Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lilymei's Baptism...We are so blessed!

We had a great day on Sunday as we enjoyed Lilymei's Holy Baptism! It was a beautiful day on Guam and Lilymei was in a great mood. Father Theisen performed the mass along with the help of Nate and Drew as altar servers. Steve and Carleen, Lily's Godparents, joined our family in celebrating this sacrament and great day.

Here are a few pictures of Lilymei with her Godparents and Nate. The last picture is of the North Shore in Hawaii. I thought I did a good job on the photo, probably just the new camera.
We miss you all, thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Double Digits!!

Scott and I are in amazement. Not in the fact that we have 3 beautiful children. Not in the fact that we are so very blessed. What is amazing to us is that our 'baby boy' is 10 YEARS OLD. Drew was born 10 years ago Sunday, October 26th, at 5:37am. He was 16 days early and he hasn't slowed down once in the past 10 years. At birth, Drew was 21" long and weighed in at 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces. Now Drew is 4' 10" tall and weighs 83 pounds.

Drew was able to spend his birthday afternoon doing something he has wanted to do for a very long paintball. On Andersen a brand new paintball field opened up just about a month ago. Minimum age to play....10. How old is Drew now?....10! Scott, Drew, and Nate suited up in whatever long-sleeved, long pants old clothes they could find and headed out in the heat of the day for 2 hours of paintball fun in the sun. Lilymei and I stayed back in the air-conditioning, napping (Lily) or lesson planning (Jean). All 3 boys came back excited, exhausted, and extremely bruised! What a wonderful day ~ Drew said he didn't remember having that much fun in a long time.

After the boys all showered, again, Drew was chomping at the bit to open some birthday presents. Below, Drew is holding the movie he received from Gram. We have a rule in our house... you can't watch the movie if you haven't read the book yet. Every night, if possible, I try to read aloud to the boys. Right now, we are reading the 5th Harry Potter book. Looks like Drew will be able to watch his new movie as soon as we finish it.

For dinner Sunday night we took Drew out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Al Dente, located in the Hyatt Hotel, downtown Tumon. We invited Lilymei's godparents to join us. We had a nice dinner. Drew was able to eat his all-time favorite food ~ pizza from the brick oven. He was surprised with a double portion of chocolate cake for dessert, complete with candle and birthday singing.

Drew is such a wonderful, loving son and brother. We are so proud of him. Congratulations on your 10th birthday Drew! We love you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our new First Class Scout!

We had a busy weekend and now we have lots of news and photos to share. Even though I should be in bed sleeping by now I wanted to get Nate's update on the blog. Saturday evening was the BSA Court of Honor. Since the last Court of Honor Nate has earned 2 ranks; Second Class and First Class. Yippee! Nate has been working very hard to earn his ranks along with 4 more Merit Badges and we are so proud of him.

Andersen's Boy Scouts have unofficially adopted Lilymei as one of their own and she is the proud owner of a Pack 20/Troop 20 t-shirt with hot pink lettering. She loves it! She wore it Saturday night~ it was the cutest thing! She also clapped for each and every boy receiving their awards.

Lilymei with her Boy Scout/Cub Scout t-shirt on. Of course she wears a matching pink bow!

Nate receiving his recruiter patch from his Scout Leader, Tom. Way to go Nate!

Lilymei after our family photo shoot on Friday afternoon. I don't think she smiled for the photographer but she always smiles at home! Thank you Christine for the beautiful dress!

Check back soon....we have lots of photos to share from Sunday....Drew's 10th birthday and Lilymei's baptism.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Can we exhale yet?

"I love these apricots Mom! Can I have some more?"

Where has the week gone? It seems like I just unpacked the suitcases.....oh yeah....I just did! Actually, I haven't even put the suitcases away yet, but in my defense, in order to do that I have to pull off our mattress and box spring and gently place those large suitcases under the bed frame. I can't wait until we have a "little" bit more room.

