Thursday, August 30, 2012

A New Chapter

Tomorrow will be my last full time day at PCH, after that I will work as needed to keep up my skills.  I am sad to end my full time status, but ready for a new part of my life to begin.  I am so blessed to be able to stay home with my girls.  Parenting is one of the most important jobs there is and I am very excited to have more time just being a mom.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Dental Appointment

This morning we took the girls in for their very first dental appointment.  I am ashamed to admit that Aiyana is four and we have not taken her to the dentist yet, but we have been diligent about brushing Aiyana & Clara's teeth every morning and night.  Our main concern for Aiyana has been her two front teeth.  Aiyana still sucks her fingers when she is sleepy and it has done some damage to her teeth.  She is trying to stop, but it's so comforting for her.

Here's Aiyana waiting to get x rays of her teeth.

...and Clara

Aiyana did excellent during her teeth cleaning.  She sat still, opened her mouth wide and she never cried.  I am so proud of her.

Gotta love how daddy's mouth is open in this picture too :o)

Clara on the other hand...

...she HATED the light.  Even after the light was omitted, she couldn't sit still long enough for any thorough cleaning to take place.  They managed to get her front teeth polished and that was about it.  I'm glad it was more of a "focusing" issue than a "being scared" issue because at least it wasn't a traumatizing experience for her.  She preferred to lick and taste the polishing paste over letting it be rubbed onto her teeth.

Here she is thinking "This doesn't taste like bubble gum?!?"... Her face cracks me up in this picture.

Over all the visit was a success and both girls have very healthy teeth.  No cavities and Aiyana's two front teeth will be ok. Yay!

After the dentist, we headed over to a kid's resale store and bought some winter clothes for Aiyana.  Nordstrom footie p.j.'s, Dora p.j.'s, a Baby Gap shirt, two cotton play shirts and two pair of cotton pants all for $25.  I love that store and what makes it even better is that they have a play house for the kids to play in while I shop... LOVE it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dr. Buchhalter's Going Away Party

In the EEG Department at Phoenix Children's Hospital, two other people have announced their departure after I did... Dr. Buchhalter (our Chief Epileptologist) and Esperanza Wagner (our epilepsy monitoring unit Technologist).  Dr. Buchhalter will be greatly missed.  He came from Mayo, in Rochester, to build up the PCH neurodiagnostic department and he really made it what it is today.  He did an amazing job with our epilepsy unit and helped build what is now a cutting edge neuro department. Dr. Buchhalter wore a bow tie to work every day and we sure will miss seeing his bow ties.

Me with a coworker, Terry Munoz, and her husband Leo

Waiting for everyone to arrive...

Dr. Williams, Dr. Buchhalter, Amy & I

All of the techs with Dr. B 
L to R: Esperanza, Amy, Me, Dr. B, Yvette, Mary, Geri, Nancy, Terry & Zack (missing Amber Lee)

All of us with our new Chief Epileptologist (Dr. Kerrigan) including Dr. Kaplan & Dr. Williams

Amy, my boss Mary & I

Esperanza & I

Dr. B & I

Dr. B & Esperanza

Salsa Dancing - Terry & Dr. Williams

Dr. Williams trying to get Dr. B to dance...

This was a super fun party and it made me think about how lucky I am to have such great people to work with... What a fun bunch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 4 - Back to Chicago

On Sunday we drove back to Chicago and headed straight to St. Charles to have one last visit with Nana before our flight home the following day.  Nana had a surprise visitor.  We knew he was coming, but she didn't.  This is Harold, Nana's friend's husband.  After Nana's friend passed away, Harold kept in touch.  He and Nana would hang out from time to time to keep each other company.

Nana had so much fun tossing around a ball with Aiyana.  My mom spoke to Nana on the phone today (2 weeks after our visit) and Nana asked if Aiyana would be coming to visit.  It breaks my heart that we cannot see her more often.

Love this...

The next morning, before flying out, we decided to make a quick trip to Navy Pier.  Aiyana was pretty cranky at the pier.  She refused to let my mom get a picture of me sitting on this ledge by the water.  My mom snuck in one shot, but the lighting wasn't great. I don't know what Aiyana's deal was... Maybe just too much vacation... Out of sorts?  Anyway, here's little miss cranky pants :o)...

