Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

We spent New Years at Eric's Parents' home. It was nice to get away from our cluttered apartment for a little while.

Mark was trying to get a picture of all the kids on the stairs that attended, but Thomas didn't want to join... he wanted to get Aaron out of his carseat.

Right after the pictures, Aaron's other cousins also tried to get him out to play!

My two studs on New Years!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Moving Part 2

We've moved! Thanks to all those who helped out! We are now in Oregon.

I didn't take pictures of the craziness that was our house before we loaded the cars... nor did I take any while we were on the road because I drove a lot of the time... but I took some of our rest stops!

The first stop was in Idaho where we visited some family friends. Aaron was excited to get some tummy time after being cooped up in the car for so long! (He really was a trooper... he did great!)

Then we drove through the mountains into Oregon to stay ahead of the scheduled snow storm. At the hotel, Aaron again enjoyed his tummy time ... He has managed a crawl/scoot and so we couldn't leave him on the bed alone even for a second because he moves so fast!

And now we are in our home. It is crazy - Eric said he had to take pictures of it so ... here are the pictures he took.

Me in our bedroom asking Eric why he was taking pictures

Our living room

Our Kitchen

Aaron's room/my craft room

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

What a great holiday! It has been wonderful having Eric home all the time!
We've spent the past several days with my family and we plan to spend one or two more before going back the the craziness that is our house. :D

Christmas Eve was a blast!

My Dad dressed up as Santa Clause for Aaron. I think he knew it was my Dad because he looked so confused and yet at ease. He grabbed onto the beard and didn't let go the whole time my Dad held him.

 Then we read Santa Mouse and the Rat Deer a family tradition though having Santa read it was a new addition. :D

We took pictures with Santa - a happy picture and then one where we were all supposed to do evil glares...

After Santa left we opened our Christmas Eve gifts

Aaron got some new bibs and Eric and I got Incan Gold!

Christmas morning we went to church at 11 for an hour and then came home to open presents.

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful gifts we received! Special mentions:
My parents for the laminator, Eric's parents/my parents for the surround sound system, my parents for the dino music thing, Eric's parents for the animal train, and also for the kitchen aid mixer!

Also thanks to Eric for all of my wonderful gifts!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Call For Pictures -- A Plea For Help

When I started this blog, it was because I heard my sister-in-laws kept blogs and because I had down time at work. I had no idea it would become so crucial later.

I started posting and realized that I post more than most people ... in fact I post more than some blogs who get paid to post. I didn't want to overwhelm those who "follow" my blog so I tried to keep things to a minimum; post enough pictures and words to tell the story and just that.

Well, this past week we wiped our hard-drive. We got a nasty virus on our computer and the wipe would not only clear the virus but also help the computer run better. We did a back up of all the important things before we wiped it. At one point, Eric was telling me that it didn't look like all the pictures were copied over. He read a few folders to me and it sounded like they were all there. If only I had actually glanced at the computer ... instead I was doing something so unimportant at the time that I can't even remember what it was.

We wiped the drive and I went to "personalize" our computer to realize that the only pictures from this year that made it over were the ones from April and August ... the rest were gone. Somehow, the copy process had been interrupted and in alphabetical order it only got 2 files. All the other 10 months were gone.

I am so thankful for this blog. I can go through and download the pictures I uploaded. I uploaded many videos to youtube that I think I can download as well...

But I didn't post everything - that's why I need your help. Please, if you have taken any pictures of my little family this year or have any copies that I sent to you, please email them to me or put them in a dropbox folder and send me a link. Help me fill in the blanks from this year so that when Aaron wants to look back when he gets older, he has photos to see.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Naked Wonder

There are three things that make Aaron the happiest camper you'll ever meet. They are
  • Daddy
  • Being on his tummy
  • Being naked (If he's fussy, generally, all you have to do is pull his pants off and he's infinitely happier)
Combine those three in any combination and you'll get bigger smiles than you can ever get on your own.

Since his surgery, we've had to put Aaron on his back more so he doesn't rub his face into the ground too much. So ... less than a week after his surgery he learned to fluidly roll from his back to his tummy (he's good at going from the tummy to the back too, but usually it's an accident... he's been doing it for months and it is still quite common for him to look surprised after rolling).

Last night, I wish I'd had my camera ready... Aaron loves getting his diaper changed but he loves it the most when Daddy does the changing. We were at my parents' house and Aaron needed a diaper change. Since my parents hadn't seen how happy he gets when Eric changes him, we asked Eric to do the honors. After the initial changing was done, Eric was closing up the dirty diaper and preparing to put on the clean one when all of a sudden, Aaron rolled onto his tummy and got up on all fours. He then started to try and crawl away, naked butt and all. He has figured out how to get up on his hands and knees, rock for a bit, move his legs forward (alternating each leg) and then propel himself forward only to get back up and do it again - heaven help me when he learns to move his hands with his legs... So he didn't get very far but man was he excited to be playing with Daddy, on his tummy, and naked.

I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time... I'll be ready with my camera next time just in case. :D

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Eating the Solids

I was talking to my Grandpa (GP) a little while back and he asked me when Aaron would start to eat solids - I said at 6 months, after we moved. He mentioned how sad my parents would be to miss being able to feed him and suggested that I take lots of videos...

So, when Aaron stopped sleeping through the night and started waking up hungry, I decided to research when to start him on solids. I found that once they can hold up their own head, sit up in a high chair/bumbo, showed interest in table food, and doubled their birth weight, they are ready for solids.

Therefore, I thought it would be a perfect time to start him on solids! He isn't a fan of the store sweet potatoes, but he loves bananas that I make him. :D

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Da Da

Aaron and Eric have a special bond ... and I love it!

