Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Santa and Baby Jesus too

Lily's Letter to Santa as dictated to Mommy today. (which we 'mailed' at MACY'S, where each letter dropped off means a dollar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation!).
"Dear Santa,
I want a dolly. I would like new clothes for my dolly. And a special closet for my dolly's clothes that has a pink window. I love you Santa. I think you are the best Santa Claus ever. Please bring me some candy. I like you and I like American flags and I like pink, red, blue and green.

Imogene's Letter to Santa, as dictated to Mommy by Lily.
"Dear Santa,
My sister Imogene would like toys, pink toys, that talk.
Love, Lily
Imogene's Big Sister"
There was an decoration in our house right next to Lily that was red, white and blue, so that's where she came up with the flag thing when I asked her if she had anything she wanted to tell Santa. Don't worry, I made a copy of both letters to show the girls when they get older. It was a fun activity! And yes, Santa is bringing her a closet for the doll clothes, but it doesn't have a pink window! Where did she come up with that????
We started getting some decorations out, and every time I took anything out of a box, no matter how mundane, Lily would say in her best dramatic voice, "Oh Mom, that's the most beautiful flower I've ever seen. I love it. Thank you so much for putting it in our house. (Kisses my leg.) Are those kissing flowers?" A Clara doll (from the Nutcracker), gets "Oh my goodness my doll. I just love her. She's so beautiful. What's her name again?" Clara was invited to sleep in the bed with Lily, which is a sign of cherished status in Lily's hierarchy of animals and dolls.

Lily has two Nativity scenes, one plastic and much bigger than the other which is a carved wooden set. The wooden baby Jesus is 'little baby Jesus" and the plastic one is "bigger baby Jesus." Despite many attempts, she refuses to accept that baby Jesus is not a girl, even though she agrees that Jesus as an adult is a man. While playing with it, baby Jesus and Mary had many conversations, and each time she had Jesus say "Mommy" I would think she was talking to me and I would say "yes, sweetie?" and she'd reply, "Mom, I'm not talking TO you, Jesus is talking to his mommy." This went on a few times and she thought it was so funny. Sadly, I kept forgetting what she was doing, I'm so programmed to respond anytime anyone says "mommy!"
She set the 6 wisemen and the sheep and shepards and animals and two Josephs and a Mary (we're missing one) all mixed up between the two mangers (I think she decided one was a house and one was a barn?), and is all taken with the angel that sits on top of the plastic one, which of course sings a song, and she is just captivated by all of it. She then looks over and asks me in complete amazement at his absence, "Mom, where's God?"
I was just overwhelmed by her awareness and what a profound thing and here was this opportunity to talk about the whole Christmas story, and then about 10 minutes later she's still playing and says, "It's okay Mom, you can just be God for now." Oh goodness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We enjoyed a wonderful day with Naney, Grunny & Charlie. Lily and Bill ran in the Alexandria Turkey Trot with our neighbors and Erin. Lily had a really good time, and also enjoyed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Dog Show on TV. She wanted to help with everything involved in the cooking for Thanksgiving supper and was so excited to sit down and eat. And then she ate about 5 bites. Big fan of the raw pie dough, crescent rolls and cranberry sauce. That's Mommy's little girl! Imogene loves sitting and eating, and she absolutely loved everyone being together sitting and eating for an hour. Her favorite part was everyone clapping for her and saying "yeah Imogene" - she would then do her fisted-clap and laugh. Precious.
This Thanksgiving Bill and I just want to say thank you to all of you who have been there for us this year. It's been such a blessed but challenging year for us, and we are reminded today of how lucky we are. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that, but we know we are lucky parents of these two beautiful, happy girls.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Gear

