Monday, December 21, 2009

Pneumonia - clarification

I received a stuffed Pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumonia) doll in the mail this past week. It was from Giant Microbes
(I heard there was some confusion.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I thought I was feeling much better but then I felt a whole new type of pneumonia. A (relatively) big fluffy kind. 5-7" to be exact.

Meet the giant microbes.
Thanks Moz!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

World War T

This past weekend some of Michael's friends from high school got together at a family home up in the Columbus area. We were looking forward to seeing folks and getting the kids together to play. Or at least we were excited until Tovina woke up at 5:30am and started vomiting Saturday morning. By noon she seemed to have stopped - or at least taken a break for nap time. Michael checked in with the host family and they gave us the okay to visit. Little did they know....

Everything seemed fine until some unthinking mother of Tovina gave the newly recovered little girl some cheese, crackers, and cocktail weenies as a snack at the party since she was so hungry. 15 minutes later T's stomach showed its displeasure all over the kitchen floor. (So glad she came down from the kid's bedroom to let us know she wasn't feeling well!) After that display all was well again, or so we thought...

I just learned that while Tovina was fine come the next day our little Patient Zero passed on her delightful condition to the host family and at least one other guest who was kind enough to play with her.

If its any consolation, Michael also became quite ill too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Illness update

Yesterday I finished my 4th round of anti-biotics. For anyone who might have been counting, that was one more than last reported. That's because the third round didn't quite kick my pneumonia habit though it did come close. Today I feel fine. Hopefully I will still feel fine tomorrow and the day after that. If I can make it to Thursday I'm pretty sure I'm home free.

I hope.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy days

Why is Tovina happy? Because she is potty training! As of Saturday Tovina is trying out this new thing called, 'where did all the padding around my bum go?' or sometimes, 'I never noticed how uncomfortable these pants were before.' She is doing very well with the process and since Monday has only had 1 accident - and that one was at school - yay!

Disclaimer: diapers are still used for naps and nighttime. We're not that brave yet.
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009


We went to a Latke pre-Chanukah party with a Pirate/Princess theme this weekend. Tovina was given a choice between ballerina or pirate gear. It was an agonizing decision where she really wanted both until finally settling on the tiara and a pink ballerina skirt. She was very fond of the tiara... for 10 minutes until it got in her way. She liked the bouncy castle (until it got scary but then a big, 1 inch taller, 3 year old escorted her out.) T also had her hair sprayed glitter gold (her choice-made her look like a Hollywood blonde), got some glitter brushed on her cheeks (very little), danced the limbo, got a balloon scepter, ate latkes, requested and received a pirate ship temporary tattoo, and, just before we left, scrounged a pirate skull balloon of which she is very fond.

We're so proud.
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Holiday parade

Dan took some great photos of the kids enjoying a parade a week ago. You should check it out here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Beach time.

It was 40's (F) outside yesterday. That's why T decided she needed her Daddy's earmuffs. Then she asked about other clothes. I told her she could get some pants if she wanted to put over her leggings. She was very excited and took off.

She came back with this swimsuit half on exclaiming excitedly about going to the beach.

Creative child.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Challah baking - a family event

Michael explaining to Tovina how the challah bakes in the oven.

Tovina explaining to Michael how the challah bakes in the oven.

And now T is making sure I understand too.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

That's not funny

Just wanted to give an update for those of you keeping up with the joke currently known as my health. You may remember I reported that there was some illness in the house. Having just checked, I can now tell you that I have been sick since at least Oct 24th which is almost 4 weeks! I thought I was getting better - twice. It turns out I was wrong - twice. I now have pneumonia, an exciting first for me, and am on my THIRD round of antibiotics in 3 weeks. (Yes, I have been very good and taken all of the antibiotics until the very end even if I started feeling better, which I really wasn't so this didn't come up so much.) This round of antibiotics included a shot in, as described by the nurse, my 'heinie'. (In case you were curious, I looked it up and that is the proper spelling.) It also means I am back in quarantine so as to not help Tovina also reach this, hopefully avoided (and really not so important), first milestone.

Another fun consequence, as of tomorrow I will have missed 3 days of my second week of work. Not exactly the stellar first impression I was hoping to give my new co-workers (though I suppose it's a better gift to give than pneumonia.) Luckily I now have a job that allows telecommuting (a much nicer and equally exciting first.) I am also working with some very nice people who agree with crazy priorities - like not being sick for the rest of the winter is more important than physically being at the work site.

