Sunday, March 30, 2014

One More Day in Florida

We had one more day in Florida and we got to spend it with my dear friend Tabitha.  We did the character breakfast at the Grand Floridian and the kids loved it (the Mickey Mouse waffles are pretty fabulous).
She was excited to meet Mary Poppins.  She didn't know any of the other characters, but she still enjoyed meeting them.
Alice in Wonderland
Evan was pretty focused on his waffle, but he did smile at Tigger
After breakfast we rode the monorail by the Magic Kingdom and took the boat to the Wilderness Lodge and walked around for a while.  Hannah was super excited to see the castle from the monorail.   Disney seems stressful to me, so this was the way to go for me:)

In the evening we met up for dinner with my college friends Hellen and Lisa and their husbands. I feel so blessed to still have these girls in my life.  We pick up where we left off last time we saw each other.

We haven't aged at all......I tried to look for a picture of us from college (of course they are not digital) and for some reason we were doing the Charlie's Angels pose in all of them.  Good times!
We had a wonderful few days in Florida.  I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Little Getaway

We spent a few days in Florida last week and it was so nice to feel the sun on our faces after this crazy winter we have had (and then it snowed again two days after we got back home).  Scott's parents joined  us for the  trip.  We spent a day in New Smyrna beach and it was wonderful to put our toes in the sand. Hannah was so excited to go to the beach.  We built some sand castles and looked for sea shells.
Evan loved the sand too

Walking in the sand was not so easy
An almost family picture......Hannah was too busy

The next day we went to Sea World and had a wonderful time.  It was a little cloudy and rainy that day, which was perfect, because the crowds stayed away.
Evan was not so interested in the shows......he preferred to be tickled by grandpa

A rare family picture
The dolphin show is beautiful

Seeing Shamu up close
That night we celebrated Scott's birthday with his parents at Taverna Opa
Evan loved the ribs....he was very content

The rest of the family danced on the table

Hannah was a little shy at first, but then she really liked it

That's enough pictures for one day.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

All About Hannah

Hannah Banana.  Where do I start?  You are such a sweet little girl, but you can also be a piece of work!  You constantly make us laugh and you don't miss a beat.  You are never at a loss for words and you have the biggest imagination of anybody I have ever seen (you and your daddy are two peas in a pod).  You currently love to play restaurant, beach and school.  When you are playing beach you put on a swimsuit, flip flops and sunhat and get a towel out.  You pretend to put on sunscreen and build sand castles and go swimming and eat ice cream. I am always the child and you are always the mom when playing.   Your role playing skills are quite impressive.

I had to pre-enroll you for Kindergarten a few weeks ago and the final enrollment is next week.  We are so happy that you got a spot at RE Baker and you will be able to walk to school.  It is making me sad to think that you are big enough to go to Kindergarten, but I am also so proud of the girl you have become and I know you will do great in school.  We were playing school today and it was my first day of Kindergarten and you told me "it's OK to be nervous on your first day, but don't worry you will make friends".

You are the best big sister.  You adore your little brother and are his biggest cheerleader.  You share all of your toys and food with him (I am sure that will end when he is big enough to play with all of your toys).  I love to see the two of you interact (I am not sure I would call it playing together yet).

You are very opinionated when it comes to your wardrobe.  We battle over that quite a bit.  You like to get yourself dressed and I am thankful for that, but you NEVER match.  You are always so proud and you think you look beautiful, so we let it have been wearing a lot of sun dresses (and its been freezing outside) and then you layer on a cardigan (usually a pattern that does not match at all).  Most days you wear a combination of flowers, stripes, leopard print and polka dots.

You love the movie Frozen and we listen to the soundtrack every time we are in the car.  I love to listen to you sing along (unfortunately you have inherited your mom and dads singing capabilities).  You play  princess and queen quite often too and you always talk in this funny accent when you are the queen.

Here are a few things you have recently said that I don't want to forget.

We were driving to Branson and you were telling Evan to go to sleep.  You said "Hey Mister it's important that you sleep.  That is how you get strong and healthy.  I eat all my fruits and vegetables and that's how I get strong and healthy.  I don't need to sleep"

Sometimes I have Scott's handicap sticker in my car (I never use it unless he is with us) and Hannah always makes me take it down.  You said "we don't want people to think we are old".  Ha!

Yesterday Scott got a Tervis cup out at lunch time to fill it up with water and you said "Daddy are you drinking beer already?"

The other day you asked me where there would be a lot of people when its warm out.  I had no idea where you were going with this.  You said "you know when its warm out and I can wear short sleeves where would there be a lot of people.  Maybe the mall?".  I told you that I am sure there would be a lot of people at the mall, but why do you need a lot of people.  You said that you wanted to play your piano and put a cup out and you needed a lot of people for that.  You said that I would be allowed to stay with you, because you need an adult there and can't go all by yourself.

You had a dentist appointment last month and they did x-rays of your teeth.   You came home and told daddy "they had to do an ECHO of my teeth".....poor girl knows too many medical terms after the year we have had!

We love you to the moon and back and we are so proud to be your parents!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

13 Months

Dear Evan,
How is it possible that you are already 13 months old.  You are a mama's boy for sure.  You are quite attached to me, but you do like your daddy too:).  Hannah is still the one that can make you laugh the hardest.  She will do some really random things and you will just laugh with the biggest belly laugh.

You are always busy and constantly on the move.  You are working on walking, but still prefer to's still faster.
That doesn't stop you from climbing on everything.  I have to keep an eye on you at all times and even with that you manage to climb on things.  Some of your favorite things to climb on are Hannah's step stool and rocking chair, dishwasher and using drawers as steps (we need to make sure that absolutely everything is bolted to the wall).  We were at Jennifer's house the other day and I look over and you had climbed into a little toy shopping cart (at first I didn't believe that you did that on your own, but then you did it again while I was watching).

