Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Pics and The End is Near

Spent the morning at the Getty Villa in Malibu. Had beautiful antiquities from Italy. Even with the light rain and gray clouds it was beautiful.

On Christmas Day we took the boys "sledding" at a local park. We all had a lot of fun even though about half of us were sick.

Here is Landon waiting in the extremely long line at Philippe's. It wasn't too long for an adult but a 2 yr old, yes.

This is what it always looks like at this yummy French Dip eatery.

Right next door to Chinatown in L.A. We had yummy food!

The famous Los Angeles Colosseum where they had the Opening Ceremony during the Summer Olympics in 1984.

A day our with grandma, Haydn at the California Science Center.

We spent the day with our friend Jenny in Santa Monica. It was amazing weather and we even spotted a star, Norm McDonald from Saturday Night Live.

Landon loved chasing the pigeons all over the place.

Spotted a Weiner Mobile in Santa Barbara on the day we went to the Santa Barbara Zoo with Carly, Shad, and Cru.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some New Photos

Here are some new photos of the family in California. We are really enjoying our time here. We can handle 60 degrees unlike the 20's and snow they are having in Michigan. Landon is still very active but his vocabulary has really taken off. The best thing that he has said since coming to California is he said his very first meal prayer (with help). Mama Bears heart almost leaped out of her chest. He said the bedtime prayer as well tonight and it was so cute as he helped pray for a baby brother or sister. Tomorrow we are going to the California Science Center and so hopefully there will be more pictures to post soon.

Papi playing a crazy horse. Landon's new game, let's ride Mami and Papi like a horse. He can say the word horse too.

Had a fun time at the park with Lily, Emerson and Landon.

Landon and Cru are so cute. At times they like to copy each other. Cru is 1 yr and 5 days younger than Landon. They even have matching pajamas, that was on accident but they are cute kids.

Grandma and Pap trying to help get Landon's wiggles out by taking him for a walk around the block. Yes, it is warm enough to not have on a jacket or shoes.

One evening we went to Americana at Brand. It snowed (fake) and played White Christmas. It was magical while we all danced in the street. They had a Christmas tree that was over 100 ft tall. We had lots of fun and Mami of course left our time at the shops with a trinket or two!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It wouldn't be a vacation without . . .

. . . a trip to the emergency room! All is well, and he's happy and in good spirits. Photos to follow. Oh, and it's Mike, not Landon, who ended up on the narrow bed in the hallway of the Los Robles Medical Center ER. He woke up yesterday morning, and he couldn't get his eyes to stop tracking across the room. He got up to use the bathroom and barely made it before he started dry heaving (ew. . .). Hallie was a trooper (she hates puke) and helped get Mike settled and comfortable.

She asked Elise (our SIL) about what she thought we should do, as Bryce (her husband and Hallie's bro) had had a spell of vertigo, and it looked like this is what Mike was experiencing. All Mike wanted to do was lie down as still as possible with the lights out. With a bile bucket available in the bedroom, he left the bathroom, upchucked a few more times, and lay down for an hour or so while Hallie looked up information on his vertigo symptoms.

Hallie then came into the room and said, "Mike, we're going to the Urgent Care. This is something you can't just sleep off." So, up Mike got up and used that trusty bucket one more time before we headed out to the Urgent Care. We got there and found out they don't take out-of-state insurance, so we then trekked to the Los Robles ER. This was Mike's first trip as an adult and easily his first trip in over 30 years to the ER, so he took it all in with fascinated curiosity. Yes, for the med students we know this is all old hat, but for those of us for whom "ER" means "Doctor TV Show," it was neat to see one in action.

As Mike was being admitted, he recognized one of the staff as someone he had known since elementary school. "Hi, Wayne. (Hallie, he knows me. Keep looking.)" Wayne looks at Mike's wrist band, and his eyes widen. "Hi, Mike!" (Side note: Facebook is good for something, if only to recognize as adults those people we knew as children.) Mike was asked to lie down on a gurney in the hallway (Room 20, apparently), and we were asked a bunch of questions. Mike was given an IV (a first for him), and then we waited for the doctor and the blood work. And we waited.

The doctor came by, asked Mike to not move his head as he tracked the doctor's finger as he passed it from one side of Mike's field of vision to the other, asked a couple of more questions, and gave his diagnosis: seizure disorder. NO, bad joke. It was nothing: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). After the doctor pronounced sentence, we continued to wait for the blood work.

