Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fall Greetings

We've had our first couple frosty mornings, so I guess fall is officially here! For the last few weeks I have been putting pictures into a new photo gallery and just realized that I had not added the link on this page- check out "Iris in the Fall 07" for the latest and greatest..

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Pictures Now

Hey everyone,

We've had a big weekend celebrating Iris's 2nd birthday so I wanted to get the pictures out there for family. Our little bear is getting so big! See you in a couple weeks!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sunny Dada Dog Daze

Summer is officially here and I've got the pictures to prove it! Check out the new set of pictures "Summer Fun '07" for the latest in Iris's ventures around the oppressively hot southeast and beyond!

Recent highlights include a visit last weekend by our friends at the State of Grace blogsite, who are now proud parents for the second time. It was great to meet beautiful baby Julia and I can't wait to see her new blog! And Iris was reunited with her "infanthood" friend Grace, whom had gone almost exactly apart since the move to Macon. The two had a lot of fun together, not skipping a beat!

On the 4th we grilled out with some local friends and Iris had a great time with some more youngsters, Fin and Pax. Iris enjoyed the bright and colorful fireworks, but it was time to go home when the loud ones started booming. The fact that it was an hour past her bedtime didn't help either!

Finally, our neighbors a few houses down have been kind enough to extend an open invitation for Iris to come and swim anytime. Its a perfect set-up, where the sun only shines directly down on the pool during Iris's nap time- we've spent many afternoons swimming and splashing there! Mama has also been taking Iris regularly to the nearby YMCA pool to beat the heat during the day. She needs to get ready for the mighty cold Lake Superior at the end of the month!

On a somber note, our beloved Baguette continues to struggle with her health since undergoing heartworm "chemo" treatment last November. After getting the seizures under control with meds, she developed diabetes in March and has been getting two insulin injections a day ever since. This week we learned that her kidneys are stressed, perhaps from the meds, and she had to start taking more meds for a urinary infection. Overall she's about 10 lbs. down from her normal weight, but is slowly gaining it back. Hang in there, Baggie!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Iris's First Dinner Request

I'm not quite sure what this is a sign of, but last night Iris demanded her first specific meal to me: oatmeal for dinner. I tried a number of diversionary tactics which I have developed over these last months, but nothing could shake her...

The dinnertime ritual began as usual, asking her to play with some of her toys in the kitchen while I begin sounding off the different foods on the night's menu as I pluck them from the fridge or freezer. But last night after the first speak of peas exited my lips, I was abruptly corrected by a determined Iris, who was not playing with any toys: "Oatmeal". Squash? "Oatmeal!" Avocado? "Oatmeal!" Ba-Ba (Chicken)? "Oatmeal!". I was stumped. This never happened! She never once has expressed any kind of opinion over any meal I've made for her, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so I was left defenseless.

This is where I resorted to the kind of tactics that are normally saved for trying to get her to stop poking Baggie, put away the play doh, or close the one non-child-proofed cabinet door in the kitchen that exposes her to not one but three stacked 13" x 9" pyrex baking pans.

First, I stalled. After being somewhat satisfied at the mere sight of the oatmeal packet being removed from the cabinet, I set it down and began preparing Baggie's nightly fix of insulin and seizure meds. After a few minutes of prep time, I went over to Baggie to give her the peanut butter-phenyl barbitol desert. As though the act of Baggie licking it off the butter knife made Iris remember, she blurted "Oatmeal!"

Next, distraction. I told her I was going to "get her", which I often do, then proceeded to chase her, giggling, around the house. We got to her room and I pointed out to her a few of her animal friends that might like to come into the kitchen. As she was grabbing them, I slipped into the kitchen and pulled out the baggie of frozen peas. She walked in, elephant and bunny in tote, right as I was reaching into the cabinet where the cups used to warm the peas up are kept- "Oatmeal!".

Finally, reasoning. "Iris, we only have oatmeal for breakfast, and this is dinner." "Oatmeal!" "Iris, I don't know what else to give you with the oatmeal- everything else will taste horrible!" "Oatmeal". "I can make you oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow?" "Oatmeal!" And that's when she walked over to the drawer that holds the pyrex measuring cup I use to warm the water in the microwave and began trying to open it with the little leverage she had over her head. She had it all figured out!

It was getting late for her, so I relented and made the oatmeal. Apple Cinnamon w/ reduced sugar. At least she ate every last spoonful of it- also a first. I truly couldn't think of a vegetable that would have been appetizing after all that, but thankfully I had some watermelon, which she also downed rather quickly.

