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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Molars

Molars are showing! Rhianwen has seemed fine getting them in. Although she has gotten pretty stubborn and frustrated at times, I think it's more due to the fact that she is becoming a very independent and exploratory little miss! Just the other day we were in the kitchen while she was excitedly exploring the empty family room that had just been opened to her (it's been on the other side of a gate since we moved in). We had left a ladder up, and I heard the lack of noise and decided to peak in. She was on the bottom rung looking up as if thinking...."Can I do it? Hm." I decided to find out the answer and stood behind her as she scaled it to the top.


"Well, it looks like the problem with this fan is that there are no blades on it...Oh yes, I'm quite sure!"



For her birthday, Rhianwen got a pair of gloves from her Greatmama and PaPa, and daddy put them on for her to play in. She reminded me of Miss Piggy (just a little bit) especially when she decided to eat a graham cracker.

"Whatever. I am WAY cuter than Miss Piggy!"



Rhianwen has been learning a few new words. She can say Bible and knows what books that means. One night when Wally was singing "Jesus Loves Me", he got to the part "for the Bible tells me so", and she looked at him and said, "Bible?" I guess it was the first time she realized we were singing words! She also knows that A says a and B says b. Wally often will ask her "Who made you?" and she can say "God"! It's totally amazing. Not that she knows really who God is although we have read her Bible stories since before she was born and pray to Him every day and do parts of the catechism with her as well. So, maybe she knows who God is more than we think she does! I hope so.

We got to spend part of the day on Saturday with a friend who has a younger baby around 7 months. Rhianwen was very excited to give her stuffed animals and kind of gently bop her with them. She has been very fascinated with any baby smaller than herself of late. When we read books to her we can ask her where the baby is,and she will point right at it. She can also do this with sheep and dogs! It's just so exciting to see her little mind learning without even much structure. I wish we could learn so easily for the rest of life.

"An apple for the teacher?"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A False Alarm!

"What, I was all psyched up for this lump removal thing, and now you say I have to wait?"

Because of the utter lack of communication from the plastic surgeon's office, we were prepared for a procedure to remove Rhianwen's lump today. BUT we arrived to find out that it was only a consultation! The plastic surgeon thinks it is a calcified deposit not a cyst, but says it won't go away, could get infected, and he wouldn't be 100% sure unless it was removed. In order for it to be removed, Rhianwen would have to undergo general anesthesia and a 1/2 h surgery. To wait until she was older would mean not knowing for sure what the lump was...ie. very very tiny chance it is something bad. We'd have to wait until we thought she could handle being awake for the procedure, and that might not ever happen (I mean would you want to be awake while someone dug around in your head? I probably would opt to be awake, grit my teeth and try to bear it, but it would take until Rhi was able to do that which would mean teenager at the earliest.)

SO, we have decided to go through with the surgery. It'll be on January 8th.

Sorry for the false alarm, but it was total miscommunication on the doc's part. The letter they sent indicated that it could have been today! I have a love-hate relationship with large hospitals. Love b/c I know there are skilled experts for just about anything. Hate b/c of all the redtape and possibility for miscommunication and b/c there is an emphasis on excellent techniques and research but not on bedmanner. Fortunately, all of the doctors we have met so far have been excellent communicators in person and seemed informative, genuine, interested, and patient...something we didn't always get in Pittsburgh. So, I guess we will stick with the big hospital for now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

1,000 lb.

No, we did not go get Rhi reweighed to find out she is off the charts. We went to the state fair where we saw the hugest pumpkins we have ever seen! The prize pumpkin was 1,179.3 lbs.!



To get an idea of the size look at the baby in the background.