And we waited, and we waited, and we waited some more (We had arrived at about 10, and it was now after 1). Our attending nurse went and came back from lunch. Our doctor went to lunch and was called back when a patient in Room 10 (a real room across the hall from our gurney) lapsed into a non-responsive state. He made some glib remark to the nurse about how the nurse had saved to patient's life by calling him back early from lunch (the patient woke back up. We don't know if she made it through the day, though), then came out, and seeing us there, said, "Oh, hi. The blood work came back fine. Let me write up your prescription, and you're good to go."

We waited some more, then the nurse came back, removed Mike's IV shunt (or whatever you medical people call it), and got us Mike's prescriptions before sending us on our way. Everyone on staff was so nice, and they all had great senses of humor. The doctor was very informative, and it was cute seeing his attending trailing along with tablet PC in hand. All in all, an enlightening visit.

By this time Mike was feeling much better, still dizzy, but no longer intent on heaving his insides out. He went to bed when we got home and didn't come back out until nearly 5 PM. What an unproductive day! Still, like we said above, it wouldn't be a complete vacation without an ER visit. Let's hope Landon does us the favor of avoiding one for himself!

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Way To Say Thanks

I received this in an email today. I would want my brother to get one and I am sure many soldiers would appreciate something like this.


If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq.

You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

It is FREE and it only takes a second.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them.

This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you.

Please take the time to send a card, and please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you's.

Thanks for taking to time to support our military!

I already sent mine. When will you send yours?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wonderful Time

We are here in California. It has been sunny with wonderful temperatures since we have come. Mike is working hard, and we are very proud of him. Even though he is under the same roof as us, we don't see him much. It is a bit of a change from Michigan. Landon has been thrilled to be here. Everything we do is a new experience for him. He is saying new words every day and is eating all kind of different recipes. He has even been eating salads! It has taken Landon almost a week to get adjusted to the time change, but now he seems to be almost on track. I am happy because he takes a 3 hour nap every day. I have started reading a good book by Nicholas Sparks, and it is nice to have the screen door open and listen to the wind chime while reading.

The bottom of the piano bench gave way, and Landon wanted to help Grandpa fix it. He can't follow Grandpa fast enough around the house.

Here is Landon with his new bike. Unfortunately his little legs are still a little short for it. But he has fun walking it all over the backyard and even more fun when he gets us to push him "fast" on it.

Here he is on a tractor that is too big for him too. His cute little legs are great for running and climbing, but pedaling has been a challenge for him. But he tries the tractor like Fred Flinstone and he makes it work.

Here we are at the mall playground. There were actually quite a few kids for kind of a small space. It is a newer playground which was nice, and Landon had fun on all of the jungle-themed items.

Who knew you could hug a panther?

Landon of course has been eating well. Today he was treated to Hot Dog On A Stick. He scarfed down the fresh squeezed lemonade and the yummy corn dog.

There will be more to come as we spend tomorrow with Landon's two cousins Haydn and Lucas. We are looking forward to it. Then Mike will be teaching class number 2 via the Internet. We wish him the best.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Out West in Beautiful SoCal

Here I sit in Hallie's parents' backyard enjoying the blue skies and short sleeve weather! We had such a mild summer and pleasant fall in Michigan (no snow before we left, hooray!! The next time we will run into Old Man Winter will be in 2010), and now we get two more mild late fall/early winter months. Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled.

Our flight went smoothly, although Landon is not a fan of those long hours in the air. Not even Cars on DVD could distract him. My dad picked us up from the airport, and we visited with Mom and Dad and cousin Haydn for a bit before heading for Hallie's folks' house.

Once there, we got out Landon's new bike, and even now he is pushing it around. It will take him a bit to get the idea that he should ride it. He and I ate grape tomatoes fresh off the vine in the backyard, and we're all having lemon ginger cake made with lemons straight off the backyard tree. Tomorrow morning we'll have fresh squeezed OJ with Valencias from the other tree before I head down to Anaheim for the UCEA Annual Conference (our reason for coming out now rather than in December). Paradise. Too bad milk is almost $4.00 a gallon and the cheap gas is $2.85 per gallon. I like living in a place where my milk is cheaper than my gas. . . . Anyway, Landon is enjoying playing with his new bike and the other backyard toys, and I must get back to work (cuz while our location has changed, I still have a paycheck and tenure to earn). Hallie will keep you posted of our other SoCal adventures.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Time To Explain

Yes, we went to the Henry Ford Museum again! Had a ton of fun and took our friends Tim and Valerie with us. We went specifically to see the Lego Castle Adventure. Landon was a tad too young for it but he still had fun. The highlight of his day was the combine pictured below. He started throw a fit when they got off and when they waited in line a second time he couldn't handle the wait. Not enough to post captions due to getting ready for CA. Drop us a line if you want to know more!