Wednesday, December 31, 2008

for those who asked

Here's the site for the Athan bear.

good news, bad news

Good news: The rehearsal went smoothly, and rehearsal dinner was lots of fun! The kids did well during the shuffle from here to there, and had lots of fun with Aunt Loy and Uncle Joe last night.

Bad news: Athan didn't sleep much last night, and he wasn't any happier about it than we were. Ryan and I still feel - to quote him directly - "poopy." We probably need antibiotics, but we're unlikely to be able to obtain any until next week. Ugh.

Wedding tonight. I think I'd better start the process of getting ready if I hope to make it by 8 tonight. It's not as easy to be stunning as it used to be. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the update from Austin

Ok, I think I've offered this disclaimer before, but it applies again: I hesitate to write when things are stressful sometimes. I feel like I'm whining. So that explains the gap in the report - this have been stressful in Strebeck-ville for a few days.

Before we left, there was the ongoing indecision about whether or not Athan was up to the trip. One by one, however, his struggles seemed to get easier, and we decided Athan was good to go.

Morgan, as always, is a champ. She was antsy and ready to come to Austin for two weeks before we could leave, and her cough finally went away, too.

So Thundercats are Go!

And then, Saturday morning (before the scheduled departure of Sunday morning), Ryan and I woke up with nasty sinus infections. Weekend - no docs open. Not enough time to sit all day in Urgent Care waiting room if we're to be ready to leave in time to make the wedding. So we had to finish getting ready to be gone for 3 weeks with monster headaches, etc. Yuk.

Then - two days of driving. Athan is the best traveler in the car. He did great on all 3 of the important factors - eating, sleeping, pooping. Morgan was cranky, but healthy. Ryan was not cranky, but still sick. I was very cranky and very sick.

But we made it. Whew. Austin is a welcome change of scenery - mostly I like that it's 68 degrees out today. Rehearsal dinner for my brothers wedding tonight (Ryan is the minister performing the ceremony, and I'm and attendant). We both still feel a bit like we've been beat up (no one should have to feel this way unless they got to drink alot the night before... and I didn't, in case you're wondering...), and we could use some extra prayer for the next few days.

Kids are staying with Ryan's folks during the wedding stuff (thank you Sid and Selena!). Wedding tomorrow. Family Christmas deal the next day. Cotton Bowl for Ryan the next day. Then back across Texas (10 hours) to Clovis for a couple weeks. If I don't get to it before, I'll update again once we get to New Mexico.

Anyone still reading this whiny novella, thanks for you patience and prayer. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the only way he'll sleep lately:

rough night again, but better day

Athan was awake alot last night again, but is asleep at the moment and has been for 2 hours. Yeah!

Our sweet friend Trish brought us dinner last night. Many, many thanks! I can hardly say how much I like food that I don't cook. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008


Ryan's computer is back from the shop. Mine is still weird. But I can post some again, anyway.

Ummm... More of the same. Morgan's month-old cough is still there. Athan's "off-ness" is still very much there. He slept last night in 20-30 minutes stretches, and only if someone was holding him. He had a fever, which has gone away now. He's starting to cough some, too.

Ryan's taking our car into the shop right now. A pick-up came too far into our lane after church yesterday and knocked off our driver side mirror. Annoying.

But to end on the UP side...

We finally were able to celebrate Morgan's birthday last night. A green cake, of course. Thanks, friends, for loving us and loving our kids with us.

I got to make a quick trip to Chicago with my friend Kelly. She ran up to see her fam, and I got to visit our friends the McCallisters. Great time with Kelly, Josh, Candace, Jedi, and Gonzo.

Ryan is very much NOT in school right now. Big fat sigh of relief.

Soooo.... that's us today. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tech Trouble

Athan has had a better day and is much more himself today.
Our posts may be abit thin for awhile. Ryan's computer is in the shop and Amberly's is on the blink. Our internet access may be limited until one of the computers works again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

in an odd place

Just can't decide what's going on with kiddo. He's not himself, but not dangerously sick. Just... off. I don't know. He ate some tonight. Drank a little. Seems exhausted, but not sleeping. I guess that's the best update I can give tonight.