Interesting side notes (or at least interested to me as I realize that I am up waayyyyyyyyy to late at night. I thought the codeine in one of my exciting new medications was suppose to make me sleepy!?)
1) I have been joking with Michael that I am apparently never going to get better. When I made this joke I was thinking that I had been sick for a couple, maybe even three, weeks. Not FOUR. Not until adding it up for this blog did I realize how much closer to truth my joke was. It no longer seems funny.
2) Some of my longest blogs (text rather than photo blogs that is, since pics take up so much room) seem to be ones that start off very short. At first pass, this post was 6 lines long. What happened? And why am I adding still more?
3) Why are there so many numbers in this blog?
4) When I am up too late I apparently enjoy commas and parentheses A LOT. Maybe that just means I like run-ons more? Or maybe I have more free-association thoughts which require more assistance to allow you, my crazy readers who have actually stayed with me this far into the blog, to accurately 'hear' them when reading them to yourselves. Or maybe, even considering these possibilities is a very, very good indication that I should just stop typin

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exploding pigtails

Pigtails: Exploded configuration
Pigtails: Non-exploded configuration
And Tovina is actually happy in that first picture, she was just making faces. I even have a picture to prove it - I wasn't going to share it because it is blurry you see... or don't as the case may be.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Tonight Michael made curried chicken (it was suppose to be chicken vindaloo but it wasn't quite spicy enough but ohhhh was it good.) Michael used a fork to eat from his bowl. I was eating my portion with chopsticks. Tovina told us she wasn't hungry. Then she came to the table, looked around, and decided that not only did she want food, she also wanted chopsticks with which to eat it. She's asked for chopsticks before. Her desire to use them usually lasts about 20 seconds at which point she reverts to fingers. But this time, Michael found her 2 short metal chopsticks. They came in a little traveling case where the top and bottom of the chopsticks unscrew so they are easier to carry around. Tovina was given just the bottom half - more her size.
Then, much to our surprise, she started eating with them.
She found the potatoes difficult but the chicken quite straight forward.
Here is a video of her happily eating away.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just let me pack this bag first

Tovina has developed a bit of a regular post-dinner routine - we go for a plane ride. She packs her sheep backpack and her small carry-on that she got from Japan Airline and she takes her 'ticket' and then we get on the plane. We check the number on her ticket and she takes the appropriate seat (her rocking chair) and then she puts her bags under the coffee table or her chair depending on her mood. I get to sit in the big rocking chair in front of her and then we fly. Yesterday and today we flew to see Grandpop to wish him happy birthday (its not actually in case you were wondering.) A few times while we're in the air T and I switch seats (its not easy getting my tush into her rocking chair) and she flies for a while. She is quite a good pilot. When we land, she takes out all her bags and her ticket and then I get to chase her around the house until it is time to get into her pajamas.
It makes for a pretty good night.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Popcorn Ball

One of T's fav wins from the evening. (It was only distributed to the really cool kids in the neighborhood.)
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Arrayed before you are a Southern Belle (why do people keep asking if I'm Scarlett O'Hara?), Tinkerbell, Luke Skywalker, and Cindy Lou Who (from How the Grinch Stole Christmas).

Its hard to see, but Max does in fact have an antler tied to the top of his head. Tovina's antenna might only have lasted the first half of the evening, but she had fun the whole night through! Really loved the whole getting candy thing!
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Starting today

Good news everybody. Today I start my new job. Actually, its 6:30 so I need to head out the door.
I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

What did you bring to the party?

Michael learned this question and its special answer from (I sorry to admit) one of my cousins while we were in Canada in August. Ever since then he has been trying to train Tovina in the proper answer. Unfortunately, he has succeeded.

If you haven't made out the answer, Tovina is saying, "2 guns and a 6 pack." This would be in reference to her 2 might guns (or biceps as some people call them) which she holds up for all to see and her impressive 6-pack abs which she then points to.

After all, what else do you really need for a good party?

In the name of full disclosure, she actually only has 2 pack abs. No picture of this, you'll just have to trust us on this one.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

House of plague

I'm sorry that there have not been any postings recently. There has been a small case of terrible horrible ickyness in the house. T and I were both battling colds for over a week until T was weakened enough to succumb to an infection that took her out for a few days. While she was sick she laughed, ran, ate, and pretty much ignored the fact that anything was wrong. While she still has a few more days of medicine to go, she's all better now.
After T got sick I also took a turn for the worse and I have been, shall we say... slightly, hideously... more ill.
Its bad enough that Michael has quarantined me. The plus side is that I'm in the master bedroom and Michael also brought the microwave in for me to have hot water. Of the many downsides, while I am not allowed to go out and join them, I can hear Michael and Tovina laughing in the other rooms - or maybe being able to hear that joy is an upside? I've been to the doctor and have antibiotics of my very own now but my recovery is somewhat slower than T's has been.

So, with the lower energy, I haven't been on the computer much. But never fear, recovery is in sight and I will try to be back to posting more stories of Tovina by the end of the week.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Darn those tricky caps

Tovina is a big fan of chapstick. She loves putting it on (on her lips, cheeks, nose, chin) and taking on and off the cap. But those caps are rather small and can be hard for little hands to grip and pull. Right now, T's favorite chapstick is an old fruit flavored one of Sheila's. Apparently that one lonely chapstick was not important enough in the scheme of all the other boxes of things in Sheila's life to make the cut for the move to Sheila's new house. However, that chapstick need not worry over which was the case for it has found true acceptance with Tovina.