Rhianwen had the time of her life at the fair. We showed her bunnies, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, donkeys, horses, cows, goats, sheep and probably other things that I am forgetting. Before I DO forget, we saw the most hilarious photo shoot ever! We were parked behind a dumpster full of hay and other choice selections from the animal stalls b/c we needed a semi private place to change Rhianwen's diaper. Past some bushes and down the hill was a prize cow and her owner getting ready for a picture. The photographer was trying to set the cow's hooves etc. And I noticed that at the top of the hill in front of the cow was a guy standing with a pitchfork covered in sackcloth. I thought, "Well, this is an odd way to mourn and repent of sin." No, actually I thought, "I wonder what he is doing." Then upon some secret cue from the photographer, the guy ran down the hill loudly calling "Mooo! Moo Moo, Mooooo!" and shaking the sackcloth at the cow. The ploy didn't work too well b/c I think the cow was too distracted by the strange onlookers standing next to the dumpster (namely us). But I laughed my head off watching that guy.

Watching a cow show.

Rhianwen's expressions were priceless the entire day. I finally captured one on camera!

So soft and fuzzy!

We have new molars coming in! This hasn't been too bad, but I feel like Rhianwen has been easily frustrated because of not feeling quite up to par. Of course, Uncle Christopher got to see her in her worst moment ever...throwing a tantrum over having my cell phone taken from her. He probably thinks she is this terrible monster child who needs disciplining. Well, we are trying! She was very stir crazy after staying cooped up in church nursery and a nap today, so I think going for an adventure walk at Umstead State Park helped.

We even came across and old graveyard in the middle of the woods!

I'm nervous about this coming week because, she is having the lump removed from her head on Thursday. The plastic surgeon (I never thought my daughter would visit a plastic surgeon, but at least it's for something practical shall I say?) will sedate her and provide local anesthesia while removing it. I don't know if we are going to have stitches or what. I can't imagine how Rhianwen is going to take it. Poor little oo.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Footsies

This week was a nice return to normalcy...at least by the Tinsley definition. Rhianwen is still enjoying all of her new gifts and recognizes them with excitement. She's also begun a major new stage of trying to climb on or into almost everything. Some very curious coworkers of Wally's came to take a peak at the house, and while they were there, we somehow convinced them to display their prowess by moving our piano to the other side of the room. So, with that in place, we could put the coffee table back on the floor where it semi belongs. Rhianwen took this to mean that it was a new piece of equipment for climbing and became very frustrated when it seemed a bit too high for an easy leg maneuver to the top. She did, however, find a nice basket in her room to commandeer.


"Well, if the bear fits, why can't I?"

She has also become a more independent eater, and ate her yogurt almost without help. Granted, it was very messy, but she managed to ingest most of it. Here, she also has an entire grape in her mouth b/c she no longer wants them cut for her but likes to pick them off of the stems. I finally came up with the idea of cutting them in half and leaving one half on the stem thereby easing my mind of the choking potential and satisfying Rhianwen's desire for big girl food.

"Those fall squirrels got nothing on me!"

I finally decided that the caffeine-free diet Coke was just about the nastiest stuff to drink under the sun and therefore, it lost its place in the fridge. This did not prevent Rhianwen from digging out a can and trying to gulp some for herself!
"Hm, why is this not coming out?"

Thursday, Wally's cousin Virginia was in town for a wedding, and we all got to spend a fun evening with her. Daddy showed off Rhianwen's new wagon, and how he takes her on a roller coaster ride by holding onto the wagon as he runs pellmell down the hill and around the yard. It's really FAST! But Rhianwen absolutely looooves it! She just loves her wagon, and often when she's out running in the yard, she'll go to the shed and try to push it out on her own.

The onset of wonderfully cool fall weather has made Rhi a little tossy turny at night. She sleeps through the chill, but bangs around in the crib all night. This wakes me up with heart palpitations every time she does it (meaning that I get no rest!). So, we made a pit stop at Walmart for some footy pj's (Carter's brand)...on the way I found a pair of leather navy blue Stride Rite shoes in Rhi's size for $2 at Goodwill!!! It made my day!
Checking out the new togs.

We pulled out a cute corduroy outfit for Rhianwen to wear to church. Of course, mommy was unwise enough to let her eat yummy taco soup for 2 suppers and a lunch the few days before this, and in nursery she blew out her diaper with a big poo for the workers who had to dig through her diaper bag to put on an extra outfit. So much for staying all dressed up!