On the bright side Lilymei has had a couple more "firsts" this week:
  • She will no longer lay nicely when I am changing her diaper. She squirms like crazy!

  • She will attempt to stand on her head like her loving brother Drew taught her to!

  • She will show her "frown" or "smile" face on demand! Too cute if I do say so myself.

  • She will "Patty Cake" all the hand motions over and over and she is learning "Itsy Bitsy Spider" now too.

and last of all but most exciting......

  • Lily can stand alone and she took 5 steps all by herself!!! She is so proud of herself as are we. It won't be long now before she is running~I know....look out.

Tomorrow we are having a family photo taken. Poor Lily is suffering from her first cold (with us) and Drew has some sort of impetigo on his chin. I wonder if we can have all of our faults airbrushed out of the picture. Maybe I should reschedule but I just wanted to have it done on base and not have to drive "all the way down town" to have it done. We'll wing it and see what happens.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I took Lilymei to the pediatrician the day after we arrived home from Hawaii to have her spots looked at. Even though the spots were healing up nicely I just wanted another set of eyes to take a peek at them. Lilymei's doctor feels that she did indeed have a mild case of the chicken pox. At least she had them before Halloween. I would hate to think of how many more children would have been exposed had those spots come out 3 weeks later!

Friday, October 17, 2008

MRI Results

We made it home safely from Hawaii last night. We were all so glad to be in our own beds. Lily did wake up at 3:30am, 5:30am, and then was up for good by 7:15am. That's ok. Scott was already up getting ready for work, and I couldn't sleep anymore myself.

We did meet with the neurologist on Tuesday to discuss the results of the MRI. We have GREAT news! Lily does not have hydrocephalus! She does have ventriculomegaly (enlarged ventricles) but she is not having any problems with increased pressure in her head. Lily's body is taking care of any excess cerebral spinal fluid that is roaming around inside her skull on its own. The neurologist also talked about her subdural bleeds. Neither one is currently bleeding. The doctor does not expect her to have any problems with them. He did stress that she could have more bleeds if she falls and hits her head since the blood vessels are stretched between her brain and the skull. Overall though, she is very healthy. She is making tremendous strides in catching up in all areas of her development. We do not have to do ANYTHING medically for her. God is good! The neurologist suggested that she continue to be monitored by her pediatrician more often than the yearly well-baby visits and we will continue with her weekly physical therapy sessions to get her walking as soon as possible. We thought we might have to go back to Hawaii in 6 months for another MRI or even move back stateside for more medical care but the doctor said no. We are free to roam around the world as much as we would like. (I know all of our family in Ohio is not happy to hear that part.) We are just so thankful that all is well with everyone in the family. Thank you for all your prayers!

Last, but not least, we would like to thank Letty and Marlon for taking care of the boys for us while we were off island. We felt so much better knowing everything was ok with the boys so we could concentrate on Lily and Scott. Many thank-you's Letty and Marlon!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Up?

"Get your running shoes on... we've got a lot of stuff to catch up on!"

Sorry we haven't updated lately.  We have been having trouble with the internet in our hotel room.  So, what have we been up to the last 3 days?  On Friday, our anniversary, we went to the Pearl Harbor NEX. There we purchased a new stroller for Lily (finally!).  For lunch we went to Anna Miller's where we couldn't help but have a slice of one of their 31 kinds of pie.  Lily was too busy eating her french fries to try a bite.  Friday night we went to Bandito's Cantina for a Mexican dinner.  Lilymei had lots of interesting things to look at on the walls and ceiling to keep her entertained until her Spanish rice and cheese quesadilla came.  She loved the rice...surprise, surprise!  

Saturday we slept late (until @9am) and then had a leisurely breakfast.  We packed up Lilymei's new stroller and headed to the Honolulu Zoo.  Lily's first visit to the ZOO!  It was very warm but the zoo had lots of shade trees along the paths.  Lilymei loved the animals.  Her favorites included the monkeys, the giraffes, and the birds.  After the zoo we walked the Waikiki beach up to the Outrigger Hotel where we had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants~ Duke's.  