I am sorry to say that I don't have any pictures of T licking her new favorite the chapstick but I do have pictures of Tovina impressing Aunt Mari with her great cap removal abilities.

Once again, these are photos are from Turkey. There are 2 reasons for that.
1) These are some really fun photos and I wanted an excuse to share them.
2) Our regular camera is off enjoying a holiday in Hawaii. We are hoping it will be willing to share some very exciting pictures with us when it gets back.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diapers and pools

T is potty training. Her day care has really gotten her excited about going on the potty and we are trying to continue it here at home. Today, in an effort to provide more incentive I offered to put her in pull-up diapers. Tovina was initially very excited! Great idea! Yes Mom! Let's go swimming!

Wait... what?

Apparently she has some good memories from this summer with her swim diapers and when she saw the pull-ups (which look an awful lot like swim diapers to the untrained eye) she thought that meant we were going swimming. This is particularly surprising since she didn't really like swimming. Tovina is much more fond of sitting on by the side of the pool and maybe, just maybe, if you are really lucky, splashing with her feet. Here you can see her by the pool the past spring while we were in Turkey. Just look at her face and you can see how conflicted she is about pools.

Getting back to today. After much discussion where T made it very clear neither the bath tub nor shower were going to be an adequate substitution (tears were shed in abundance) we compromised and she simply wore her bathing suit for the rest of the afternoon.

She is back in regular diapers now.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sleeping in the big bed

T is sleeping in the big bed full time is now. All tents, pack-n-plays, and other such sleep options have left her room. She's generally pretty happy with this but tonight she decided it was not quite right.

An hour after Daddy finished reading Tovina her nightly book, turned off the lights, and left the room, T started calling for Mommy or Daddy. (Either one of us was sufficient.) Daddy checked first but on the repeat request, I decided to give her a listen. There were a variety of issues that started with wanting a drink of water, then help finding her pacifiers, and then the real issue.

"Pillow Mommy. Lay down." Tovina has decided she would rather not sleep alone.

On one hand this is fine. We both love holding her and she'll only be small enough for really serious snuggling for a while.
On the other hand, she moves constantly at night and has a tendency to kick. Hence the answer, "Mommy is going to give you a kiss and then see you in the morning."

As I leaned over her for the promised kiss, Tovina wrapped her arms around my neck to give me a hug. While holding me, I heard, in her very sweetest voice, "Pleeeaaase Mommy. Pillow." Her tiny hand patted the spare pillow on her bed. "Cuddle please.  Mommy cuddle Tonina" While she kept her voice sweet and magically prevented herself from whining, tears started leaking down her cheeks. I could feel them wet on my skin.

That kid is good.
Needless to say, I stayed a few minutes longer than I planned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ice cream - revisited

In going through some old photos and videos, ('Watch baby?' asked Tovina. 'Of course' I said), we came across this gem from this past spring when the family was traveling through Cappadocia, Turkey.

Tovina is eating Mari's goat-milk ice cream. Michael was a huge fan of the stuff and we tried it a few times during the trip. Here we are buying it for the first time. The salesman is scooping it out of the container with a long handled (2.5 ft) metal spatula. The stuff was so thick that the ice cream and the cone stuck to the spatula when held upside down.

To quote Michael, "Turkish ice cream is unlike any other ice cream I've tried; it's made from goat milk instead of cow milk. The result is a transcendent treat whereby ice cream takes on the texture of a silky-smooth taffy. Yummmmm."
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Spaghetti dinner

When we all met up in Indianapolis we went out for dinner at Buca Di Beppo‎. Among the many dishes we ordered was a small spaghetti and meatballs. Tovina (who is a big fan of noooodles) discovered that forks and spoons just weren't cutting it for her and that hands, or really fists, were the best tools for eating spaghetti.

Effective was one phrase that came to mind.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Caring cousins

When we were in Indianapolis Saturday night we ended up staying pretty late. Before heading home Tovina got some special attention from Emma.
Emma told us that she gets back rubs from her Mommy and they make her feel good when she is tired, so she thought T might enjoy it also.
Emma was definitely correct.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Grandpa and Aunt Kerri

Aunt Kerri found a mystery writer conference to attend in Indianapolis and Grandpa decided to attend with her. Before heading out for the evening we managed to catch a few family photos.
Here is the crew.
Notice how Kerri showed Brendan a new trick. (Okay, maybe he already knew how to do this.) Well Tovina is a quick learner too... or at least she almost is.

I thought I might have a better shot at getting a good shot if I slimmed it down to just the grand kids and Grandpa. But then some aunt to the side asked them to smile..

Still a pretty cute group though!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bye bye Sheila

It has been a pretty exciting weekend with many highlights. The first thing that really kicked it all off? Sheila closed on her house Friday!
After moving a few boxes I got a shot of the happy homeowner relaxing by the crackling fire in her main room.
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