Athan seems to be feeling well. He is sitting in the floor playing with Dad and sister. He's not fussy or lethargic. Dad gave him a bath, and he's sipping on juice here and there.

we need you again

We're a little nervous this morning. Athan just threw up again. His sugars are fine right now (71), but we had to repeat morning dose of meds. Now we need him to drink enough to keep his blood sugar up.

We go see Dr. Coburn at 2:30 today (previously scheduled follow-up from hospitalization).

Monday, December 15, 2008

better evening

Thanks for praying, friends and fam.

He seems better. He ate really well at dinner, had a bath, fell asleep, and (for the first time all day) is sleeping in his crib instead of in Mom's or Dad's arms. That's 2 of the Big 3 - eating and sleeping. Now if he can poop...

In other news, Morgan went for her 4-year-old check-up today. Ryan took her, and reported that she was quite entertaining reading the eye chart and answering Dr. Coburn's questions. She weighs 32 pounds and is 42 inches tall. Healthy kiddo. She also got a round of immunizations today, poor girl. Her leg is so sore she was walking funny for a while. Ouch.

I'm off to accomplish (hopefully) the Big 3 myself, and be ready to try again tomorrow. Night, all.

not a great day so far

He's miserable, and I don't know why. Not eating well (drinking lots and eating enough, apparently, to keep his sugars up), not sleeping well, not pooping at all. He's super fussy, poor guy, and I can't find any way to help him. Could use some prayers again today - for all of us.

restless night, good morning

Not that it is a big surprise, but Athan didn't sleep very well last night. I'm not sure how long he was in his crib, but I'm pretty sure he spent at least an equal amount of time on Ryan's chest in the living room chair. His sugar is fine - 95 at 5 this morning. He's still drinking lots of juice, and is currently in his high chair eating some cereal and raisins. And yawning all of the sudden. Maybe he'll take a nap now...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

before bed

Ummm... O.K. It's been an O.K. evening. Not great - he still obviously does not feel very good, he didn't eat very much, and had difficulties filling his diaper earlier. But not bad - he's drinking lots of juice, his blood sugar is fine (82 at last stick), and he had fun playing in the bathtub for a while. I think he's asleep in the chair with Ryan now.


They boys got home a while ago. I only vaguely remember - I was deep asleep at the time. As with every time we leave the hospital, I'm glad and nervous. Certainly glad to be at home - hospitals are difficult places to heal, ironically. And also nervous - there is no team of trained professionals ready to rush in the room at the push of a button.

Athan is better, certainly. He's still tired and a bit on the cranky side (understandably), but his sugars have been fine. Ryan said he ate lots of good stuff at lunch, and shows no signs of tummy trouble right now.

Morgan was sweet when she saw Athan. She ran to him and said "Bubba! I'm so glad you feel better." Cute kid, huh?

First Smiles

I caught one of Athan's first smiles in 3 days or so. I got him to ride around in a hospital Radio Flyer and he agreed to eat a little lunch. Laurie (Athan's PT), along with Lance and Jordan, came by for a visit after church. Thanks guys. Athan was glad to see them as soon as he figured out Laurie wasn't going to put him to work! He's sleeping now, so hopefully he'll rest well. Below, you can see Athan making a hat out of hospital dishes (since, of course, none of Mama's mixing bowls are handy).

discharge orders in

As long as Athan keeps his meds down (we switched from IV meds to by-mouth meds) and tolerates a normal lunch, he'll be discharged at 3 this afternoon. Yeah! :)

He is pretty fussy this morning, but I think that was due to a miscommunication on the orders for his meds that led to a delay in his morning dose of Cortef. Otherwise he seems to be more and more himself.

Ryan is at the hospital with him now. I'm home to shower and rest, get Morgan, and get the house ready for Athan to be home (which won't be difficult - MANY thanks to the little elves who cleaned my gross house!).

Soon I'll try to hammer out some kind of reflection about our first "crash." It will start with relief...


Awake and fussy this morning. I think the poor guy was just hungry! He's sitting in bed now, munching on cheerios.

Morning, all.

sugar check


Saturday, December 13, 2008

up and back down

Athan woke up about an hour ago, so we took that chance to do all the stuff: check vitals, check sugar, change diaper, give meds, offer juice. All looks good. Vitals are good - no fever for the first time in a couple days. Blood sugar was 107 (that's good - normal is between 70 and 120). His diaper was soggy (very important his urine output stays up). He chugged more apple juice, then cuddled with mom for a few minutes and went back to sleep. For tonight he is on clear liquids only per doc's orders, but hopefully we can get him on some solids tomorrow and see if he can tolerate it. Still no idea how long we'll need to be here. Hopefully more info/answers at rounds tomorrow.