A big smile for daddy.

Mornings has been a time for teaching Rhianwen new words. She seems the most vocal and listens and repeats at this time. She's learned bottle, daddy (dada), and mommy (actually she got it flipped around and said mi-ma). She also loves to kiss. She's gotten the lip movement and the smack instead of her old way of resting her open mouth on your face! These have been some of our favorite moments during the week.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Birthday Weekend

Here are some pictures from the birthday weekend in Conway. Rhianwen had a lot of fun with family and friends. (The previous post has more reflective notes.) Uncle Skipper, Aunt Clara, Brooks (Clara's boyfriend), Great Grandma and Great Grandpa, Grandma Nanny Kim, Grandpa, a new baby friend, and his mama and grandma (mommy's new friends)were all there to celebrate and make the day extra memorable.


Celebrating with new friends.

Grandma Nanny Kim and Grandpa had stayed up late the night before making a special Mitford series Orange Marmalade Cake. Delicious!
Orange Marmelade Cake!

The Carnage (also her tennis balls from Uncle Christopher and Sarah).

Enjoying Uncle Skipper's way cool card with Great Grandma.

She seemed to like Great Grandpa as long as he sang to her but didn't know what to think of him if he wasn't singing!

Brooks (the main photographer...all the good pics are his ;0) and Rhi.


I wish I had thought to take a group pic on that day. Oh well!

Rhianwen also tried her first bit of Coke that weekend.
.....................................................................................

Other firsts: She finally got to see the beach and ocean!!! She absolutely loved it. She would run to the water, run back to the beachy dry sand, run back to the water, wallow in the waves, try to drink the sea, lick her fingers, eat sand. She didn't even care if the waves knocker her down!

Being entertained on the way to the beach.

Loving it.



"I must return to the sea!"


Strolling.



Family picture before we headed back to Durham.



Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, Rhianwen!

RUDE AWAKENINGS

October 4, 2006



October 4, 2007
We came in singing "Happy Birthday"...she was very confused.


Rhianwen's 1st birthday! Can you believe it?! I feel like it was just yesterday that she was in the little hospital bin in our hospital room refusing to go to sleep! Her little personality has blossomed: sweet, alert, seriously assessing new situations, excited about life. May God help these 2 fallen parents to love, guide, and encourage this little one to joy in Him and to have a Christlike compassion and focus throughout all aspects of her life! No small task.

As a mother looking back on this year, I feel like I have not matured much. I still have the same weaknesses: impatient, distracted from enjoying life b/c of my own worries and pressures, failing to desire to serve anyone except for myself. I hope that perhaps I have changed for the better though it may seem imperceptible to me now. I hope Rhianwen can forgive me for my many faults and love me for who I am and who God is making me to be.

It's way too late, as you all can tell from my ramblings, so on to some quick pictures. We have more celebration coming up when we go to Conway this weekend!

Since the movie summarized a good part of her b-day, I will not repeat with pictures.

We went to Pullen Park after lunch and rode the carousel and train. Although Rhianwen was very serious the entire time, we could tell she really enjoyed it b/c she sure didn't want to leave!

Carousel ride:




Train ride:
A Calvin and Hobbes family picture.

Zonked but FORWARD facing in the car for the first day in her life!


We have this huge birthday candle that plays the tune "Happy Birthday". At the top is the number 1, and it is numbered all the way to 21 at the bottom! Each year will take a little longer to burn! This was a gift from our good friends, the Hicklins, who so graciously gave us the perfect honeymoon by letting us stay on their own mountain in their own log cabin, just the 2 of us, for free! Anyway, Rhianwen loooved the candle and wanted to grab it!



The day ended with a very chocolaty bath followed by bed. She had no problem falling asleep this night unlike her 1st night in this world 1 year ago!

Thank you all of our friends and family that have made this past year fun, bearable, and memorable. You have been invaluable in our lives and in Rhianwen's life. We have SO many memories, and I wouldn't even trade the bad ones for all good. Life is sweeter when you can appreciate everything that God gives and look back and see that good came out of all of it!



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