Imogene is going to be sporting two types new physical therapy gear soon! The first is the pair of Hip Helpers that I mentioned last week. She tried them out at therapy today. They are just like bike shorts, only the legs are sewn together. We ordered her first pair today - in a very bright hot pink! She will wear them for 30 minutes to an hour a day to start with, and then we'll see how she's doing. This should help with her hip abduction.
Imogene does not engage her abdominal muscles very much, so she'll start wearing kinesiology tape in an "X" pattern around her tummy soon. She's wearing a test-patch this week to make sure she doesn't have any allergies to the tape. It's an interesting therapy tool, this tape. You may have seen athletes wearing it during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. This website has a good explanation of what the benefits of the tape are.
Naney is on her way here right now for Thanksgiving and Grunny & Charlie arrive Thursday morning. Imogene is going to love Thanksgiving because she Loves to eat! She could sit and eat all day we think. Funny thing is she isn't that big of a baby for all the food she's consuming!
We're excited for the holiday and then to head to Charlottesville on Saturday to cheer on the Hokies against UVa!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Little Things

I couldn't replicate it if I tried, but the girls and I had the silliest 20 minutes today. Imogene was sitting in my lap and Lily was spinning in a circle (You know when you can get a good spin going on hard wood floors in socks? It was like that.) Imogene was besides herself in giggles. She could not have laughed harder or with more complete joy. Two minutes later, Lily was being silly sliding off a little chair in the playroom. Cue the giggles. There is nothing better, and nothing that makes my heart soar more than watching the two of them make each other happy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Bill!

We celebrated Bill's birthday yesterday. He took the day off and instead of working in the office, worked really hard around the house, specifically by cleaning out our storage shed and making it 'animal-proof.' Apparently some furry friends had been taking up residence inside. What a great guy to do all that on his birthday. We finished the day off with some yummy dinner and then had the neighbors over for cookie cake! And Imogene gave Daddy a nice present and only woke up at 1 something and 5:30 this morning. She went back to sleep then and might have slept past 7:15, but at that point, her sister had been up for 30 minutes, begging to "go check on Imogene." Oh, Lily. We hope Bill had a great day because we enjoyed getting to celebrate him!

The birthday boy and his girls.
All birthdays must include help from the Jones boys to blow out your candles!
Happy Birthday Daddy! (Can you tell that Lily and Mommy got haircuts yesterday? Lily's looks beautiful here - she had a big girl blow-dry after the cut. Mommy's looks a little rough here! It's a little too short, but hey, it's hair and it will grow!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Hills Are Alive...

with the Sound of Music. In our house, it's all about Maria and Captian Von Trapp and "the children" as Lily calls them. She has the movie and Naney sent her the cd, and so she's always singing and asking random questions about the movie and saying things like,
"Maria lives in Austria."
"Why is Gretel five?"
"What's the littler boy's name again?"
She bit her hand at school yesterday while eating raisins (or so I hear), and at first I thought she might have done it on purpose to be like Gretel. I'm sure you remember the part when Freidrich bites Gretel's finger. WHAT? You don't remember that part? You haven't seen the movie 4 times in the last week and a half? So today she presented the following to me at dinner. I'd been wondering when this was coming. FYI, Liesel is the oldest (16 going on 17...)
"I want to go see Liesel."
"Sweetie, Liesel is just in the movie."
"No, she lives in Austria." Never mind that to Lily Austria could be a 5 minute drive away.
"Lily, the movie was made a long time ago."
"I know, in Austria. Where is Liesel?"
"Sweetie, I don't know. She's older than Mommy and might even have granddaughters."
"No, Mom, she does not, Liesel is a KID!"

had therapy today and Susan the PT said she's seeing a lot of improvement in her hand and arm. Specifically she's opening her hand up more, reaching out with her right arm more, and bearing a little weight on that arm. Of course after all that she gave us about 5 more new things to work on, and mentioned that at some point Imogene might need "Hip Helpers." These are like shorts that would help Imogene with her hip rotation. Basically when she's laying on her stomach (which is "supine" - all these things I'm learning) her hips are 'abducting' which is not helpful when she one day starts to push up on all four limbs. Yet another fun piece of gear to keep up with for the Siglers - hopefully she won't need them, but we'll see.