After a bath, a cup of warm milk, two books, and a nice eye-to-eye chat through the planks of her crib as she laid on her pillow and I sat on the floor (another specific request she's started lately), I told her I loved her and 'night-night' and got up and walked out of the room without a peep of protest from her. At least some rituals haven't changed yet!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dada the Globetrotter

Earlier today, Dada got back from a busy 10-day trip to Switzerland and Germany. For Work! For Free! Yippee!!

Non-work activities included driving pedal-to-the-metal on the autobahn, sampling multiple variations of 5 main beer families, partying in the late hours with a soccer club, and laying eyes on the Swiss Alps. But I did work, too!

The hardest part was definitely missing my little bear. Tonight when I went to see her after getting back, she was obviously beyond tired- she didn't really warm up to me at all and did not want me to hold her! Tomorrow we'll try again, hopefully with better results!

I'll post some pictures of interest soon!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Being Here Now

Hello? Is anyone out there? No? Well I can't blame you.. I've been a sparing visitor myself.

Almost 6 months into the new era for our family and just haven't had a lot of motivation to keep this place up. So I've finally caught up on pictures- the rate at which we take them has certainly waned but that is what happens when you can't hand-off the 1 camera and 1 USB cable we share consistently. I also have a ton of movies and will try to get those up someday, too.

In the last few months Iris has gone with her Mama to New York, had numerous visits in town from both Mama's and Dada's extended family, and most recently went with Dada to Dallas over Memorial Day Weekend to visit Grandpa "Nook" and Granny B. The summer months promise more exciting travels as well, so I'll try and keep things updated.

Iris continues to grow into an amazing human being every day. Her gentle demeanor and delicateness make her special to both Mama and Dada and everyone else she meets and spends time with. We're so lucky to have her and for her to be like her!!

And hats off to Mama and Dada, who are doing a heck of a job navigating the foreign, choppy waters we find ourselves in and for not letting Iris go down with the ship..

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Horrible Way To Say Goodbye

In the days leading up to Iris's departure for New York with her Mama, I got to spend some quality time with her at home. She's such a little skuttlebug now, running laps around the broom closet, up and down the hall!

But she seemed to be not quite herself, coming down with a cold. It was our last dinner together, before putting her to bed and waking up the next morning to drop her off at Mama's.. Half-crazy, she had just stuffed her mouth full of peas and whatever else when all of a sudden she started choking. Bad choking! I was alone, panicking in my brain, but managed to send a cool, collected index finger in there to pulled out all the stuff she wasn't choking on, then sent it in again to try and scoop out the back of her throat. The sounds were horrible- how badly I wanted to hear her cry because that would have meant the airway was clear. It seemed like forever; I swear her eyes were rolling backward.. I wasn't sure if I could perform the heimlich (I could, I know now).. I contemplated calling 911 and was trying to pull the phone out of my pocket when finally something broke loose. A bunch of heaves and it all came out, including some blood from what I assumed was a scratch incurred by my long finger nail. She was crying, I was crying.

I picked her up and she immediately laid her head on my shoulder, exhausted from the most excrutiating 20 seconds of her life. I felt so horrible. And to think- earlier in the meal, I ran upstairs to grab something- not for long- but definitely 20 seconds. I will never do that again! For several moments afterward, I was numb to the world, realizing how simply this human life in my arms means everything to me. And then I was mad- mad that I had to go through this alone, abandoned by my partner when I thought these were the things we signed up for together. But then all that left, and what I most needed was a friend who could understand all of this and listen to me. Fortunately, she was at least on the other end of the phone..

To this day (actually July right now), I have not been able to shake the experience fully, and still experience slight anxiety attacks from it. In my effort to try and catch this page back up, there was no way I couldn't mention it. Its not exactly the most pleasant thing to post about, and it exposes a million ways in which I was/am a bad parent, but hey, parenting is parenting and I'm doing the best I can. All things considered, I'm a better dad now than I ever thought possible.. Iris hasn't choked since, nor have I left her alone with food..

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Pics Finally Here!!

Greetings all-

After a long haitus, this page has finally been updated with pictures of Iris over the last several months. Stories and other goodies soon to come..



Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Best Holiday of the Year (in October)

Iris and on-again/off-again beau Lauchlan assume the roles of their favorite animals for some innocent pagan fun!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Single Parent Blues

For most of the week, Dada was up in Green Bay for work.. This left Mama D with a lot on her hands, both at work and at home. Just look at the ruthlessness of our little terror bear:

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Wedding Bells, Not Jason Today

Congratulations to our good, non-tricadecaphobiac friends April and Alan, who were married tonight in a beautiful riverside ceremony, followed by a glamorous reception in downtown Augusta. April taught with Mama D for many years before D left to a different school this year.

