Monthly Archives: December 2006

Aidan and Layla – 4.5 months

I just had to post another picture of my nephew and niece, Aidan and Layla, that I stole from my sister’s blog. They are now 4 and a half months old. Aren’t they adorable? I cannot wait to see them next weekend, when my family will be able to finally get together to celebrate our Christmas. We have a picture of them on our fridge, and every time Adrianna sees it she points at it and says, “Babee!”
Aidan and Layla

Speaking of babies, my sister-in-law is due very soon! We are anxiously awaiting that phone call that tells us that the time has come…and to find out if we will have another niece or a nephew.

Digital Scrapbooking

I am really excited about digital scrapbooking. I am sure my mom and sisters are getting a little tired of me talking about it all the time to then in our MSN chats. I had done a few pages in a scrapbooking program, but this month have been doing everything straight in Photoshop Elements. It is more challenging but also provides a lot more options and opportunities for learning.

I have found a few digital scrapbooking sites which offer many downloads of background papers, embellishments, etc. Some even offer free downloads on certain items. My favorites so far are:

  • DigitalScrapbookPlace.com – this site offers a lot of free downloads and has a huge library of downloads.
  • ComputerScrapbook.com – this site also has a large library of downloads and a few freebies. Many of their downloads are designed for printing so that you can use them in regular scrapbooking as well.
  • DigiChick.com – I just discovered this site so I am still learning how it works. But they seem to have a nice variety of downloads and I have seen some beautiful layouts in their gallery.

Each of the three sites also offers a free gallery for its members, which makes up for a nice community and a great place to get inspiration while viewing others’ layouts. Other members can comment on the layouts submitted so it is also a way of getting constructive criticism if you want it, although I haven’t been brave enough to ask for it yet from anyone other than Greg. The comments I have received so far have been positive, but I think that is mostly due to it being comprised of other people like me who are excited about scrapbooking and thrilled to see new people try it too.

As I have been frequenting these sites, I am realizing that I have a lot to learn, but I am inspired too. Some of the people design their own embellishment and backgrounds. Art has never been my strong suit, but I really would like to learn how to do some of that myself. So here is my first attempt:

Christmas 2006

I made the background paper myself! Hooray! It wasn’t hard or anything, but I am still proud of myself. I am also excited about the stockings and the manger scene. Those were carefully “extracted” from a picture of our stockings hung on our fireplace mantle. So now I can upload a page to the scrapbooking galleries and not have to give credit to any other designer. The page is completely my own in all respects.

The Bearded Lady

Adrianna knows the names to many, many different body parts. She loves pointing to them on herself or on us and saying the name.

“Teeth?” She asks, while showing and pointing to her teeth.
“Yes, those are your teeth.”
“Teeth?” She asks again, while pointing to my teeth.
“Yes, very good Adrianna. Those are Mommy’s teeth.”
“Eye?”

And so it goes, on and on.

She recently has learned a new word: “Bee-eh” which is her way of saying “Beard.” Greg has a beard and he taught her this word after she kept pointing at the beard on his chin.

Well, now she points to my chin and says, “Bee-eh.”

I will try and correct her, saying, “No, that is Mommy’s chin. Chin. Mommies don’t have beards. Daddy has a beard, but Mommies don’t have beards.”

“Bee-eh?”

Maybe I need to go look in the mirror and see if I have any stray chin hairs that need plucking…

Our Christmas

Our Christmas turned out quite nice. It was just the three of us, so everything was very casual. We slept in, had a simple breakfast, and just relaxed most of the day. I just had to take a couple pictures of Adrianna in her bloomers though; so adorable!
Greg and Adrianna

Adrianna admires the tree

Adrianna loved each one of her presents. She wanted to play with each one after it was opened, so we took things slowly. Another reason we took things slowly is because she somehow had it in her mind that each piece of wrapping paper that she tore off a gift, no matter how small, needed to be thrown away before the next little piece could be torn off of the gift. We found a box for her to put the pieces in, so it became a long process. Tear. Throw away. Tear. Throw away. Greg and I had a good laugh over our fastidious toddler. We also started “helping” her to rip off larger pieces of paper at one time to help the process along a little.