Speaking of gear, we need get GPS for the splint. When the Brown kids were growing up, we had a friend who lost her retainer everywhere we went. She would wad it up in a napkin and it would get thrown away. I have many memories of our parents all searching trash cans at restaurants and at our houses. These memories have come back to me lately because we (read Lauren) keep losing Imogene's splint. Yesterday a restaurant and a store were called in the search. Fortunately it was found, stuck to a toy in the bottom of the stroller. The thing is just so darn tiny and it's purple and it gets lost in the mess that is life with two small children!

Hope you can all get some sleep tonight. We know it will be hard since you're all so excited that tomorrow is BILL'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Birthday to the most amazing and dedicated father and husband you'll ever know. People might throw those terms around, but I mean it. We are so blessed and lucky that Bill is the man in our lives! What a treasure he is to each of us.
Happy Birthday Sticky!

PS ... is the Memphis Basketball coach a dead-ringer for Bill or what?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Classic Lily

Lily: "Mom, what's softball?"
Mom: "It's what they call it when girls play baseball."
Lily: "Why?"
Mom: Gives very bad explanation, because could not come up with good one. The kid had a good reason to ask why here.
Lily: "What do they call it when girls play soccer?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If you were watching the Georgetown v. Temple basketball game today, then I'm sure you saw Lily and Bill on TV. What, you didn't see them in the far lefthand corner of the screen when the ball was in front of the Georgetown bench? Well, they were there and if you watched really, really, really closely you would have seen Lily! I watched for a long, long time and only saw them once! Thanks to our wonderful friend and neighbor, they were treated to courtside seats for the Hoyas' home opener today. Lily watched about 2 minutes of the game, Bill reports. She was too enthralled with the cheerleaders and the band and the student section to bother watching the main event. Bill, on the otherhand, couldn't take his eyes off the game for fear he'd miss an errant ball or flying player headed straight for Lily's head!
What a fun day! Before the game, the girls met Daddy and his friends from KS for lunch. After lunch Lily rode back to the office and stayed with Daddy until the game. She got to ride the Metro, too. Such a big day, she fell asleep in the car on the way home!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not an Ear Infection After All

We're sending good thoughts to our Uncle Ryan today. He is laid up with a nasty case of the flu. Get better soon Ryan!
Lily woke up in the night with a cough, so we kept her home from school to be safe. Both girls were seen by wonderful Dr. Baldrate this afternoon. Lily has just that, a cough, and is fine to be around her friends and go to school tomorrow! She was pretty bummed this morning to miss school. Dr. Baldrate said that Imogene does not have an ear infection. So no more amoxicillin, which is great, because it was doing quite a number on her stomach. (Of course it's really mild, so go figure it would mess up Imogene's stomach!) Because she was having such high fever, Dr. Baldrate ran a flu test which was negative, and a CBC blood test which came back fine. So, it's just a virus and should clear up, at least the fever part, by Wednesday or so. If she's fever free on Wednesday she can have her shots as planned Thursday. Oh that poor Imogene. She has been put through the ringer! The office does not have the flu shots for Lily's age yet, so we'll have to wait a little longer for her to get vaccinated. Not sure what to make of the ER pediatrician telling us she had an ear infection. Good thing he told us to follow up with our own doctor.
And today is her 10 month birthday. It was a short photo shoot!

This was the other morning.
Working hard to drink of out a sippy cup.
She usually just spits it all back out.
Happy 10 Month Birthday Imogene!

I'll just take a look over here.


Investigating her find.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Update

Imogene is still running a fever of 103 (as of early this afternoon). Surprisingly the night didn't go so terribly. She was only up from 2:45 until 4:15! We'll call in the morning to get her an appointment to see our pediatrician tomorrow. Hoping for a somewhat restful night with another dose of the antibiotic in her!