A thousand thanks, loved ones.

more fluids, more fussy, more sleep

Athan woke up just after I posted last. We moved to a different room (we were sharing before, now we have our own room), and he drank some more apple juice. He was super fussy for a while, and I couldn't tell why. Then Dad and Morgan came for a short visit (and brought me dinner), and it was Dad to the rescue! He patted Athan for a bit and he let out a monster belch, then went to sleep. Whew...

No real updates aside from that. We're still just trying to find out why his tummy hurts. May have been the antibiotic he was on for his earache, so we've stopped that med (his ear is fine now). May be a virus (reported to be going around). Maybe something else... We won't be going home until we are sure he will eat and drink enough to keep his meds down and his sugars up once we get home.

Again, thanks for praying. I suspect we'll be awake some tonight. I'll probably post again in a few hours.

sleeping still

Athan is just a tired, tired baby. He is still asleep. He has been awake for small stretches today, mostly when we have to get vitals or x-rays. Otherwise, asleep. The general opinion seems to be that it's ok to just let him sleep as long as he wants. He still has only had about 10ml of liquid to drink, but his diaper was really wet (from IV fluids), so they were happy with that for now. It may be a while before he is willing to eat or drink more.

I (Amberly) am here with Athan for tonight. Ryan went home to be with Morgan and finish his last assignment of the semseter. I am, of course, happy to be with my boy, but I'm sad to be away from Morgan on her 4th birthday. [I'm sure Ryan would say he is glad to be with the birthday girl, but sad to be away from the sick boy...].

Thank you, again, for the prayers, comments, e-mails, texts, calls, offers to help... We are grateful to be surrounded by people who love.

Athan is finally stirring a bit, so I think I'd better go see if he will drink more. I'll post again when he falls back to sleep.

need him to drink stuff

We really need Athan to be willing to drink some stuff so he can pee. That's the current prayer requst.

Children's Hospital

We made it up to a room a few minutes ago. Athan is sharing a room with Chan, a baby who had intestinal surgery a few days ago.

Sugar levels remain plenty high, thanks to the IV. Athan does not have much interest in eating or drinking anything yet. He is worn out from being sick and then from fighting so hard this morning. His blood work all checked out normal and x-rays look good so far. Everyone mostly suspects something viral at this point. The plan is to keep him here until he can keep food/drink down and therefore his oral medications.

The Morgan reports sound like she is having a good day with friends. We sure appreciate everyone in Wilmore. It's a good problem to have, deciding which willing family will take care of Morgan for a while. Thanks to all -

Update from UK

Athan and I made it to the UK emergency room around 6.45 or so, and Amberly was right behind us. The big guy's blood sugar was still alarmingly low, but he was fighting and showing signs of being alert. They were able to get him an IV solution after a few minutes. Shortly after that his sugars had climbed back to within the acceptable range. He's very tired and still a bit lethargic. We're checking sugars every half hour and have started an IV drip. He's resting well now, and the challenge now will be trying to get him to eat/drink enough. We're not sure yet how long we'll be here.

Morgan is still at home asleep. (She turns 4 years old today, by the way) Rob and Kat are there waiting to feed her breakfast and take her to play with Eve and Claire for the morning, then bring her back home for a nap this afternoon.

We very much appreciate your prayers for our kiddos - for Athan's body to be better and for Morgan to be O.K. waking up and spending a morning suddenly without Mom and Dad.

Athan's sugar is back up

Amber just called and they got his sugar back up, but they are going to go ahead and admit him. All of his doctors will be able to check on him. They also want to find out why he is throwing up. Ambie will post more details as soon as she can. Happy 4th Birthday Morgan! GT


Hey this is Amberly's mom. Amber is dictating as she drives to the hospital in Lexington. Ryan and Athan are in an ambulance ahead of her headed to the ER at UK. Athan's blood sugar crashed this morning. Amber will post an update as soon as possible. Please PRAY!! Thanks again and again for traveling this journey with us, many times on your knees. Grammy Tammy

Friday, December 12, 2008

in case you're up

Athan is throwing up again. Lots. So far his blood sugar is fine, so would you just pray with us that he can eat enough for it to stay that way?

prayer request

My Aunt Gwen (my mom's sister) had a stroke yesterday and remains in ICU today. Would you pray for her recovery, and for her husband, kids, and grandkids?

plodding along

Athan still isn't feeling well, poor guy. He is finally resting at the moment, so I hope this helps! We had to cancel PT again today.