Adrianna got a See ‘n Say Farmer Says and a puzzle with Farm Animals from us. She got a Little People Noah’s Ark from her Grammy and Grampy. She enjoyed each of the presents so much that I decided to keep some of the other Little People animals I had bought for a later date.
Adrianna and her new puzzle

Adrianna and Noah's Ark

Greg got some warming slippers for his gift from his Secret Santa. He also recently bought himself a new bass guitar, so I think he had a pretty good haul. From my Secret Santa, I received The Sim2: Open for Business game expansion pack for my computer. It has kept me up several late nights already, as that game is so addicting.

The present Greg bought for me is actually a gift for the two of us: a new Canon digital camera. It is amazing and is so much faster than our older digital camera. I was thrilled when I opened it up.

Greg is very excited about our new camera. He has been doing a lot of practicing with the different things it can do. While most of the pictures were deleted, I secretly just had to keep this one because he is just so darn cute.

Greg plays with the camera

Adrianna helps Daddy play the banjo. She is such a good little helper.
Greg and Adrianna play the banjo

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Greg, Adrianna, and Amber Reimer

Christmas Eve, Or So the Calendar Tells Me

Today is Christmas Eve, but it didn’t really feel like it. Because of the huge snowstorm this past week and Adrianna’s RSV, we have been pretty isolated. We don’t have a lot of food in the house, so no fancy dinner. Adrianna is sick, so no company and no going anywhere, even if we had felt like going out on the treacherous roads. The mail was unable to be delivered for several days, so no presents had yet come. We weren’t even able to have the traditional Reimer family Christmas Eve dinner of waffles since we didn’t have enough makings for them. (We did have french toast though, which Adrianna just gobbles up like there is no tomorrow.)

I was admittedly and selfishly feeling pretty down yesterday about not having any packages under the tree that were for me. Sure, I knew I had one coming from the Reimer family secret santa gift exchange and another from my family when we celebrate with them in January, but I didn’t have anything to open for Christmas morning due to the snowstorm’s shipping and shopping delay. Thankfully I had done Adrianna’s shopping pre-snowstorm so at least she had a few. And she had one from her Grammy and Grampy that was shipped here pre-snowstorm too.

My sweet husband braved the icy and horribly dangerous roads yesterday to go grocery shopping. We were out of milk and bread, so this was much appreciated. Unbeknownst to me, he also bought me a gift, which he sneakily wrapped and put under the tree without me even seeing him do so. When I discovered it, I felt my mood immediately brighten. It still doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve per se, but I have a sweet and thoughtful husband and a present to open tomorrow!

Even better, the post office and fedex employees delivered packages today to make up for lost time! On Sunday! I happened to see one of these kind souls on my way to my mailbox to pick up yesterday’s mail and wholeheartedly gave him my thanks. Because of this extra day of delivery, I received my package from my secret santa today!! So now I have two packages under the tree. I almost feel the excitement of a child again about opening my gifts tomorrow. I am thrilled to pieces.

Oh yeah, and it snowed some more today. Nothing substantial, but we still have this past week’s snow on the ground so we are getting a white Christmas. I think I’ll put on some Vince Guaraldi tomorrow to really get me in the Christmas-y mood.

“Mah-wy” Christmas

I am still feeling pretty down about having to cancel our Christmas plans with my family. Of course I know it was necessary due to Adrianna’s RSV, but I still cannot help but feel very disappointed. I was really looking forward to having a full house and seeing my family. It isn’t very often that ALL of us are together at one time. We are still going to try to celebrate a couple weeks later, but somehow I still feel sad about Monday.

I guess if I look at the positives, at least we will still get to celebrate with Adrianna. It will be fun to watch her open up her gifts. And since we will be celebrating in January with my family, I can leave my decorations up for a few extra weeks. I am sure Adrianna won’t mind. She loves our tree.

Adrianna and the Christmas Tree

She likes to point at and name the ornaments and lights.

“Bah?”
“Yes, that is a ball.”
“Dai?”
“Yes, that is a light.”

