Monday, January 30, 2012

Nora's Belated Birthday

We did finally get around to letting Nora blow out some candles. You know, after the RSV resort/hospital stay.

Please excuse the gross plates.

We even let her open presents. We're so generous.

I'm pretty sure Nora took this picture.

Also, that poor, little cake was rather stale on the outside. It was fairly depressing. It was still tasty, though.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Nora and Henry were getting really rambunctious and screamy at dinner. They were so loud, in fact, that Everett screamed really loud in absolute displeasure at them. They saw his face, and they stopped. I said, "Guys! He doesn't like that."

They stopped. He was fine.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Want to Remember This

This morning, the kids slept until almost 7 a.m. (HALLELUJAH!). I was still in that lovely place between sleep and awake when they came out of their room. Here's what I heard their little voices saying as I lay there.

Henry: Where's Daddy? Oh, no! Daddy's gone! I didn't get to talk to him! (He sounded clearly distraught about this.)

Nora: Don't worry, Henry. Daddy will be back tonight. (She's usually the one who is terribly distraught when her daddy leaves without saying goodbye.)

Henry: Huh? He be back tonight? Okay.

Willis has been having to leave the house by 6 a.m. to get to work in Gary, so he's been skipping the goodbye kisses to let us all get a little more sleep in the morning. The kids always notice that he's gone, and they're always so sad. They're always cheering each other up about it, too. So stinkin' sweet. And sad.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

RSV 3, Browns 0. Game. Set. Match.

Everett has RSV, and it's likely Nora does, too (they didn't really need to test her because even if she's positive, the outcome is still going to be the same). She obviously has the same cold thing that the boys do, and tonight, she felt warm.

Luckily, neither Nora nor Everett need to be hospitalized at this time. As of this evening, Henry was starting to perk up a bit. He still has some ground he has to cover, though. He's pretty furious that he isn't allowed to leave the room. He keeps asking to put on his "yellow coat and go to the car."

We now have a nebulizer that looks like a seal (seriously. The animal). I'm not sure that was a good idea (it wasn't mine!). Henry's going to want to snuggle that guy when he comes home.

The penguin cake is in the fridge after I realized that I didn't want to attempt to carry it into the hospital with Everett, Nora, our dinner, etc. in the horizontal ice/snow that was happening up here. Let's all hope that it isn't disgusting when we actually get a chance to stick candles on it and cut into it.

The NP at the pediatrician told me today that a lot of times, people will take their children to the hospital and just leave them there (she wasn't saying this was a good idea. She was disparaging it. Swearsies). I was like, "Even if they're, like, two!?"

"Yeah. And, then the nurses have to call the parents to come get the kids."


That's a thing, I guess. I'm pretty sure Henry would tear the walls down if we did that, and then, he'd implode. You probably think I'm exaggerating.

Anyway, Nora's sleeping soundly, now, and Everett's getting a breathing treatment in my lap. We're hoping tomorrow is a little more, um, fruitful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Okay. Uncle!

After an entire day of Henry screaming pretty much non-stop, I decided to call the doctor to try to get him in today. I got him an appointment for 4 p.m. with the pediatrician.

During the feeble nap attempt, I finished up Nora's cake (Yep. Nora's birthday today, by the way), tried to do some work, and then, nap time was pretty much over. (Henry couldn't sleep, and that means Nora didn't, either.)

My friend Lisa offered to take Nora and Everett for me while I took Henry to the doctor. On the way out, I met Frank outside, and he told me, officially, that Dolores had gone. Meanwhile, Nora was so excited to see Frank (she hasn't probably seen him since, like, November), she unloaded her entire two-months of life out in shouts while he and I were conversing. Ugh. She didn't seem to even hear what he said or notice that he was sad. I guess when it's your fourth birthday, that happens.

Then, I saw him taking down his outdoor Christmas decorations alone. I just wanted to get out and go hug him or help or something.

I thought the doctor was going to be a quick trip. It wasn't.

