a few pictures of our cutie. :) I had to laugh and slightly grimmace earlier this evening. I was reading a friend's website about their daughter born right before Christmas. She just turned six months old ... and she weighs more than Katrina! She weighs 19 lbs 5 oz. Katrina (yes, at 13.5 months as of tomorrow) has weighed 19 lbs even for about a month now. She randomly weighs 19.5 or even 20.0 lbs on our bathroom scale, but that always after eating and with a full/wet diaper. *sigh* One of these days she'll catch up. Or maybe she'll be a tall skinny volleyball player model person who loves Jesus.

Here are some recent pictures from playing in the yard.

**edit** Stupid pictures not posting the first time. Let's try it again.

This was actually the Friday after we got back from vacation a few weeks ago.
I worked from home that day ... I guess I wore the baby out! (Hey! THIS is that outfit I posted about earlier ... she's obviously a girl, don't you think?!)

Simon and Laura got Katrina a baby swing for her birthday, and she LOVES it!
Daddy took this picture - her first ride in her new swing.

Here she is playing in the back yard last week. Note the insanse about of ivy we have instead of grass. It's good for crawling around in, though. Look, Ma!, Katrina says. No Army crawl for me! :) Maybe, just maybe, she's getting closer to walking?

And finally, yes, Auntie Shawna, your niece ate another stick. :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

"Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Some people run countries; some people run errands."

~ Pastor Chad Clardie

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I knew it wouldn't last

Katrina went to bed so easy last night. We read a book, rocked a little bit, then I laid her down in her crib. Last night she looked at me, smiled, and closed her eyes. Not a peep from her!

Tonight, however, is a different story. Katrina is standing in her crib, wailing and sobbing. Note to self: teaching her to stand in her crib was a bad idea. It's cute and all in the mornings to go in and see her standing up, waiting for us to get her, but it's not so cute when she stands and wails at night when she's supposed to be sleeping.

... 20 minutes later ...

Ahh, sweet peace. I went in and rocked with her. I guess she needed a little more cuddle-time or something.

Monday, June 05, 2006


So I'm working on stuff for the Children's Day Service (this Sunday ... nothing like last minute, eh?) and one of the things the website suggests is emphasizing NAZJAM in Pennsylvania next month. I'm scrolling down the page when I see ... Kim Koneecheewacchee! Okay, so that's not really her last name, but I can't remember how to spell it. And it was her maiden name, anyway. Now she's Kim Bobb (Ryan's gonna have a ball with that one). She lived on my floor in Nesbitt. And she's the speaker at NAZJAM this year! Too funny. Here's the page where you can see her picture ... just scroll down.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Stupid nosy people

We went to a birthday party for a friend's 2 year-old tonight, and while there, somebody asked me if I'm pregnant. Stupid person.

(It didn't help that I had a huge temper tantrum just before we left because none of my clothes fit me and I hate my body and blah blah blah.)



Okay, now I can see why she asked. I was wearing this same shirt. I look so fat in this picture! Ugh.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Enlarging our family

I talked to Ryan's cousin Greg's wife Karalin tonight. Er, let's simplify - my friend Karalin. :) Their little boy Davy just turned three and their youngest Nathan is just a few days older than Katrina. Time flies way too fast. That means Bree (Michael and Becky's little girl) is just about to turn three, also. It seems like it was just yesterday that Davy and Bree joined the family ... and now Nathan and Katrina are one!

Karalin said that pre-haircut, Nathan was often mistaken for a girl. I had to laugh, because Katrina is mistaken for a boy nine-times-out-of-ten, even when wearing obviously girl clothing (probably due to lack of hair). In fact, it happened twice tonight at the grocery store. The first time was pretty quick - just a passing stranger saying 'Hi there, little guy!" to Katrina. The second instance happened something like this (I kid you not) ...

Stranger Man walks by and says - "Hello, son!"
Katrina (dressed in denim overalls, yes, but with a white t-shirt with pink and purple flowers all over) - sitting in the cart - "Hi! Hi! Hi hi hi hi!" (she's been saying 'hi' a lot since we got back from vacation)
Stranger Man - "You sure do have blue eyes, little boy."
Stranger Man's wife, as they walk away - "I think that was a little girl."
Stranger Man (looking back at us, not noticing the dirty looks I'm shooting him) - "What? Nah. That's a boy. She just dresses him funny."

HELLO! Do I need to drop Katrina's diaper to show you we have a DAUGHTER?! Bah.

Whoa, it's almost midnight! Time for bed.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

First of the pictures

The first day or so of our vacation pictures are up! Ryan will be adding the rest to the gallery soon. Check them out here.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Man, I'm terrible at posting lately. We're on vacation now. I'm sitting on the patio at a bed and breakfast, Ryan is pushing Katrina is a hammock, and Trish and Chris are talking on the other side of the pool. Vacation is good. :)

Today has not been uneventful, though. Below is an e-mail Ryan sent to his folks. We found out by accident today that Katrina is allergic to egg whites. Here's what he said...

We're in Canada now.  Trish and Chris' flight was delayed, but we went to
the hotel and checked in, and then I drove back to the airport to pick
them up. We're in a bed and breakfast now, and it's really nice.

This morning, we had breakfast in a restaurant near our hotel, and we got
Katrina some wheat toast and some scrambled eggs. When we were finishing
up eating, we noticed some red spots around her mouth. As time went on,
the redness was spreading across her face up to her eyes, and some of the
spots on her mouth were turning white like hives. We got directions to
the nearest immediate care place and took her there right away - if it
kept getting worse, I was afraid that it might make her throat swell and
make it hard for her to breathe. But by the time we got to the office
(about a half hour after we first noticed it), it was getting better, and
by the time we saw the doctor, there was only a little redness around her
eyes remaining. He said to get some children's Benedryl to have just in
case and to not give her anything else that might have eggs in it while
we're in Canada, since the reaction may escalate. She's better now, and
has been drinking a lot of water and has been pretty happy for not getting
her regular naps, so we're trying to get her to take a nap now and she
isn't happy about that.