Congrats again and best wishes from all of us!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iris's 1-Year Doctor Visit

All this fun surrounding Iris's birthday had to end sooner or later. That time was today, precisely when the first of two vaccine-filled syringes punctured her soft, meaty little theigh.

But before that, we got the statistics:
Height: 30" (75%)
Weight: 19 lbs. 9 oz. (25%)

Tall and thin, perhaps skinny following a growth spurt- who knows? She's a little spark plug, a speed demon after all..! Iris was also able to demonstrate her new, limited walking skills for the doctor, going between chairs. Once again, we both felt ackward following a probing comment from the doctor regarding a small bruise on Iris's leg, but this must just be part of the show.

How proud we are to watch our happy, healthy little bear grow!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Iris Goes to the Zoo Zoo Zoo

After a busy day hosting Iris's party, we decided to get away with Aunt Jackie and Patrick to Zoo in Columbia, SC. We've wanted to go since Iris was born, but it was worth the wait, given how much her awareness and attention have grown in the last several weeks..

The zoo was very impressive- the first animals we saw were, fittingly, Grizzly Bears! Iris immediately spotted them and watched intently as one paced back and forth in front of the crowd. And she continued to be amazed as we worked our way through- sea lions, elephants, tortoises, aligators, penguins... Some highlights:

We brought many of Iris's toy animals along so that she could compare against the real thing- this didn't work out so well for the giraffes who were standing so far away that they appeared to be the same height as the one she held in her hand!!

Towards the end of the day, as we were walking out of an interactive bird exhibit (which was pointless since we didn't have the food needed to actually get a bird to land on us), Iris suddenly started going nuts- Bananas, specifically, as she took heed of two wild, whirling Siamangs swinging from branch to rock in endless pursuit. Iris laughed and laughed, quieting down only for the moments they disappeared behind opposite side of their island.

And then for the last stop, we went through a barn exhibit, where Iris got to put her skills developed from her morning ritual of hand-feeding our pets to the test:

After another long day, with less food and sleep than normal, Iris slept the whole drive home and chowed down before going to bed for the night.. What a big weekend this was for our little bear!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Iris Turns 1 (for party)

Some 10 days after the actual event, we celebrated Iris’s birthday in style with a neighborhood block party, sans the neighborhood block. Preparation began a month before, when Mama D got the idea to have an underlying theme focusing on the relationship between Iris and Baggie. Plans were set in motion…

Rewind further to early June, when Dada decided to tackle 3 big projects in the home at once, partially inspired by the two week absence of both Mama D and Iris as they traveled to New York: repainting the dining room and kitchen (no more mustard & ketchup), and replacing a wall in the living room that had been ruined by water damage (repairing the leak, too, duhh!).

Fast-forward to the night before the party- Aunt Jackie and Patrick arrive from Greensboro and are immediately put to work (as usual), helping Dada put the finishing touches on all the painting, dusting, sweeping, etc. and helping Mama D prepare all of the food.

We stayed hectic as usual in the morning, but by the time people started showing up, the house looked great, a tasty variety of snacks was on the table, and the cake was displayed in all its glory – we had a party - as you can see:

The cake was Mama D’s big plan, having it sculpted at a shoppe just down the block from our house. In a way, I suppose it was a bit morbid to have Iris watch as Baggie was sliced in to pieces and doled out on plates, but she really didn’t seem to mind. The cake was really good- really really good- Iris didn’t know what to think at first but then had no problem gobbling a little piece down, which made for good video..

The party was well attended by family, friends, friends’ families, and pets. It made for a unique gathering that put people together who otherwise would never have met, united by the bond that Iris has created in all our lives!

Unfortunately, Iris was slow to pick up on all the excitement. Groggy and grumpy from taking two bad naps, she had to go down a rare third time. But all was well after she woke up and she had a ball opeining all of her presents, tearing into the paper and wearing ribbons around her neck.

In the end, the party was a roaring success- our thanks to everyone who came! Happy Birthday Iris, our little bear!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kyle Comes to Town

For a very brief evening, we were fortunate to host our good friends Chris and Kelly and the newest addition to their family, Kyle, on their coast-to-coast journey! Chris used to work with Dada before transfering to Seattle some 3 years ago..

They arrived after Iris's bedtime, but we got to play with little immobile lovable Kyle for a few hours before he tucked it in.. The next morning, they got up early with us to spend some time with Iris on her birthday! Unfortunately, Kyle and Iris didn't get to play together much, but they'll get another chance someday!

It was great to see you guys again, and please look us up the next time you come to town! Of course we'd love to head out to the NW someday, too!