The appointment didn't actually happen until about 4:40, and when it did, it was a series of tests along with a breathing treatment for Henry. It turns out that Henry has RSV. His oxygen levels were so low, they wanted to admit him to the hospital.

This made sense to me (the oxygen levels thing) because for a good portion of the day, Henry wasn't making a whole lot of sense. After nap time, I noticed he had a fever again, too.

So, now, after a small breakdown in the parking lot (Willis met me there, and I wilted), after picking up Nora and Everett at Lisa's, and after leaving Henry and Willis at the hospital, the birthday girl and I are still trying to get to sleep. Maybe tomorrow she'll get to blow out four candles on that penguin cake.

Henry will be at the hospital through tomorrow, and we are hoping that he'll only have to be there 24 hours. We're also hoping that neither Nora nor Everett (especially, since he's so small) end up there, too.

I need to eat something before I go lay down . . .


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We Have Loved Thy Neighbor

I think may have been standing in my kitchen when my neighbor, Dolores, passed today. I was trying not to look through the windows (from mine) next door, but I couldn't help it. There were cars all over our street. There were people filling their house. I could just feel the grief. I could even see them standing there, waiting. Then, I think I saw them crying.

When we first moved here, I used to somewhat hyperventilate at how close our house was to our neighbors' houses, but after awhile, I began to really, really embrace it. In fact, I started to love it. (I grew up with my nearest neighbors being a quarter mile away.)

Dolores was diagnosed with cancer back in November. When Frank told me, I was stunned. Seconds before the news, I had been frustrated—yelling at Henry because we needed to get into the house (God knows I was too busy with everything just prior to the holidays), and Henry was trying to open the garage door to get to the trikes. When Frank told me, the garage door or getting inside or the holidays weren't so important anymore. I remember walking into the house and realizing my face was soaking wet. It wasn't raining.

I could tell Frank knew it was serious—even if the doctors had expressed hope. His face said it all. I don't even think I heard what he said beyond, "Dolores has cancer," and, "We had no warning," and, "She just lost her balance one day."

Dolores had been ripping giant plants out of the ground from the roots just a few months prior. I was 10 months pregnant with Everett, and I'd watch her move in her yard with such ease to the point of where I'd say to myself, "That woman is in better shape and stronger than I am! I can only hope to be that awesome at that age."

I had wondered, however, if something had gone wrong recently. I started noticing that they had more visitors than usual (prior to Frank's news), and at one point, I do remember seeing a walker through the window (again, I couldn't help but to notice/look). I feared that maybe she had fallen and broken a hip. I had not even imagined cancer.

I delivered Christmas cookies to their house just prior to Christmas, and Frank informed me that Dolores was in the hospital but hoped to be home for Christmas (which is also her birthday). He seemed pretty hopeful at the time that she'd be able to achieve that goal and remain home comfortably. It's so sad that he didn't get to have those hopes fulfilled.

Nora and Henry love to stand on our fence and holler at/chat with Dolores when she's outside working in their garden. I'm pretty confident that Nora may have even professed her love to both Dolores and Frank this summer across the fence (which means Henry did, too—copycat). Dolores always talks to them, and her voice is so stinking sweet. How am I ever going to explain to them where she has gone?

She was our neighbor, and we loved her. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nora-Jenny Comparison: January 2012

I saw the idea for this photo theme on Pinterest, and I had to try it out. I have a daughter after all, and you know I love me some photo comparisons.

We aren't nearly the supermodels as the chicks in the original idea photo, but we're having fun with it. Nora was so good about trying to make the right face. I showed her the photo and told her what I wanted to do. She's better at facial expression control than I am.

You can't really tell, but we have the same hairdo today, too.

I didn't even Photoshop this sucker. I probably should've. I'm not even wearing makeup. Yikes.

Anyway, this is us. Nora is very nearly four years old going on 30, an I'm 30 years old going on four.

I'm going to try to do this semi-regularly. And, by regularly, I mean, like, maybe once or twice a year.

Henry was climbing all over us when we were doing this, too, so it was really hard. 

That is all.