Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For Bridgette's Special Great-Grandma

These are for you, Gram. We love you very, very much.

Bridgette Resting

Bridgette in the Autumn

Family Portraits

Bridgette Learning about Tree Bark

Uncle Jon

Bridgette Picks Out Her Own Outfit

Bridgette Talking on the Guitar

Bridgette Playing in the Leaves

Uncle Jon Pulling Bridgette in the Leaves

Bridgette Playing with a Warm Blanket

Bridgette Playing with the Camera :)

Bridgette "Taking a Nap"

Bridgette "Still Taking a Nap"

Bridgette is Not Really Napping

Dear Gram,

I have so many wonderful memories of you.

Here are some of the things I loved to do with you:

drop toys down the laundry chutes (especially darts),
eat pizza and Hough Bakery treats with the whole family,
drink out of your yellow & blue plastic cups with the animals on them (preferably milk or root beer),
hike through the woods behind your house,
play ping-pong in the basement,
play with the toys in the closet and all your stuff downstairs,
watch Peter Pan,
go to Whips Ledges and hike and have a picnic,
smell your house,
attend Ridgewood Methodist Church,
chase each other down the halls,
go to see fireworks,
take very funny pictures (you were always a good sport),
ride with you in the car,
and sit and talk,
and laugh... a whole lot.

Thanks for being a wonderful grandmother.
Thanks for always loving us.
And thanks for teaching me the difference between "b" and "d."
It's come in really handy.

Kelly & Bridgette

Monday, November 16, 2009

Poop Stories: you know you love 'em.

If you're a parent, I know you have poop stories of your own. But let's face it, parent or not, we all deal with poop, and we all have stories. We just keep them to ourselves.

Ah. But today is your lucky day.

Due to Bridgette's Hirschsprung Disease, we deal with a lot of poop. Without a colon or a full-length ileum, foods pass through our baby at rapid pace.

Rapids. That's good imagery. Just think of rapids.

We change diapers all day long like most parents, with one difference being that every single diaper is poopy, some massively so and some passively so.

We have to change her outfit an average of four times a day due to blow-outs.

Often we have to clean the furniture, carpet, and ourselves due to blow-outs. It's just part of daily life. It's what we do.

Mid-last-week, Bri had a whopper of a bloody bum rash, and I knew she needed air time. Following her bath, I left her to dry on a towel in the living room.

The next part is not hard to imagine and certainly you're expecting it. In my graduate cohort, it is what we came to call "explosive diarrhea." (Listen to Diarrhea Radio Spot)

Bridgette evacuated, rapidly. The first poop shot across the room, hit the fireplace and splattered across her toys. I was able to pull her towel up like a wall before the second (and more voluminous) evacuation.

Oddly enough, that is not why I'm writing this story. I don't consider that too gross.

On the contrary, reflecting this season of gratitude, I thought it was kind of cool.

What amazing bodies we have! How beautiful to eat, have nutrition removed from our foodstuffs and transported to our hungry cells, then expel the unnecessary matter preventing toxic build-up! Wow. Better out than in, I always say.

So what could possibly be more gross, you ask?

When the episode was over, I was left with a poopy baby, a poopy house, and a very poopy towel. Since I have two dogs quite interested in poop, I needed to take care of all three in nimble time.

Enter my fabulous brain, "The tub is still full! I'll throw the towel in there to soak while I change Bridgette then clean the house."

If we had been using cloth diapers this whole time, I'm sure I'd have known better. Alas, as soon as the towel soaked up the bathwater and sunk to the bottom of the tub, poop floated off the towel and dissipated into what was fast becoming murky brownish water.

So here's what I consider gross: reaching into that tub to retrieve the towel. The fact that I waited until the next morning to do it, really didn't improve matters.

By the time I got around to cleaning out the tub (placing the towel in a plastic bag to prevent poopy drippage), the whole tub and all of Bridgette's thirty bath toys were covered in a truly slimy layer of...

... well, you're getting the idea.

After a treatment of scalding hot water, too much bleach, and lots of scrubbing, I felt safe putting Bri back in the bathtub. (Though my hands haven't been the same since.)

And wouldn't you know it? The first thing she does is take a drink of bathwater out of her previously slimy toy fish. The cycle is complete.


