Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aidan's 4th Birthday & the End of the Summer

We celebrated Aidan's 4th birthday back in the middle of August (I know, I know...why am I only now posting this? No excuses other than procrastination). As you can see, it was a baseball theme. He requested it. Guess dad's influence is rubbing off. Julie made the awesome baseball cake you see in the picture above.

It was a nice little gathering with family and friends. Kurt's mom (a.k.a. "Grammie O") came up from California for the week and joined in the festivities, too.

And here's the boy doing his magic disappearing cake trick.

Today's is Labor Day, so we're enjoying a day at home before the significant happenings this week ... Aidan starts preschool and Lily starts kindergarten!

This summer was exceptionally busy for us ... speech therapy twice a week for Aidan, occupational therapy for Aidan once a week, Kurt went to Nashville for a high school youth conference, we all went to Montana for a few days to visit Julie's sister and family, amidst other church and family activities. We spent a lot of time outside, too. The kids love to play in the water ... we have a little kiddie pool and slip-n-slide (which I almost killed myself on while demonstrating to Lily how to use it). They also love to ride their bikes as much as possible (another milestone: Lily's training wheels came off this summer).

People usually complain about how busy things get for them in the fall with school starting. For us, it seems as though it's quite the opposite. We can finally take a breather.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Graduation, a Recital, and a Birthday

The end of May and beginning of June were chock full of some important milestones and events in Lily's life.

She graduated from preschool and is well on her way to being ready for high, I mean, kindergarten.

And here is the ballerina after her first dance recital.

And finally, here is the pigtailed one with the new doll she received for her 5th birthday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

California Trip Recap

The plan was to take off for our trip to California after church on the last Sunday in April. Plans changed when I came down with a nasty stomach bug the night before. I spent the night in the bathroom. I'll spare you the rest of the ugly details. There was no way I was going to be able to preach on Sunday, so our deacon filled in for me at the last minute. I emailed him my sermon the night before, just in case.
Monday the 26th we headed out. I was feeling a tad bit better and was praying that the Immodium would do its job. It did. We stayed the night in Medford, OR. Lunch the next day was at In-N-Out Burgers in Redding, CA.
Here's a picture of Aidan enjoying his first In-N-Out experience.

Lily, too, enjoyed her meal...until she caught my stomach bug and threw up in the car just as we were coming into Merced, CA. We spent the night there after cleaning up the mess in the car. Lily threw up a few more times before bed but slept the night through and was fine the next morning. Kudos to the folks at the Holiday Inn Express in Merced. After telling the gal at the front desk that we were originally going to stop in Fresno but had to pull in here because our daughter got sick in the car, the manager came over, laid a coupon down on the counter (offering a night's stay for $64), and said, "Give 'em the 'sick kid' rate." That was greatly appreciated.

Wednesday April 28 we pulled into Rancho Cucamonga and "Grammy O's" house. As you can see in the picture above, one of the places we couldn't way to get to was Golden Spoons Frozen Yogurt.

"Shu Shu" ("uncle" in Chinese) Mark stopped by Wednesday night since he was working in nearby Ontario. Mark is a lifelong friend of mine, best man at our wedding, and one of Aidan's baptismal sponsors.
The weather at mom's was spectacular. Here's a smogless view from her front yard looking north at the San Gabriel mountains and Cucamonga Peak.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Lily. She tried on my mom's cowboy hat and strolled around showing it off. Don't you just love her disinterested model look?
Thursday was a day to rest and relax following our drive down. I also had to make a trip to mom's doctor (my doctor some 20 years ago). I thought I had a blood clot in my left heel. It was very painful, hot to the touch, and I couldn't put any weight on it. The doctor said that it wasn't a blood clot but was "cellulitis," a bacterial skin infection. I told him "I thought cellulitis was an old person's disease." He gave me a wry look and said, "Well..." I knew what he was implying. Antibiotics and heel cream was what the doctor ordered.
Friday April 30 was set aside for Disneyland. My foot felt a whole lot better so I didn't have to hobble around all day. We met some friends there who work for Disney. They have a daughter Lily's age and a son on the way soon.
Aidan loves "choo choo trains" so he was thrilled to get to ride one right off the bat.
And here's another glamour shot of Lily taken on the carousel in Fantasyland.
The kids wanted to ride in the monkey cage on Casey Jr.'s Circus Train. Thought that was appropriate.
Jillian (our friends' daughter) and Lily don't seem too concerned that they're just about to be eaten by Monstro.
Aidan loved flying with Dumbo.
It's a Small World was next. I loved this shot with "Stroller Central" in the foreground.
Lily wasn't so freaked out about meeting Mickey Mouse this time. Aidan, on the other hand, was definitely uncomfortable and was clinging for dear life to mama.

He got over it quickly as soon as we hopped on the Autopia.

One big kid and one little one.
Lily couldn't wait to get to Minnie's house. Here she is with Jillian.