I know it sounds like we are stating the obvious with our conversations with her, especially since she already knows what the object is. But I have learned that she will continue to repeat the word over and over and over until we validate that yes, that is a dog. Or yes, that is a kitty. Kind of a reverse “What’s this? What’s that?” stage that toddlers go through.

Adrianna is very good at touching but not removing the ornaments (touching is okay), although we did have one incident today. She is not allowed to throw toys, but she is allowed to throw her toy balls. Today she ran into the kitchen and excitedly exclaimed, “Bah!” while throwing what turned out to be one of the round “ball” ornaments from the tree. In her defense, it was a ball after all. (Right now, she considers most circles to be “balls.”) Thankfully it didn’t shatter, but I do not know what happened to the hook. I will probably step on it tomorrow.

Adrianna now calls Molly “Mah-wy” instead of “Mom-mee.” This is nice, because it is less confusing for me. They are the best of friends.

Adrianna and Molly May

Initialize the Nebulizer

I just had to take that quote from Jeff’s earlier comments.

Here is an example of a Nebulizer. Instead of a mouthpiece, we have a mask that Adrianna wears due to her age. Apria Healthcare brought the unit to our door on Tuesday (in their big Apria Healthcare truck) and demonstrated for us how to use it. I thought that was pretty good service.

Nebulizer Example

The nebulizer treatments are going well. Now that Adrianna is getting used to the treatments, she is patient for about the first 30-45 seconds. Of course each treatment last 5 minutes…
Adrianna's Nebulizer Treatments

After that, the fussing starts. No real tears anymore though. It is pretty much just her way of letting us know she is not happy about being restricted. Greg holds her in his lap for the treatments while I hold the mask up to her face.

Adrianna's Nebulizer Treatment

Adrianna's Nebulizer Treatment

I think the treatments are helping though. She does still have some coughing fits that make me nervous, but they seem to be occurring less than they were a few days ago.

A Toddler’s Work is Never Done

As I have mentioned before, Adrianna is a great imitator of everything she sees Greg and I do.

Here she is, busy at work on the “boh-boo” (computer).

Picture of Adrianna working on the computer

And making an important call on the “tsa-tsa” (telephone).

Picture of Adrianna making a phone call

Oh, and by the way, I have finally updated our photo gallery with pictures from November and December.

White Christmas

Well, the snow stopped this afternoon, leaving behind great snowdrifts and nice weather. The snow in our backyard is now almost one toddler high. The numbers for our city this afternoon showed that we received 34″ of snow.

Adrianna in the snow

Even though she is sick, I just had to let her outside (all bundled up of course) for about 10 minutes to see the beautiful snow. I am not sure what this look is for.

Adrianna

After we came back inside, she decided she wanted to put her hat back on.

Adrianna and Molly

She is definitely feeling better. We did end up having to give her a nebulizer treatment at 4:00 in the morning, but I am seeing improvement in her overall breathing, coughing, and energy. And tonight’s treatment went a lot smoother too. She didn’t even cry for the first couple of minutes. Once she does start fussing, it is mostly for show and to let us know that she isn’t happy with being restricted with a mask held against her face.

Well, if the snow sticks around for a few more days, we will get our White Christmas!

And Since We’ve No Place to Go

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Well, it is still snowing. The wind has died down some, but our entire backyard is one big snowdrift. Our dogs hate it, even after Greg has kindly braved the wind and snow several times today to shovel a little potty place and I put their sweaters on them to ward off the cold.

I would estimate that the amount of snow in our backyard has doubled since this afternoon. Chloe can stand on her back legs and still not see over the top, and she is a long little doggie. This picture just does not do the snow justice.

Greg and Chloe in the snow

Greg, as a prank, tossed Molly into the snow this afternoon. She instantly sunk down out of sight. All you saw was a little interruption of powder in the snowdrift. He quickly reached in and pulled her right back up, but it freaked me out.

Greg says that this snowstorm is knocking on the door of the one we had back in 2003. The entire hour of the local news tonight was devoted to this storm. Many people are stranded on the interstates and have been for hours. Some are claiming that this blizzard is one of the worst Colorado has had in a long time, even more so than the 2003 one based not on the actual snowfall but on the severity of the storm itself. It makes me thankful to be home with our cupboards stocked full of food.

