Thursday, December 20, 2007

Okay, okay ...

So I got a little bit of ribbing for my last post. I had previously said my next blog entry would be announcing the baby, then instead I posted about Dan Fogelberg. Well, here's the news you've all been waiting for ... she's here! Mikayla Petra was born yesterday (Wednesday December 19) at 2:02 a.m. She was 6 lbs 12 oz and 21" at birth. Here is a picture of her and Katrina together:

We are home and happy. Ryan is making chocolate chip cookies, Katrina is watching a Dora movie, and I am typing one-handed while feeding Mikayla.

Topics for my next post: the birth story, and how Ryan smashed our van.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Singer Dan Fogelberg dies

From ...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dan Fogelberg, the singer and songwriter whose hits "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne" helped define the soft-rock era, died Sunday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56.

His death was announced Sunday on the singer's Web site.

"Dan left us this morning at 6 a.m. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife, Jean, at his side," it read. "His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."

Fogelberg discovered he had advanced prostate cancer in 2004. In a statement then, he thanked fans for their support: "It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. ... I thank you from the very depths of my heart."

Fogelberg's music was powerful in its simplicity. He didn't rely on the volume of his voice to convey his emotions; instead, they came through in the soft, tender delivery and his poignant lyrics. Songs like "Same Old Lang Syne" -- in which a man reminisces after meeting an old girlfriend by chance during the holidays -- became classics not only because of his performance, but also for the engaging storyline.

Fogelberg's heyday was in the 1970s and early '80s, when he scored several platinum and multiplatinum records fueled by such hits as "The Power of Gold" and "Leader of the Band," a touching tribute he wrote to his father, a bandleader. Fogelberg put out his first album in 1972.

Fogelberg's songs tended to have a weighty tone, reflecting on emotional issues in a serious way. But in an interview with the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel in 1997, he said it did not represent his personality.

"That came from my singles in the early '80s," he reflects. "I think it probably really started on the radio. I'm not a dour person in the least. I'm actually kind of a happy person. Music doesn't really reflect the whole person.

"One of my dearest friends is Jimmy Buffett. From his music, people have this perception that he's up all the time, and, of course, he's not. Jimmy has a serious side, too."

Later in his career, he would write material that focused on the state of the environment, an issue close to his heart. Fogelberg's last album was 2003's "Full Circle," his first album of original material in a decade. A year later he would receive his cancer diagnosis, forcing him to forgo a planned fall tour.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Family Date Night

We decided to eat out at Red Lobster tonight - one final 'family date night' before This Baby (still unnamed!) arrives. We eat out more often than we should, but the last few times have been brutal because Katrina has acted up. Trying new things has helped ... instead of ordering her food first, we have learned that giving her a snack then getting her food with ours works better, etc. Tonight was GREAT! The food was good, Ryan and I had a chance to talk (about HD TiVos, of all things), and Katrina was so well behaved! She sat in a booster seat and ate applesauce and few bites of Mommy's salad all by herself. She didn't even throw too much of a fuss when I took her lemonade away (I was afraid she would drink too much and not eat). The best part, though, came at the end. Katrina was sitting by Ryan and I said to her, "Katrina, you were such a good girl tonight! You behaved very well at this restaurant." Her response? "I hug you!" We got a kick out of that. Apparently her love language is a combination of words of affirmation and physical touch. :) What a great night ... a great set of memories to look back upon when our family was 'just' three.

This Baby is due on Saturday ... today is Thursday (evening) ... no signs of labor yet. Probably good, since we still have to decide on a name! If all goes as planned/hoped for, this will probably be the last entry until she arrives. So, I hope to post soon with a big announcement..........

Monday, December 03, 2007

LIfe with a two-year-old

I really should get in the shower, but there are so many things Katrina has said/done lately that I don't want to forget to share them!

Thanksgiving day: We went to Simon and Laura's house. Simon has a piano-sized keyboard in the back room, and the kids love playing on it. Katrina is very good about asking before doing something (usually!), and this was no exception. Except she kept asking if she could "play Simon's e-mail." Play Simon's e-mail? What in the world? Finally I asked her to show me what she meant, and she led me to the keyboard. Finally I got it! To her, "keyboard" = "computer" = "e-mail." We tell her she can't play with our keyboards at home because we are sending e-mails for work, etc. So by asking "play Simon's e-mail?" she was asking if she could play with the piano keyboard like the other kids. :)

Christmas lights: Everywhere we go, Katrina points out Christmas lights and Christmas trees. I don't know how she knows "Christmas" as I'm sure she doesn't remember last year, but it's so cute and amazing to hear her excitement and awe every time she sees lights. We've been talking about whose birthday it is at Christmas, and that Christmas is when we celebrate that Jesus came from Heaven to Earth as a little baby to be our Savior.

The best "Christmas lights" story just happened last week. I had to run to the post office after work, and since it was Thursday, Ryan was down in Virginia. Katrina and I turned out of the post office onto Patrick Street, which is lined with trees with white lights. She shouted, "Christmas lights!" and proceeded to say "thank you" for nearly every tree on the street. It went something like this: "Christmas lights! Thank you, Mommy! Thank you ... thank you ... thank you ... thank you, Mommy! Christmas lights! Thank you ... thank you ... thank you!!" (Of course, her "thank you" sounds more like "tank ooo," but I knew what she meant.)

There are many more Katrina stories to share, but I need to get ready for work. Today starts my second-to-last week before the baby is due, and there is so much to do! I am blessed with a great work environment and supportive people (I'm over my super-crabbiness from a few weeks ago), but I am about stretched to the limit with only ten days of work left. Plus it's a sad time at work. Hal's wife has been battling brain cancer for more than a year now, and keeps having complex complications. Keith, our stubborn but lovable CFO was just diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and begins a long series of treatments this week - he has a 2-year-old and a six-month old at home. And the most heartwrenching to me ... our HR director's baby was just diagnosed with an infantile muscle-wasting disease at eight-weeks old, and given a year or two to live. I am confident God is in control as our "family" aches through these seasons of pain and loss.