Lily went with Mommy to a meeting this morning before church. On the way in she said, "I'm sure that people are going to be excited to see me." (We must often encourage her to get out the door and get wherever it is we're trying to go by telling her that such-and-such is waiting to see her. For example, her teacher.) She was an angel and sat so quietly on a couch in the church parlor while we welcomed new members into our congregation. So many people came over to tell her how grown-up she was and how impressed they were at her behavior. I have to admit that I was very proud ... and befuddled at how she was the same little girl who was kicking and screaming on the floor not 1/2 an hour earlier about putting her shoes and socks on. Oh, Lily.

Our little Imogene will be 10 months old tomorrow! And then Friday is Daddy's 35th birthday! What a big week we'll have, and then we will start getting ready for Grunny, Charlie and Naney to join us for Thanksgiving. November is such a great month - especially since it's right before Christmas and that's without a doubt Mommy's favorite time of the year. The other day Lily asked me if Uncle Ryan could go with her to see Santa because "I think he'd really like that." This should be a really fun age for all the magic of Christmas with Lily and hopefully Imogene will get into the spirit as well!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

So the last three nights Imogene has slept amazingly well. Only waking up once to eat around 4 or 5 and then going back to sleep until 6:30 or 7:30. Three days in a row she took 2-hour naps.
We should have known something was up and that we weren't turning the corner towards regular sleep. Today she had a fever that got up to 104.3, so we called the on-call doctor who recommended she see someone today. Seeing as the pediatrician's office was closed, that left us with no where to go but the ER. Thank goodness Whitney was still here, so we didn't have to take Lily with us. We were sure they were going to tell us she had H1N1, but turns out she has an upper respiratory infection (which I believe is doctor-speak for a cold) and a touch of an ear infection in her left ear. She was given amoxicillin and sent home. So it was definitely better than it could have been, but makes us wonder if that was the cause for the great sleep. We'll have to just wait and see!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Again with the reverse order (I need to figure that out, huh?) This is Lily and her friend Jacob getting ready to pass out water at the BA5K, last Saturday. It was freezing, but these two had the best time and were so cute handing the racers water. The race is held by our friends Lindsay and Stephen Moss, which raises money for Johns Hopkins, and their center which works to help children with a rare liver disorder, one of which is their adorable daughter Sydney, who is almost two, and was born with BA. Check out their website for more information!

A fun playtime in the crib after Imogene's afternoon nap. They are really in love with each other. Every now and then, Lily gets a little snatchy with any toy that Imogene wants to play with,
but she is usually just so sweet. Lately she has been calling Imogene "sweetheart" and is always cheering and calling our attention when she uses her right hand.

Another meal 'al fresco' - this time on Halloween night helping Daddy hand out candy.

Lily and Will trick-or-treating. They held hands almost the whole time.

Happy Halloween from the Sigler hive!
Ready to trick-or-treat. She had such a blast and told us about 10 times how much fun it was. She kept asking if we 'had' to go to more houses, which we think meant, can we go to more houses. At one point she told her friend Will, "it's okay Will, there's nothing to be afraid of. "
Such a big girl she is.

These pictures are reverse order. This is from the night before Halloween. Imogene got to eat outside while we all carved pumpkins with our neighbors.

Daddy ended up doing most of the dirty work, but Lily tried to help as best she could.

Her school Halloween party day. She kept talking about how Macy (her classmate) was going to be a princess, and how she had to be a princess, too. What a beauty she was!