I am also glad that Adrianna is doing okay. In fact, tonight showed vast improvement. I think it may have been in part to her long nap this afternoon, but she was more energetic than she has been in several days. And she is sleeping soundly now too, whereas last night we had to give her another nebulizer treatment right about this time.

Well, now I go to sleep. Glad to be in my warm bed with my dogs at my feet. Looking forward to peering out the windows tomorrow to see the snowfall.

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful

But working from home is so delightful!

The Denver area is getting hit with a major snowstorm today. It has been snowing and blowing all day and shows little sign of stopping even now. It is so bad that both our workplaces let people go home early and virtually shut down some areas. People who volunteered to stay late to take care of things have been offered hotel passes. Tomorrow hourly employees at my place of work even get extra pay. Too bad I am salary.

I am thankful that both Greg and I can work from home though rather than braving the elements.

Adrianna took a FOUR hour nap this afternoon. Yep, four hours. We let her sleep because she hasn’t been sleeping well at night. It also allowed us both time to get some working hours in.

Greg had to shovel a little area in our yard so that our dogs could do their business.

Greg shovels the snow

How tall is snow you ask? Well, at about 2:30 it was 1.5 wiener dogs high. Don’t they look miserable and cold? They don’t beg to go out unless they feel it is absolutely necessary and cannot hold it in any longer.
Poor, cold dogs

It is *supposed* to snow through tomorrow. I guess if Adrianna had to get RSV, at least we cannot go anywhere for a couple days anyways. As my Mom would say in her best Pollyanna voice, “I’m glad of that.”

Helping Mommy

More and more, Adrianna imitates everyday things that we do not even realize she is observing. For instance, we never taught her to throw used kleenex into the trash, but she does it on her own. We never showed her what keys are for, but whenever she gets a hold of mine, she runs to the door and tries to fit them into the doorknob. She is constantly amazing me with all the things she is learning from us on a daily basis; things we never “taught” her or went out of our way to show her. Her mind is like a little sponge.

Tonight, she took this imitation of everyday events to a whole new level.

It all started out innocently enough. In fact, it was great. She grabbed a clean diaper, laid down on the floor, and grabbed her diaper that she currently had on and said, “Dada?”

“Do you want a diaper change, Adrianna?”
“Ah.” (Yes)

She rarely lays down on her own and asks for a diaper change, so I was quite pleased and impressed. She even grabbed a wipe and wiped herself. I think she is getting closer to being ready to use her new potty chair we bought.

Not long after the diaper change, I was sitting on the floor when she walked over to me, holding another clean diaper. She then pushed her hand against my chest and said, “Down.”

She wanted me to lay down on the floor. Curious as to what she would do next, I lay down as she requested. She then proceeded to lift up my shirt a few inches. Then she started to fiddle with the button on my jeans while still holding on to the clean diaper she had brought over. Then it dawned on me. She was trying to change my “diaper!”

RSV & Canceling Christmas

Adrianna has had what appeared to be a cold for a couple of weeks. Over the past couple of days it started to develop into a deeper cough, congestion, and wheezing. She has also been not eating well and extra cuddly in the evenings, wanting us to hold her for long periods of time. Of course we are happy to oblige, but we knew something was up. The coughing is also keeping her up at nights so that her little eyes are tired and red-rimmed.

I took her to the doctor today. The doctor was concerned by the wheezing especially and ordered x-rays to test for pneumonia and a test for RSV as well. No pneumonia, thankfully, but she did test positive for RSV, which is short for Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

RSV is one of those viral infections that doctors nowadays warn new mothers about, striking fear and trembling in every first-time mothers’ heart. It IS a very dangerous infection for infants, especially those born pre-mature. It is also very contagious. Knowing this, we had to cancel our plans with my family for Christmas, since there is no way I would feel right in exposing my new niece and nephew who are at high risk for RSV. I am very disappointed about canceling Christmas. 🙁

Since Adrianna is just shy of 20 months, it is still a serious infection that can have lasting impacts. (Adults can get RSV but it is usually much milder and mistaken for a bad cold or is considered bronchialitis, which is lower down that bronchitis.) It is also the # cause for pneumonia in young children, so x-rays were ordered for Adrianna. Thankfully, her lungs are fine. Her oxygen level is also normal, so we are thankful for that as well. The doctor was actually really positive in regards to how well Adrianna is doing. She does display most of the common RSV symptoms though.