We'll try to keep you posted - we should have Internet access at the rest
of the hotels while we're out here. I took about 120 pictures at the
Butterfly Conservatory today, so I'm going to have to buy another memory
card to store all of the pictures (and the one that I have is a 1GB card).
Talk to you later!

Okay, time for me to go. Katrina is signing 'more' like crazy ... she loves swinging! I'm going to take some pictures of Daddy and baby. Hope you all are doing well!

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Great Article

I have a dear friend going through a tough time in her marriage. I've continually struggled with the thought of separation/divorce/remarriage. Er, the idea of other people doing it and the spiritual ramifications - not me thinking about leaving Ryan!! Anyway, we were talking today and my friend shared this article with me.

A Woman in Pain

If you have a moment, hit 'comment' and post a reply - I'd love to know your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Our baby said "butt" today.

Yes, it's true. She said her first Lexpletive today. (A Lexpletive is a word that I hate ... and there is a list of them.) We were shopping in Wal-Mart and Katrina reached for the buttons on my dress. I said, rather distracted by searching for an item, "You're playing with Mommy's buttons." And she very plainly said, "Butt. Buuuutttt."

What is this world coming to?!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

A neighbor's house is on fire. :( Not our neighbors like next-door or across the road. It's a house that we can see when we look out our front window, up the hill toward Braddock Heights and Middletown. We heard several sirens and then one very close, so we walked outside and saw it. It's huge. :( I pray no one is injured.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Please pray.

We just got news that the brother of a friend from church was in a bad accident at work. Here is what her e-mail says:

I just received word that my brother, Karl, was in an accident at his work. He has the thrilling job of making and displaying fireworks. The building he was making them in today has exploded for some reason. My brother and another man have been burned. There is still one man missing and he may not have been in the building at the time. Anyway, Karl, was flown to Buffalo at their shock trauma with burns over his entire body. I do not know the extent of his burns at this moment. I am asking for prayer for my family as we look at what the future holds for my brother and his family. The other man is at the local hospital. As soon as I know more I will try to update this message. I am just asking for prayer. We will be leaving for New York soon.
Update: I just got a call that my brother and the other man will not make it through the night. We are going to New York now and not sure when we will return. Pray for our witness to other family members.
-- Dawn

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cleaning and such

Ryan says if I get my computer room cleaned that I can paint it this weekend! Whoo hoo!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Man, I stink!

Er, I stink at posting. Not body odor. At least, I hope not. :) Not much time for posting lately. Here's an e-mail I sent out to family yesterday:

Today was Katrina's nine-month well check. She did great up until her polio shot at the very end ... then anyone listening would think the world was ending, the way she cried. :) She also gave the nurse a very reproachful look as she left the room. Poor, poor baby. Someday she will thank us. I hope.

Katrina now weighs 17 lbs, 2 ounces, which puts her at the 16th-percentile, and is 29.25 inches long (91st-percentile). We saw Dr. Mullen today, the doctor we usually see. Chalk it up to seeing a different doctor, but at Katrina's 6th month checkup, the doctor (not Dr. Mullen) went on and on about how skinny Katrina is and how we may have to change her formula, have blood tests, etc. So of course I've been worried the last three months. Today Dr. Mullen was very reassuring. She says her eleven year old daughter is also tall and skinny for her age, and she had to adjust to the idea that it's okay (and even good) for babies to not be chubby. Of course, Dr. Mullen is 5'2" and probably weights 100 pounds in winter clothing. Ahh, to have that problem... Anyway, she said she would still like to see Katrina put on a little bit of weight. She suggested serving a fourth or even fifth meal a day and trying to incorporate table foods on a regular basis. She said she would tell most parents NOT to add a lot of table foods just yet because the foods we eat are so high in fat and calories, but that such foods would be good for Katrina.

Dr. Mullen was encouraging. She pointed out that while Katrina is slender, she continues to grow taller and increase in head circumference; she's getting teeth (six now!), and is developmentally on schedule with crawling and interacting. Dr. Mullen called Katrina a 'banana baby.' One website says this about so-called 'banana babies':

Long and lean babies (we call them "banana babies") are hypermetabolizers. They burn off calories faster than the plumper "apple babies" and "pear babies." Banana- babies are likely to grow more quickly in height than weight, so that they normally plot above average in height and below average in weight on the growth chart.

In other news, Debbers is having a boy!!! What is up with the baby boys? Leah has two, Jill had a boy, Char is having a boy, and now Debbie and Josh. I guess that just means more husband choices for Katrina. :)

Weight loss is going sloooooooooooooowly for me. Grr.

I'm going to Ohio Saturday and Sunday with Laura (Reynolds) to pick up a dog for them from her parents!

Annnnd... that's all. Life is busy!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I have an entry floating around in my head, but I'm too tired to think straight, at the moment. Until I have a moment, I leave you with this:

Sara, you might remember Jason Perry. He was a Campus Life leader in the Hopkins Park area, and I met him when I was in high school. He started a regular e-mail devotional called Morning Manna that was (is!) absolutely wonderful. I happened to be thinking of a specific Morning Manna today and sat down to Google his name and Morning Manna. And I found his blog! I've e-mailed him, and I'll let you all know what is new with him soon. :)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hmm. Not exactly the look I was going for, but close. I've been at this for an hour now. I'm going to bed.