Morgan and Mama had a fun morning: Claire came to play with Morgan, and Claire's Mama (Eve) came to play with me! Seriously, when I'm home all the time with the kids, other adults who are willing to brave the kid chaos and come hang out - golden. Thanks for helping restore some sanity, Eve! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

more about poo

Sorry. I know I said I'd take a break...

We've gone from not enough to too much. I think it's the antibiotic. He had 5 or 6 dirty diapers today, and it is burning his bottom, poor guy. I think the rest of him feels much better, but he's been fussy all day because his bottom hurts.

On the upside - he ate really well today, and is asleep at a semi-normal time. Yeah! :)

feeling better, but...

Athan is feeling better, I think. No fever, and he's at least energetic enough to be grumpy. :) He's still not sleeping or eating well, but I think we're on the right track, at least.

Morgan, poor kiddo, is bored and tired of Mom being so occupied with brother. I think it'll be a great break for her to get to play with the boys tomorrow morning (thanks, Erin!).

Monday, December 8, 2008


We saw Dr. Coburn this morning, and Athan has an ear infection. He started an antibiotic this evening, so we hope that'll clear up in the next couple of days.

Also, we think his tummy is having a hard time with PediaSure. We started that to get him more calories to help with his weight gain. Actually, we tried a knock-off brand. So we'll try name brand, and Dr. Coburn also suggested that we check with Dr. Bay and Dr. K and see if we can try Carnation Instant Breakfast (also loaded with calories).

It was a tough night/day for us. It is no fun when Morgan gets sick, but when Athan does, it is scary. We have to monitor sugars, repeat meds if he throws up, double dosages, and make sure we're watching for any signs of a crash that would necessitate a trip to the hospital. And doing all of that in the middle of the third sleepless night in a row... well, you know how clear your thinking is (or more, is NOT) at that moment! :)

So, once again, thank you all who stay with us in this. I know you read, and I feel it when you pray. Thanks for the comments, calls, e-mails. For babysitting Morgan so we can do the doctor thing, and for babysitting the Mama when she's falling apart. We remain deeply grateful.

sick and tired

Athan is not well today. Tossed his dinner last night. Fever and thickly snotty this a.m. A bit lethargic and blood sugar was low (not dangerously low, but lower than it's been in a while). Not much sleep last night again.

Athan and I need your prayers today. Thanks, loved ones!

Friday, December 5, 2008

the s*&@ hit the floor

Not the fan. The floor. Athan has had a marathon of pooping yesterday and today, that included a blow-out that ran down his leg, out of his high chair, and onto the kitchen floor I had just mopped. Ryan was studying at the library, so I actually called Kat (gracious neighbor) to come be the extra set of hands that I needed to get everything and everyone clean.

But he's not constipated! Yippie! :)

We did address this with Dr. Coburn and Dr. Bay. Basically, we just keep trying to find the right rate to give him the meds and foods he needs. It'll take some time to figure out what works for our boy.

But while I'm at it - thank you to all who have left comments or sent e-mails with suggestions. We've tried most of them, and will keep trying. Some of them work sometimes, which is worth the trial-n-error ups-n-downs we go through to help kiddo feel better. In case you've got a young one with this problem, here's what we've got: Miralax (or knock-off), Little Tummy's laxative, dark Karo, baby food prunes or prune juice, dried fruit (cooked into oatmeal works well), all with a diet that includes lots of fiber, and avoids too much cheese and white bread. Oh - and pumpkin, oddly (we mix some in with oatmeal).

In case you're grossed out, I'll try to refrain from more posts about poo for a while so you can recover.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dr. Coburn and Dr. Bay

Athan had a couple appointments this week. First, we had the 18-month check-up with his pediatrician, Dr. Coburn. He is doing well. We got some butt medicine for stubborn diaper rash, and caught up on Athan's over-all development and status with his various other specialists. Aside from his gross motor skills (like not crawling or walking), Athan seems to be doing well in all other areas of development. They're also going to refer us to a new optho person, so we'll probably have an eye update soon.