The kids forged ahead all day long at the Magic Kingdom. I was surprised how well they did, especially Aidan, considering it was the first time he'd gone without a nap. We arrived at 9 am and didn't leave the park until about 9 pm. But once we were in the van, they were both fast asleep within two minutes.

Saturday brought another visit from "Shu Shu" Mark along with around 50 other family members and friends.

Sunday May 2 we went to church with mom. Her church has a nice little grotto on one side of the breezeway.

One last shot before leaving "Grammy O's" house. We headed out after one last In-N-Out Burger with mom. And fortunately, no one threw up in the car or in our hotels on the way home.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lily's "Gotcha Day"...4 years ago today

Here we are, the moment Lily was placed in my arms four years ago today.

And here's the girl today before we headed off to Red Robin to celebrate her "Gotcha Day" anniversary (that's our custom on Gotcha Day...the kids get to pick where they want to eat). The dolls were bought for Lily when I was in China. We have more gifts stashed away to give her and Aidan on their respective celebrations until they turn 18.

You've come a long way, baby...half way across the world! We love you!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Aidan's First Gotcha Day Anniversary

One year ago today, Aidan Tianzhen Onken was placed in my arms. He was a little bit heavier than Lily Ping was, since he was 2 years old and Lily was only 10 months old. But it was no less joyful.

As is our family custom today on Gotcha Days, we will give Aidan a little gift I brought home from China just for this occasion, and Aidan gets to choose which restaurant he wants to eat at. Looks like we'll be going to Fanny's in Marysville for breakfast. At least, we think that's what he said. Speech therapy continues on a weekly basis at Children's Hospital in Seattle. Julie and Aidan were just there yesterday for a post-operation visit with the surgeon. His upper lip is healing just fine.

Here's a picture of me and Aidan not long after he was placed in my arms in China one year ago today.

And here's Aidan from this past weekend. We went to a nearby park since it was such a warm afternoon for March in the Northwest. Aidan got to fly his first kite (not the one in his hands, his was much smaller).

Monday, March 01, 2010

Pics from Surgery Day

Here's Aidan getting ready for surgery with his puppy. Lily has her pink "Pup Pup." We call Aidan's little friend "Blue Pup." He also had a Matchbox motorcycle with him that dad gave him that morning.

And here's Aidan getting some last minute hugs from mom and dad.

At the October surgery, they gave Aidan some medication to relax him prior to surgery and the anesthesiologist carried him back to the operating room. This time they decided not to medicate him until they brought him into the operating room, but part of the deal was bringing dad back. That was an interesting experience, having never been in a "real live" operating room before. On the other hand, it wasn't the easiest experience watching your kid's eyes roll back in his head after breathing in the "bubble gum flavored air" ... and then having to leave him there asleep on the table.

Aidan is schedule to have his stitches removed this Friday. After he heals up a bit more, we'll post some pictures for you. It's not a pretty sight right now, so we'll forgo any pics of him until later.

The "old" Aidan is back

I think we have our "old" Aidan back. He's no longer stoned out of his wits from the oxycodone. We stopped giving him that last night, and now he's only on Tylenol. The glazed look is gone from his eyes. He's not as agitated as he was. Most of the day today was spent very still in front of the TV watching Caillou on Sprout...his favorite show and apparently very comforting for him. By the time I got home this afternoon, he was playing with our backgammon game pieces and his wooden train set. We've had a few very slight giggles from him here and there, but tonight he managed his first belly laugh since before his surgery. For some reason, it was the tail of one of his stuffed animals that he thought was just hilarious.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 2 after surgery

Aidan returned home yesterday around noon. The night after his surgery was fairly easy compared to his first surgery. Aidan slept well. I think part of his ease was that he didn't have to wear arm restraints this time. I, on the other hand, only got about 3 hours of sleep. Besides being concerned about my son and being woken up by the nurses coming in to check his vitals, the poor little guy we shared a room with suffered loudly from time to time. Not sure what his condition was.

Julie stayed home from church with the kids today. Aidan's pain is controlled with meds. However, it seems like he's still pretty uncomfortable. He's on a combination of Tylenol and oxycodone, for the time being. We're going to ween him off the latter ASAP, since we're pretty sure it's causing him to act a bit stoned.

It's next to impossible to keep a three year-old corraled. Nevertheless, that's what we've been trying to do. Considering that prior to the surgery, Aidan often would pick at his lip, he isn't doing it now. But it's all we can do to keep him from running around and falling or bumping his lip with a toy ... or a wall. It's also a challenge keeping his sister at bay and playing gently around him.

The swelling on his lip has gone down a little bit. It also has a nice bluish bruise-like tint. Obviously, he hasn't been able to smile, so we're not sure if his adorable dimples will return, or if they were wiped out as a result of the surgery. And Julie and I both have said that there's a part of us that will miss his cute little crooked lip. That was the Aidan we first met and fell in love with. Still, the fact remains that part of the reconstruction was reattaching the upper lip muscles, and this will be beneficial to him in the long run.