Catching Up

It's been so long since we've been in a good blog groove. Hopefully we will not let that happen again! Imogene is really changing these days. She's doing her version of waving, clapping, shaking her head as if to say 'no,' and playing peek-a-boo! The head shaking is humorous because she knows it's going to make us laugh, so she gets a big grin on her face and laughs when she does it. The clapping is so endearing because usually she keeps her right hand fisted when she claps. And the waving, sometimes it's just waving her arm, but a waitress waved at her tonight and she 'waved' (translate threw her arm around) back! The peek-a-boo makes me the happiest though! You put a blanket or a lovey on your head, and she takes it off and then hands it back to you. Sometimes she seems like such a little baby, and not really an almost 10 month-old. All these little milestones are reminders that she is developing right on track in so many ways. She's been reaching out her right arm a lot more lately, which for us is such a good measure of her progress. The fact that she never reached out with her right is how we first started to notice the hemiparesis. And then there's the scooting! Her own little Imogene "crawl" - she scoots her left arm forward, pulls the legs up a little bit and then just goes where she can. The distance is not far; she certainly can't get across a room, but she can get somewhere, which is fun for her. She appears to be a little frustrated being in one place!

All Imogene's bloodwork for the clotting disorders has come back. Three of the four tests came back negative, which is wonderful news. Only the C protein test came back abnormal. At first Dr. Baldrate thought she would be considered 'deficient.' She consulted a pediatric hematologist and he said that while her number is low, it is not cause for concern at this time. We'll run the test again when she turns two and take it from there. Whew! Escaped adding another tab to the ever-growing medical notebook!

We finally have an appointment with the physiatrist. January 26 at 9 a.m. It seems like a long time from now, but with the holidays, I'm sure it will be here before we know it. We see Dr. Madigan, the opthamologist, the week before. Combine that with her one year!! check-up, and January will be a busy month of doctor's visits.

Imogene is scheduled to get her booster seasonal flu shot and her first H1N1 shot next week, and hopefully Lily will be able to get the seasonal and her first H1N1 as well. (Children have to get the H1N1 in two shots.) It has taken me all fall to get the shot for the girls. There has been so much debate in the 'parent circles' here about whether or not to get the shot for children. Our pediatrician told us to get it, and so we're getting it. Maybe we should have debated it more, but she has two kids very close to our girls' ages, so I feel like she'd only advise us to do what she'd do.

Lily has strung together a few great days this week, which is a relief for both Mommy and Daddy. Sometimes we wonder where our sweet Lily went. Several times this week she has entertained Imogene in the playroom while lunch or supper is fixed. And then she will report "I'm doing a good job listening to you." Or, "I was a good babysitter for Imogene."

A big event for Lily this weekend is that her Whitney (pronounced Whitnnnaaayyy) is here. Lily met Whitney at Naney's house back in the summer. At first we thought she might be a little jealous that Ryan had girl that wasn't her with him, but she warmed up to Whitney in about oh, 10 minutes. The way you know that Lily likes you is that she starts making you do everything for her that she'd normally make Mommy do. Well Whitney fits that description exactly. Only Whitney can get Lily in and out of the car, only Whitney can put her to bed, help her basically with everything. She's so in love, and it's so dear! And not that we blame her. Even Imogene, who is pretty wary around strangers, seems to have fallen under the spell as well. We'll all be sad to see her go!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still Here!

Several people have checked in to see if all is okay here. Thank you to our loyal readers! :) Things are okay here. We've just been a little crazed lately. Bill flew to London last Saturday night for a week's business trip. Fortunately he didn't miss any of the fun we had on Halloween. Imogene and Lily both had a blast, and I'll post pictures with more details soon. Bill's trip to London went very well and he even got to see a soccer game while he was there, as well as spend time with my friend from growing up, Andrew. We really missed Daddy but were well taken care of during the week with visits from Grunny and then from Naney, and our friend Erin Campbell spent last Sunday with us, thank goodness for these wonderful women! Lily must have told me 100 times "I still miss Daddy in England."
Imogene's sleeping is not going so well. For over a week she was waking up every two hours through the night. Thinking she might have an ear infection, she saw the pediatrician, but she was fine. Last night she only woke up twice, but we're still trying to figure out what is going on there. She had been making a little bit of progress.
Stay tuned for pictures from Halloween and more ... thanks for checking in on the Siglers!