  • Runny nose ?
  • Wheezing ?
  • Fever ?
  • Deep, barking cough ?
  • Tired, ill appearance ?

For treatment, we have to use a nebulizer, which is a air compresser and mask that is used to distribute her medicine (in a mist form) which helps to open her airways. Holding a mask up against a toddler’s face for 5 straight minutes is not an easy task. And we have to do this several times a day. It does help her wheeziness and coughing.

Since this is so contagious and takes at least 7-14 days to pass, taking her to childcare is out. So it looks like Greg and I will be tag-teaming work and watching Adrianna. I sure don’t mind all the cuddles we are getting with her. Or even the snot-covered kisses that she so freely offers.

Family Names

Adrianna is fond of pointing at various family members in our little household and saying their names. She’ll say “Momma” or “Mommy” as she points to me. She’ll point at Greg and say, “Daddy.” Our cat, Petey, is “Kiki” or “Keey” (Kitty) and Molly is still “Mommee.” She has a word for Chloe too, but I cannot remember what it is. Poor Chloe is not her favorite pet. I think that is because Chloe runs away from her whereas Molly is always wanting attention and puts up with more ear tugging and abuse love. Adrianna loves Molly and is always talking to her and saying her name. I still sometimes get confused when I hear her calling from the other room, “Mommee! Mommee!” only to go see what she wants and realize she is talking to Molly.

One of my favorite words that Adrianna says now is when she is referring to herself. After pointing out different members of our family she will then point to herself and say, “Ah-wra” which we have come to realize is her way of saying Adrianna.

Another relatively new word that she uses often is “Git!” This is always said in reference to the dogs. I think she must have picked that up from us.

A New Boss

I just found out last week that I am getting a new boss. I guess our director is being re-orged to another department soon. i have to admit that I am very sad about the change. He has only been my official boss for a few months (though I have worked with him for 3 or 4 years on various development projects), but these past few months with him as my manager have had me more happy to come to work than I have been in a couple of years. I have always loved my job, but having a manager who is so vocally appreciative of the hard work I do and extra hours I put in and who is great handing out recognition has been like a breath of fresh air. I am highly motivated by recognition (who isn’t?) and his positive feedback always inspires me to work even harder. He has also been very supportive of my work goals and helped me reach some of them in the short time as my manager.

I am really disappointed that he will no longer be my boss. I can honestly say that he has been one of my favorite managers of all time. Which is funny, because when I first had to work with him several years ago we didn’t get along. He can be very abrupt and demanding and, being the emotional being I am, found that hard to take at times. And at the time, I was just a developer and he was the “customer” so to speak and he wasn’t MY boss. But we eventually learned to work together and then I eventually decided that I wanted to move to his team very badly. Then once he became my boss this year I got to see his other side: how he treats his own employees. He backs his people up 100% and lives by his motto that his #1 job is to make us happy to come to work every day. I would say he lived up to that, at least for me.

I have done a few training classes for the other employees of our new manager, so I have had to work with him on a limited basis. He seems very knowledgeable and my first impression is that he will be a good boss to work for.

And okay, I have to brag a little bit. This is, after all, MY blog so here goes:

We were having a meeting on Thursday to meet our new boss. About half of the team that I am associated with was there, so about 50 people. During the Q&A session, our new boss mentioned this relatively new website consisting of about a hundered different types of forms (that I built) that allows people throughout the company to submit work requests to various departments. Our new boss started raving about the site and how this site was exactly the type of thing he is looking for in how we relate to and work with our internal customers and asked my old boss if “his team had developed it.” So my boss pointed me out and said , “Actually, Amber developed it. She’s there sitting in the front row.” So that was pretty cool. I am sure I was glowing. 🙂

Did I mention that I love my job?