Standing on a suitcase about to pull the drawers open to get even higher
On a step stool emptying a drawer
On the rocking chair trying to open a door
Climbing in and out of our TV console

You love to close doors and now you can reach door handles and can open them if they open in, but you also fall in with the door when you do it.  You are good at climbing up the stairs, but you haven't figured out to go down go backwards for one or two steps and then you turn around and want to just go down on your belly.

You are obsessed with lids.  You will play forever with a coffee cup and lid, a pot and lid, a sippy cup with lid, a little jewelry box that has a lid ect.  You take the lid off and put it back on and repeat that for a very long time.

You are starting to copy behaviors and pretend to talk on the phone, brush your hair or teeth.

You are perfect the way you are (except for your sleeping)!

We love you!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Update from Scott

We have now been home from Madonna for 2 months.  I am slowly adjusting to "normal" life. As of today, my hands and feet still feel like they are asleep 24 hours a day.  The tingling does slow with medicine (17 pills a day), but is always still there to some degree.  My hands have progressed the most as I can now type, drive, and feel pressure.  My feet are still a work in progress.  The other night I must have kicked Evans water bottle under the crib, but because my feet are so numb I did not feel anything. Katrin can rub my feet at night and I cannot feel anything. I really rely on my medicines for my feet.  I am regaining muscle, but this process takes a lot out of me.  I get tired so much easier than I used to.  I feel unproductive as I have to nap almost every day. It's funny a nap used to be a guilty pleasure that you did to reward yourself.  It's not the same now when I have to nap just to make it through the day. It's more of a chore than a pleasure.  It's a strange feeling when you get tired from tasks you used to take for granted.
That being said, I am very happy to be home.  I do not want to focus on the things I cannot do, but more on the things I can do.  I have been going to the gym and working out 5 days a week.  One of my main goals is to actually participate in the GBS 5K they are doing for us in Lincoln in April.  Every doctor I have ever seen has told me it will take at least a year to be able to run and play sports.  This only motivates me more to actually run in the 5K.  Even though I cannot feel my feet, and currently have to keep one hand on the treadmill, I have ran a 5K already.  My times in fact improve every week.

  I will run in the 5K and will be competitive when I do. If you are going you better train as you do not want to lose to the "patient" you are there to support. Katrin thinks that I overdo it at the gym ,but this is just the way I am wired. I feel you need to push as hard as you can if you want to improve at anything.  
The best part about being home is my family.  Katrin has been the most amazing wife and mother throughout this process.  She understands that I am still recovering and always gives me the time I need to rest. She is also always willing to do anything to help me.  I might take advantage of this by asking for homemade waffles or a backrub, but isn't that what you are supposed to do when you are recovering from something.  The kids on the other hand, are just glad to be home and glad that dad is back.  Hannah is constantly hanging on me and asking me to play "baby".  I love it.  She is the joy of my life. She is also a great "big sister".  In fact, her "big sister" dress is her favorite dress.  Last night she helped me bathe and get Evan ready for bed.  What would normally take me 20 minutes, took closer to 45 as she insisted on putting on his diaper and getting his pjs on herself.  That was not an easy process with the squirmy Evan.
Evan and I have developed a very close relationship.  I just love his energy.  Spend an hour with Evan and you will feel like you had a day workout in the gym. He just never stops moving.  He is into absolutely everything.  He is a climber and you have to watch him 24/7.  He is also a lot of fun and the sweetest little baby in the world.  The other day he chased Hannah around the kitchen trying to get one more bite of ice cream sandwich. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.  I just hope he never loses this energy.  Evan is all boy and Hannah is all girl.

Overall, what I went through with GBS, is something I would not wish on anyone.  It was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life.  It also though brought me clarity on what is important.  I watched my family as they divided up time so that I was never alone for weeks at a time.  I saw Katrin and the kids move to a new city and adjust without ever complaining.  I know Katrin does not like hospitals or sickness, but she came to the hospital to see me for hours every single day with the kids.  While no one can control health, we can control how we deal with a family member being sick.  I am so proud of my family and feel closer to them now than I have ever felt.  Katrin is my soul mate and she was there for me in a very dark time of my life.  I love Katrin and my kids more than ever.  I also have a entirely new respect for Katrin's mother.  She flew from Germany to be with me while I was sick.  She would sit in that hospital room for hours and would stretch my legs trying to help me regain feeling.  She is an amazing person.
Lastly, I saw how much my family is there for each other.  Katrin and I talked the other day about my family and how they all came together when I was sick.  Allison came in before and after her 12 hour shifts at the hospital.  Ashley came over from London for a week and sat next to my bed every day when I was completely paralyzed. Amy drove from Garden City to Lincoln and Brian offered up his house to Katrin and the kids. My parents drove hundreds of miles on weekends just  to watch me in rehab for a day.  Megan and Barry had their entire lives changed as we became fixtures at their house for months at a time.  My whole family came together because one of our own needed us.  This show of support makes me only want to have a larger family.  The larger the family the more support one has in a time of need. I just hope I get a chance to thank every single person who was there for me as without the support I would not be where I am today.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Evan's Winter One-derland

We were so happy to finally celebrate Evan's first birthday.  It was a fun Winter One-derland celebration with friends.  Hannah was my little helper all morning getting ready for the party.  She wanted everything to be beautiful for her brothers party.
Hot Chocolate Bar with lots of fun toppings
Cup of Cheer

Mimosa Bar

The beautiful and yummy cake
Evan's smash cake
Snowman cake pops 
Party Favor (book for the kids and mug with hot chocolate for the adults)
The birthday boy
A rare family picture
And finally digging into the cake......
Happy first birthday sweet boy.  We love you!