"Just hanging around at the zoo playground."

Sunday morning after church we packed up the van and headed towards the North Shore. Lilymei fell asleep while Scott was driving.  Sneaky Mom and Dad pulled over at the Dole Plantation and Scott ran in and bought us each a Dole Whip ice cream cone.  As Lily would have said it if she were awake when we ate it....YUM!  We drove a little bit longer until we arrived in the little town of Haleiwa.  Lily woke up as we pulled into town so we stopped for lunch at Kua'aina Sandwich Shop~home of the world's best hamburger.  We can tell Lilymei is almost 2~she took ONE bite of her hamburger and refused to eat any more.  She looked pretty sad when we parked the van at the North Shore and she signed the word "eat" and Scott said NO. Those big dark eyes were starting to tear up.  We walked down to the beach where Lilymei did not want to get into the water.  She lifted her legs so as to not get sand on them.  Eventually, she did sit on the beach towel and played with some shells.  

Monday morning I had my hair cut and colored.  Then we did a little bit of shopping on base. We let Lily take an early nap and for dinner tonight we went to Ruth's Chris for dinner. Delicious!!!  Lily loved the cut up bananas and strawberries that were brought out for her before her meal arrived.  She loved the calamari appetizer and the butter off of her slice of bread.  She then had the veal ravioli for her main entree.  Lily was tickled pink when her vanilla ice cream came out for dessert.  She did so well throughout the whole meal.  We couldn't ask for her to be any better.  She's mastered this fine dining gig!

Tuesday morning we meet with the neurologist to go over Lilymei's MRI results.  Please pray that all goes well.  As far as the bug bites go....we did have them looked at again.  We're still not sure what they are but they're slowly healing up and Lily is not itching them any longer.   Poor baby.  

Friday, October 10, 2008

16 Happy Years!

The date on today's post says October 11th; the reason being, the computer is still on Guam time.  :-)  Actually, here in Hawaii, we are 20 hours behind Guam time so it is still Friday, October 10th.  October 10th is a special day for Scott and I.  16 years ago today, I married my BEST friend.  Scott is a wonderful husband.  I can't imagine life without him.  He does so much for me.  I treasure what we have together.  

Honey, thank you for sharing the past 16 years with me as my husband.  I hope you know how much I love you, always and forever; we are one.

I love you Scott!  Happy Anniversary!!

MRI and Chicken Pox

Our first full day in Hawaii included a visit to the Tripler Army Medical Center.  Lilymei had a health and wellness visit.  She has really grown over the past month.  Lily now weighs 25 pounds and is almost 33 inches long.  Once again, she did NOT like the doctor visit.  She cries every time she is put on the scale, has anyone (in the doctor's office) look inside her mouth or ears, or sees a stethoscope.  We met with a pediatrician to discuss what we were hoping to find out from the MRI.  After that meeting we went to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) and spoke with the sedation nurse.  She explained exactly what would be happening in order to sedate Lilymei for the procedure.  We left feeling well informed, excited to finally get a better idea of what is going on inside our sweet Lily's head.  

After the doctor visit we headed down to Waikiki for lunch at Bubba Gump's Shrimp House. We had a great lunch and then decided to do a little shopping.  Our first stop was Lenscrafters where I picked out a new set of glasses.  We had an hour to kill before my glasses would be done so we walked into Macy's where we purchased a few things for Lily and me.  It was at this time that we noticed Lily had a few bug bites.  She had one on her hand and a couple on her legs.  By the time we got back to our housing I counted 15 "bites".  Scott gave her a dose of benadryl and we hoped for the best.  

This morning we needed to be on the road by 6:45am in order to beat the "rush" to Tripler.  I'm not kidding!  The parking lots are packed by 8:00am.  I've never been in such a large medical facility.  During the night, Lily must have been itching her spots because some of them looked larger and were starting to ooze.  She was crying by the time we drove the 15 minutes from Hickam to Tripler.  We showed the nurses in PICU.  We also showed them to the doctor who would be doing the MRI.  I'll let you know how that issue was resolved in a minute.  