It was very windy on the pier...

Here's the one photo that my mom got of me.  I think Aiyana may even be at my feet crying :o/

...but, how could you be mad at this face?

View of downtown from the pier...

We rode this...

Someone was having a lot of fun...

Aiyana rode the merry-go-round with my mom...

After this ride, Aiyana had another melt down.  She wanted to ride more rides.  In fact, she kept saying that she wanted to ride the spinning ride (i.e. the tilt-a-whirl that we rode at the fair).  When she realized I wouldn't cave she started begging me to hold her.  I did for a while, but it was hot and she wouldn't let me sit with her in my lap so I eventually had to put her down.  She freaked and then it was major melt down mode again.  That was the end of our Navy Pier adventure. 

All-in-all... Aiyana did so well on this trip.  She was such a good little helper with the luggage in the airport, she did excellent on the plane and she hardly ever complained.  She felt like such a big girl traveling with us.  One of my favorite things that she said on this trip was when we were in the Phoenix airport trying to figure out what time we would be arriving in Chicago.  My mom and I were debating on our arrival time while Aiyana walked in front of us with the carry-on you see in the picture below.  In the middle of our debate, Aiyana turns around mid step, throws out her arm and says "C'mon guys, we don't have time for this".  She had to be somewhere! :o)

Almost to Phoenix... We spotted a rainbow.  My mom says that she felt like it was a sign that Nana would be okay and not to worry.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 3 - The QC

On Saturday we arranged for my mom's family to get together at Happy Joe's Pizza Parlor in Davenport. Happy Joe's is one of my "must do's" when I am back home visiting.  My mom's side of the family has had a rough couple of years dealing with my grandma's illness and I really wanted to see as much of them as possible during this trip since I am not sure when I will be able to make it back again. I wont be doing as much traveling after I go down to per diem at PCH in a few weeks. We probably wont have the money for me to make a trip back to Iowa two times a year like I've been able to do in the past. 

I thought it was cute how Aiyana was laying on the bed watching cartoons on the ipod while my mom and I got ready to go to Happy Joe's. The way her legs were tucked under her, it reminded me of the poses I try to get the little babies into when I am doing a newborn photography session.

Before we headed to Happy Joe's, we swung by my first childhood home... well the first one I remember anyway.  I lived in another house before this one, but I was a baby.  The mid-west has been very dry this year so many of the yards were brown.  I was pretty disappointed since I yearn to see the green grass when I go back to the midwest. In any case... 

1919 West 54th Street...

My room was the window on the far left when you face the house.  The owners offered to let us inside, but I didn't want to intrude.

Here's the backyard.  That tree makes me smile :o).  I remember that tree so vividly.

Aiyana sitting on the same green porch steps that I sat on for many years. I love this picture.

Happy Joe's Pizza... and they even serve gluten free now... YAY!

Is he not just stinkin cute?  This is my cousin Britani's son, Jager.

Britani's son, Konrad... cutie pa-too-tee...

The boys together...

My aunt Tracie, cousin Britani, Britani's kids and my cousin Brigett and her daughter met us at the pizza joint and we had a lot of fun catching up and watching the kids play.

From L to R: Jager, Konrad, Aiyana, Teagan (my cousin Brianna's daughter) & Ahmi

Aiyana and I inside the climbing tubes.

Brigett's daughter Anika. I think Anika and Clara look a lot alike.

Saturday evening my mom watched Aiyana while I met up with some friends. The following pictures were taken on my old Panasonic camera... it's just not the same as my new camera, but I didn't feel like lugging the new one around all night.  

L to R: Me, Karri, Tabby & Robin

...and we went to, none-other-than, The Phoenix for dinner.  How fitting, right?  This was my favorite part of the night.  I loved our stories, our laughter and simply being able to catch up with some good friends.  I love my Iowa friends... I wish I could move them here :o)

Tabby & I

Karri & I

Mechell & I

and Robin & I