Bridgette sat up by herself twice this week! She was on her tummy, and she pushed herself backwards, then sideways, then up onto her bum! Such a small move, but I can't tell you how excited I was to witness it. These little advances mean so much to me.

And speaking of advances, our girl has joined us at the table. No more highchair at home, just a booster seat!

Of course, she doesn't always eat at the table. Sometimes she puts Cheerios into my boots and then eats out of my shoes. Mmm...

Fun with Kleenex boxes...

Talking to Gram on the phone.

Lots of car seat time, so we can't leave this out. Here, she is pointing and happy to see Daddy. (It's getting dark very early 'round these parts. And still a month to go before the shortest day of the year.)

Our first snow of the season that really stuck. I took this photo of "Bridgette looking at the snow" which, when examined, was really of "Bridgette watching a monster fly."

Dress made my Gramma Hoose. Very cute. It matches the safari blanket in her room and is large enough for her to grow into a bit.

On Friday, we went to the Nickelcade for the first time since Jeff and I were dating. Bridgette got to ride the merry-go-round and the boat. Mostly we played skeeball, basketball, football, shooter and driving games until somebody swiped my nickels. Here we are showing off our prizes. 166 tickets "bought" us a tiny stuffed turtle and some vampire teeth.

And here is Daddy - because he's so cute.

And Piper - because she's so cute.

And Chewy - because he's so cute.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

16 Months Today!

Happy 1 13 years, baby girl!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This is what happens...

... when your child loves the outdoors but can't walk, crawl, roll, scoot, stand, kneel, or transition.

HAHAHAHA! She loved it. Could have laid in the same position in the wood chips all day.

She may be our little princess, but she's not prissy. She loves to play in the dirt, leaves, grass - you name it. Outdoors is her element.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mandatory, in a Good Way

Here it is, good people of earth. The Halloween post!

Jeff's company always does a big Halloween shindig, "closing down" the office to open it for all the employees' families to trick-or-treat. It's a very family oriented company ( -- makes sense), and this is one of several great parties they throw annually.

Bridgette and I got tons of attention for our elaborate, somewhat attention-seeking costumes. We think we're adorable. Actually, Bridgette didn't know what to think, got completely brain-overloaded, and slept really well that night. Woot! Woot!

We typically do a family theme for Halloween. Lest you think we are Mary and her little lamb, we're actually Little Bo Peep and her little sheep. Jeff was going to be a wolf, but his head was too big for the mask.

Someday soon Bridgette will be picking out her own costume, and if she's lucky, I won't dress to match unless she wants me too. If she's lucky...

Most departments put up a mini-spook house or other appropriately themed Halloweeny area. This photo was taken in the black-light swamp, rendered by the Sites programmers. The swamp actually had water (which I heard someone fell into when startled by the little swamp creature).

Our sis-in-law Heidi took this picture for us, and it will forever remind me of Bridgette trying to brush the glow off of her lamb costume. Very funny.

Halloween night Jeff and I hosted a murder mystery party - enter guests, stage left to right:

Megan as Glumda, the Wicked Witch of DePressed
Russ as Hannibal Schecter the Kosher Cannibal
Jeff as The Mummy of King Aldrinktothat
Krystal as Angela Deth, D.D.S.
Curtis as Balihi, The Rogers-And-Hammerstein Monster
Kelly as Lizzie Bordeaux
Cossette as Aretha Garlique
Richie as Asthmadeus, The Prince of Dimness

It was a fun night of dinner, questioning, and accusations. Bridgette hung out in her witch shirt until bedtime. She began the evening wearing pants, but soiled them beyond relief. Actually, she soiled all the black trousers she owns, namely, four pair.

Decorating the house was fun. I don't like overly cutesy items, nor do I like gore. Thus the bat and spider theme. (Our giant spider, Boris, has been featured in past entries and is not profiled here.)

For your viewing pleasure, a few decorations (not including the various black textiles draped on windows, in entryways, and over furniture). It looked spookier in the dimness of evening, lit only by lamps and candles.

We had orange lights up in the greenery. We also hung heavy cobwebs on our two ceiling fans and had spiders dangling from them.

The remains of dinner. The candles burned down throughout the evening, and one of the candelabras caught fire during Round 3 of our murderous night. I was glad I saw it before it lit the tablecloth, subsequently the table, subsequently the house on fire. Or burned any cookies.

And this is just for fun. I was laughing about how different my two costumes were. Here's a comparison.