Lily cried, once again, when the nurse checked her vital signs.  She was very scared when her IV was put in but she didn't require pre-sedation.  We wrapped her up like a papoose with one arm out and she stayed still enough for the needle to go right in.  Yeah!!!  Scott and I walked down to the MRI room with Lily and stayed with her until she was out.  We had just enough time to grab a bite to eat and then it was time to wait for her to come out.  Lily was waking up when they rolled her out to the waiting room and by the time we got back to the PICU she was pretty coherent.  She wanted all the gizmos and gadgets off right away.  We didn't have to wait too long before they released us.  

We asked again, what to do about all those bug bites.  While we were in the hospital more bumps were surfacing.  We ultimately decided that since we were already in the hospital we would just stop off at the pediatric unit and see a doctor.  We were escorted to an isolation room because of her "unknown skin condition".  The nurse assistant thought it looked like chicken pox.  Great!!!  Chicken pox within a day of arriving on Hawaii!  Just 2 weeks ago Lilymei had a varicella vaccination.  When the doctor came in he thought the spots were just bug bites.  He said that since the spots were mostly on exposed skin on her legs and feet and not on the rest of her body, for the most part, that it was not chicken pox.  Whew!  We went back to Hickam with hydrocortisone and more benadryl.  Since Lily loves to put lotion on she loved having the hydrocortisone rubbed in.  We will see how she does overnight and if things don't look better we will be going right back to the doctor.

We have been talking to Nate and Drew each night.  They are doing well; enjoying their time at Letty and Marlon's home.  I hear they have been working very hard to get their school work done so when their friends get home they can play the Wii.  Maybe they are hoping we won't be home on time so they can stay a little bit longer with their friends.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We made it to Hono!

Lilymei and Jean both did great on the flight over to Honolulu. We grabbed a quick bite to eat last night at Panda Express, yes I know how bad orange chicken is, but I had a double portion! We are just getting ready to head out for our doctor appts. this morning. Nate and Drew are doing great at our friends house, it probably seems like vacation to them.
We received great news that our friends William and Susan will be traveling in the next few weeks to Ethiopia to pick up their new son, congratulations!
We will try to post as much as possible, miss you all. Scott, Jean , and Lilymei 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Look Out Hawaii Here We Come!

We, Jean, Scott, and Lilymei, are getting ready to go to Hawaii for the week. Lilymei has appointments at Tripler Army Medical Center to evaluate her hydrocephalus. Life has been pretty hectic around here. Scott finished up with a major inspection at the clinic; they received an 'excellent'. The boys have been staying busy with Boy/Cub Scouts, to include bowling this weekend. Drew won a gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse; he was pretty excited. It seemed like everyone had a doctors appt of some kind last week. Jean and the boys all got new eyeglasses prescriptions. Jean will pick out her new frames while in Hawaii so she doesn't match everyone on the island of Guam. Swimming is in full gear and Drew is ready for his first practice since early September. We are posting some random photos so everyone can see how big Lilymei is getting. She is starting to walk while only holding one hand of her helper. She is starting to say "pumpkin, rock (as in rocking chair)", and tries to say more and more everyday. Lily loves to give eskimo nose kisses and laughs a ton. Jean is going to a baby shower that the Andersen Home school group is throwing tomorrow night. We have been so blessed by all of the gifts that have been sent and given to us. Thank you to everyone! Nate has a camp out next weekend while we are in HI and he can't wait to use his new Hennessey Hammock. Nate used his $200 he won this summer to buy this "top of the line" camping gear. We will hopefully post from Honolulu. We miss you all. Take care and God Bless. Please enjoy the pictures and yes, Jean has dark brown hair again!

Lilymei joined our family...

Lilymei was born...

Drew is...

Nate is...

Jean and Scott have been married....