Ryan took him in to UK this morning to see the geneticist, Dr. Bay. It went fine. She had some advice about how to keep his caloric intake high and combat the constipation at the same time. They also had the lab draw some blood to do some further testing that has become available since we saw them last. It may not be any more conclusive than the others have been, but it might give us some helpful information about keeping Athan healthy. It was difficult to hear a geneticist refer to our Athan as one of "our kids," but also encouraging to hear her be pleasantly surprised at how smart he seems to be.

Mama and Morgan time

Due to some odd sleeping (and not sleeping) schedules of late, Morgan had some extra energy in the evening yesterday. So we left the boys here to play and had a little mother-daughter night out on the town. We had a healthy, satisfying meal at McDonalds... Ok, that's a stretch. But at least the company was good (thanks Chad and Mer for meeting us). We intended to go to Story Hour at the library, but dinner was so fun we missed the event. We still went to the library to do all the puzzles in the kid room, read a couple of books, and see Charis for a few minutes. The we grabbed a few groceries, gave Charis a ride, and headed home. Fun girls' night out! :) I'm hoping Morgan will sleep 'till noon...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the look

We didn't quite capture it, but this is close to the look Morgan can shoot at her brother when she's annoyed:

1..... 2..... 3.....

Apparently, Morgan taught Athan to count. Yep. When we were in Oklahoma this weekend, I was holding Athan counting something. I knew he could count to 3, but I was shocked when he followed my "5" with a very clear "6." So we kept going.

"7" - Mama
"8" (more like "at," but we'll take it) - Athan
"9" - Mama
"10!" ("tehhhh"), followed by giggles and clapping - Athan

I had no idea he knew all those numbers. I'm guessing this must be sister's doing. Yeah Morgan for being a good teacher! Yeah Athan for counting to ten!

Monday, November 24, 2008

back home and sleeping lots!

We made it back home late last night after a great time with Ryan's fam (maybe not-so-great time as a Raider fan, but oh well...). The kids did great - especially on the plane rides. In the few hours since our arrival home, we've all slept as much as possible! I suspect Nana will send me some pics from the weekend, so I'll post when those arrive (I never take my own camera when Nana or Aunt Brittany will be there - what would be the point? :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We couldn't be Strebecks

If we didn't change our plans last minute. Again. :)

So the kids and I are joining Ryan, and we'll make the trip to OK together. Sort of - Ryan and Athan will take a different flight there than Morgan and I, but we get to fly home together.

We get to see all of Ryan's immediate family, which will be great fun. Kentucky fam - we'll miss you and see you all next week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

after a rocky start

We had a really good day. I feel MUCH better. There's a tiny bit of soreness left, but nothing that keeps me from functioning normally and enjoying it.

Morgan got to play with friends this morning, which always makes for a good day for her. My little extrovert just needs people-time.

Athan had a great therapy session this morning, showing off all his cool tricks for Amanda. He is over all of his sick-ish-ness, and is in the best mood lately! He is increasingly "talkative." It takes a trained ear to understand what he's saying, but I'm confident his speech is developing well.

Ryan, poor guy, is still drowning in books. In addition to his backpack, he is carrying a suitcase full of research back and forth to campus right now. A small suitcase, but still - a suitcase! After he survives the next couple of days, he gets to go to Oklahoma to see his family and watch the Red Raiders win! It will be a well-deserved mini-vacation.

Thank you!

Better today. Morgan is at a friend's for the morning (thanks Trish!), and Athan will be asleep soon, so I get to recover a bit in a quiet house. Thank you all so much for the comments, e-mails, texts, and calls. I feel better already. I think I might even be able to eat lunch! ;)

Athan is in the living room entertaining Amanda (VIPS therapist) with "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and every forth or fifth letter of the "ABCs." Too funny.

Monday, November 17, 2008

if anyone's reading tonight

The Strebeck house could use some prayer tonight. Ryan's up against a deadline - big paper due. Kids are healthy and energetic.

I'm sick. Sore on my tonsil - can't swallow or talk. Did I mention Ryan is not available much (though he wants to be - tearing him up to have to work)?