This video is from a few days ago...
He calls for Eric even stronger now (he doesn't just whisper) and he does it lots!
His most common time to say Da Da is when I'm trying to put him to bed and he doesn't want to go down yet...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Aaron's Surgery

Aaron went in for his surgery yesterday (December 8). I cannot begin to describe how scared I was and yet how at peace I was knowing that he needed this surgery.

The hospital called the day before and asked us to come in at 6am. Eric was kind enough to get up at midnight to wake Aaron and give him a bottle because our instructions were no food after midnight.

We got up and headed to the hospital. Aaron was in a terrific mood! He charmed anyone who looked at him. He will single somebody out and smile at them until he can't see them anymore and then pick someone else. If he chooses you and you see him smiling at you, you can't help but smile back. He has a unique ability to make anybody's day better. His smile is so genuine.

We got checked in and after measurements were taken we changed Aaron into his hospital garb.

It was fun because a nurse came running in saying she heard there was a cute, happy baby and she just had to see him. Who else can make people so happy at 6am, besides Aaron?

We had to wait for a while once we were back there and poor Aaron slowly started to get hungry... but we couldn't feed him. Luckily, he loves technology. He played with my phone for a bit and then we took out Eric's xoom. He colored and watched Toy Story 3 while we waited.

The surgeon came in to visit with us and re-explain the procedure. He also explained what we would need to do when we got Aaron back.

Then, the nurse assigned to Aaron during surgery came in to meet with us and explain that everything was going to be all right.

Then the anesthesiologist came in and talked to us as well. I was so grateful to have them all come visit us. I felt more confident in their abilities having seen them right before the surgery.

Each time someone came in to talk to us, Aaron would give them his undivided attention. He would look at them while they spoke and give them smiles.

After we met everyone, it wasn't long before his nurse came back with a warm blanket to carry him away. I am so glad they didn't just lay him on the bed and wheel him away. An orderly came back for the bed after Aaron was gone.

After Eric reassured me that everything was going to be fine, we settled down to play Plants vs Zombies to pass the time. We knew the surgery was supposed to take at max 40 minutes or so. Soon, 40 minutes came and passed. The people across the hall (an older woman and a 3-4 year old child) who had been taken after Aaron were wheeled back into their rooms and we still hadn't heard anything.

Finally, a nurse came down to let us know he was in a recovery room and that she hadn't heard of any complications... Then a bit later the surgeon also came down to talk to us. He explained that everything had gone well and the reason it took so long was Aaron was a hard stick for an IV. (When we saw him, we found a hole in each hand and a hole in each foot. I am very glad that They used gas to put him out before attempting to insert his IV.)

 I heard Aaron before I saw him. I leaped out of my seat and moved for the door. A gentleman came in carrying Aaron. He was so distraught, but who wouldn't be? No one likes being cut open and coming out of anesthesia is misery! We had to watch to make sure his oxygen levels were high enough. We tried talking to him, bouncing him, etc. but nothing seemed to calm him. He calmed when we placed a bottle in his mouth but his oxygen levels dropped so we had to take it back out.That made it even worse. His monitors stopped working and needed to reboot so we placed the bottle back in his mouth but he didn't want it anymore. At this point, I wanted to sing to him but I couldn't because I too was crying. Finally, I settled back on the bed that was brought in, placed Aaron on my shoulder, and patted his back. Eric came up behind us and started singing 5 Little Ducks. It was a matter of seconds before Aaron calmed down and a matter of minutes before he was asleep. The nurse came back in and hooked him up to his monitors. Luckily, his oxygen levels were high enough and we didn't need to wake him.

After a 20 minute nap, Aaron was his old self. He seemed to have forgotten that he was uncomfortable, forgotten that he had been traumatized before, and started smiling at me. He was still a bit groggy, but soon he was just fine. We fed him a bottle leaving him where he had fallen asleep.

His heart rate jumped when he started eating so the nurse came in to make sure everything was ok. He was simply excited. Then, Eric poked his head over to say hi to Aaron. Aaron gave a huge smile and his heart rate jumped even higher bringing the nurse back in a second time. When we told her what happened, she simply smiled and put the machine on silent -- understanding that Aaron was a happy child, excited to see his dad, and that his heart rate was likely to jump again.

It wasn't long before Aaron wanted to stand up. He was pushing against me and he wanted to look around the room. He was literally, himself. The only thing the nurses wanted to watch was his oxygen levels, and since those were fine, we were able to go home. She asked us to call a doctor if he wasn't giving us wet diapers -- which he totally went to the bathroom while he was eating, so no worries there.

We changed his clothes and got ready to leave. He was looking at everything. It was amazing how much more he could see now that his left eye was no longer covered with his eye lid. He smiled at more people and charmed even more nurses. I felt so terrible because the 3-4 year old across the hall was still crying softly, worn out. As a parent, I know that would be one of the hardest things to witness. If Aaron had kept crying and hadn't been able to simply sleep off the after-effects of the anesthesia, I honestly don't know what I would have done.

Now, a day later, he's still doing great. Even this morning when he hadn't had Tylenol for 12 hours, he woke up happy and talking.  We captured a few videos of him and once they've uploaded, I'll share them with you. But for now, know that he is happy and healthy and he can see.

Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Family Photos

Kristen had never done family portraits before, let alone with a baby in the mix. I felt like she did a SPECTACULAR job getting Aaron's attention and capturing the picture when we were all smiling. Her lighting and editing were also superb.  She was great to work with and I when I told her that I needed some photos to use for Christmas cards that I wanted to get printed a few days after the shoot, she worked really hard to get me these photos by that deadline. 

 I think the one of all of us on our tummies has to be my favorite of the 3 of us.
 And this one is DEFINITELY my favorite of Eric and Aaron :D