Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meet Chili Dawg and Finchy

This is the Chili Dawg. He is my dog. We got him several years ago after we had to put our first dog to sleep. Ryan had a friend at work who knew a guy who was getting a divorce and didn't want their 1 year old golden retriever any more. Ryan called the man and asked how much he wanted for him. The man told Ryan he was free for the taking, they just wanted him gone. Our first dog ended up being a biter (big time, like something was wrong with his brain), so Ryan questioned the man about the dog. The only issue they had with Chipper (his name then) was that their 2 year old child would bite him (not the other way around). So, we drove up to take a look at him, and I fell in love with him right away. He is beautiful, and he knows it. Ryan knew I needed this dog- I had had a brain injury about 6 months earlier and was fighting depression and anger at losing my memory (I'll post on that at another time). Chili helped rid me of my depression and anger. He snuggled me (he still does), he took long walks with me (still does, although those are limited now), and would just be there for me. He's my dog version of a soul mate. The only times Chili has been mad at me, was when I was pregnant with Noah, when we brought Noah home from the hospital (he ignored me for 2 months), and recently during Christmas break when he hurt himself, losing the ability to walk really well, and I had to keep him in his crate for a week- he's forgiven me though. Chili also knows he's beautiful, and on windy days, will sit in the middle of the yard with his head in the wind letting it blow his ears and fur around.

This is Finchy. Finchy is a boxer, and boxers are supposed to be intelligent. Finch has his smart moments, and he is as stubborn as Ryan, but the only command Finch will learn is "sit". We got Finch about a year after Chili. Chili seemed lonely (even though he had lots of attention), and a friend of mine knew a friend who had a boxer who spent his days on a tie-out because they had a newborn baby and didn't want him in the house anymore. So, we went to check the dog out. Chili ignored him, Finch ignored Chili. Ryan fell in love with Finch. I was a little leery because, I'll be honest, boxers look mean and I didn't want a mean dog in our house. However, looks can be deceiving. We took Finch home for a trial (we found out later that male boxers don't usually get along with male dogs- but our 2 dogs are best friends), and he never went back. I think the owners abused him, because he was very timid around Ryan, wouldn't go near him if he had a newspaper or magazine, and jumped at the sound of anything hitting the floor. Again, we didn't have to pay anything for him, either. We've been pretty blessed with these 2 animals.

Finchy is Noah's protector. It is true that boxers are excellent around children. When Ryan plays, "I'm gonna get you" with Noah, Finch does everything in his power to keep Ryan from getting Noah. When the dog next door squeezed through our fence while we were outside, Finch got in front of Noah until I got Danny out of the yard (Danny is good with kids as well, but you never know in first time encounters).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ray of Sunshine...

Meet my firstborn son, Noah James. He is a ray of sunshine! This little boy is rarely sad, usually only when he is sick or getting in trouble for being naughty. Noah was born in March 2007. I had his name picked out since I was about 13. I told Ryan I wouldn't compromise on the name (sorry, Ryan), and so he agreed that his name would be Noah James (the James is my dad's name- Hi Daddy!).

I was really sick when Noah was born. I had a horrible head and chest cold. For a time I was on oxygen during my labor. They kept telling me to take a deep breath and push, and everytime I tried to do that, I'd breathe through my mouth- my nose was plugged and I'd end up in a fit of coughing/barking. I got to the point where I prayed they would just do a c-section, because I thought I wasn't making any progress, and at that point the doctor told me to stop pushing, and out came Noah.

It took Noah 6 months to pass his hearing test in one of his ears. It was stressful. Every few weeks, we'd make the trek up to Edward's hospital to have his hearing checked. Finally, the day came when he passed. I think I cried on the way home.

A little after Noah turned 1, Ryan and I noticed that one of his eyes tended to wander. Our pediatrician recommended the Wheaton Eye Clinic in Plainfield, where there's a wonderful pediatric opthamologist. She diagnosed Noah with Accomodative Esotropia, and we got Noah his first pair of glasses. The first day, I had to sneak his glasses on him, because he kept trying to take them off, but I waited until he was engrossed in his sand box, and slipped them on for the 3rd time. He stopped what he was doing, and started walking up to the plants in the back yard and looking at them. He walked up to both dogs, grabbed their faces, and kissed their noses. He could finally see well, and his eye didn't wander.

Being a boy, he is very tough on his glasses. We're on the 3rd pair of lenses- they upgraded us to the strongest lens material out there. We're also on new temples- both broke off at the same time- poor kid had to wear duct taped glasses for a little over a week until they came in. They've been bent multiple times as well. They know Noah by name when we walk into the office, because we are frequent flyers there.

This year, Noah had his first real Christmas. Last year was his first Christmas, but he was more interested in eating the wrapping paper or waving it around. This year, he knew what he needed to do with his gifts. As soon as he saw one he would dance in place, saying "opy, opy, opy" (open, open, open). Ryan and I saw that he was getting overwhelmed with his gifts, so we've hidden them and he opens one every few days- don't worry, they're not all from us- we didn't get him much, it's the rest of the family that did that. For example, the tool bench from Auntie Jaime and Uncle Bill. He loves it, and it's not noisy at all... of course that's a lie.

My prayer for Noah is that he will be like Noah in the Bible... "Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God." Genesis 6: 8-9.

Meet Ryan

This is my wonderful husband, Ryan. We met as juniors at Bethel College (now University) in St. Paul, MN. Ryan is one of the smartest people that I know. He majored in Chemistry and minored in Math. When we were in college, he liked to study a lot- which almost broke us up, until I used him as a ride to get home for a break in January. We went bowling, and all of a sudden, Ryan had a fun side! He wasn't all serious, mister "I have to study". You know, one morning at Bethel, he called me early in the morning to let me know that the campus didn't unlock their doors until 6 AM on Saturdays. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. All that aside, Ryan and I have been married for a little over 9 years, can you believe it? Ryan is a food scientist, an amazing cook, and a wonderful father to our little ray of sunshine, and our ladybug on the way.
He is very patient with Noah. He lets Noah "cook" with him, he lets Noah help him with building projects, like below where he made sturdier bookshelves for Noah's and baby ladybug's rooms (Noah likes to climb things, and his bookshelf was NOT sturdy at all). He chases Noah all over the house, and has taught him how to yell loudly, as well as make different noises. They are definitely both boys!
To sum up being married to Ryan, "My beloved is mine, and I am his." Song of Solomon 2:16

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First posting...

Well, some people have been asking me to start a blog, so I'm going to try. I don't know how good I will be at keeping it up, but I may as well make an attempt. This is all for now, as my ray of sunshine is getting into something that he shouldn't be. Later I will introduce you to all the people in my family...