Thanks, friends and fam!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a treasure

It was a simple thing. My friend Sarah said "I am so proud of Athan."

Me too. Makes me a little smiley-teary...

Thanks for telling me, Sarah.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the budding artist, again

Morgan really likes to color, as I've described before. We started introducing the notion of staying inside the lines, which was NOT well-received at first:
Then one afternoon during Athan's physical therapy, Jordan Whorton sat at the table and colored with Morgan, showing her how to color different items on the page with different colors and stay inside the lines. Later, when I showed Morgan that page as an example, something clicked. Inside the lines became cool. These are the pics she colored (for Aunt Brittany and Auntie B) out of the Haloween book that Auntie B sent her in the mail:She's the next Renior, I just know it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Athan spent the evening emptying cabinets... again:
and of course, wearing the contents of said cabinets as a hat:
Many thanks to Erin for this idea - she LOVED it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

i'm bored, are you?

My posts keep saying the same thing: We sleep, then we don't, then we don't some more, then we might a little, then we don't again... Whatever. I'll let you know if we make it through the night again. :)

For all our friends who don't live here, a little window into our lives:

I have been oh-so-fortunate to swap babysitting with a few families here in Wilmore the past couple of years. It means that Morgan gets to play with kids instead of squirming through the marathon UK days when Athan has several appointments, and that Ryan and I get to go out once in a while for a date! :) It also means that we have a constant flow of our friends here with us to play. Just this week - Micah (4) and Isaiah (3) were here this morning, Claire (almost 2) will be here Wed/Fri/Sat morning, we get to go to Mackenzie's (5) and Nathan's (1) house on Wednesday, Margot (2) will be here tonight, and Maddie (3) will be here on Thursday afternoon. It is so good for both my kids to learn to play with others, and I am so glad to get to be here and watch/help as they do. We have gotten to know these really great kids and families, too!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ok, not so much sleeping again

Long night again. The cold seems much better and he's pooping, so I don't know what is waking/keeping him up. Maybe teething.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

better already

Athan was up for an hour last night, but that is about normal for him. He is also more himself today - a little happier and less clingy. Yeah! :)

Morgan's friend Claire is here to play, so she's having a great time.

Big sigh of relief from Mama...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

second-longest day ever

Still almost no sleep for boy last night. Poor guy. (I think I forgot to post this part - yes, we've been to the doctor and he's got meds to help out. Still just harder for him to get over stuff).

Which means very little sleep for Mom and Dad. Ryan is amazing - he does the difficult shift and still goes to class and translates his Greek. I tend to get FAR less done after a night like last night. I'm swimming in dirty dishes, dirty laundry, dirty kids and a dirty house, but I did get a nap. :)

Morgan is doing better today. Just seems to be in a better mood. Whew...

Monday, November 3, 2008

longest day ever

No one slept much last night.

Athan is still sickly. Like I said, he just has to work harder to get rid of snot and such. He's whiny and SUPER clingy. My left arm might fall off.

Morgan had an off day. We had 2+ hours of World War III over one bite of carrots at dinner.

Nobody wins when that happens.

I'm going to bed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

one more tonight

Lately Morgan LOVES to help me cook. We've been trying hard to find things that a nearly-4-year-old can do to help with dinner. She can handle more than I expected. She is very good with stirring, and she can actually peel carrots! Not quickly, but who's watching a clock?
And her other favorite activity...


Athan has had some glasses for a while now, but I've had very little luck getting him to leave then on his face. But Ryan's cousin Amy suggested we try again while he was watching a video to help him get used to wearing them. It has gone pretty well! He still pulls them off about every 8 or 10 minutes, but I can usually get him to put them back on and leave then alone for a while. Maybe Baby Einestien will be the trick to help him wear his glasses more often.

halloween, pt 2

Morgan and Mama went to a great event called Treats on Main. Here in Wilmore (just a stone's throw from our front door), all the businesses and churches on Main street have employees out in costume to give away candy and other bits and bobbles to the kids. The Methodist Church gives out free hot dots. The owners of the Sub-way give away cotton candy (illustrated below). You get the idea. It's a huge crowd of fun costumes, familiar faces, and free sugar.Ryan stayed home for Athan to rest and eat since he has been sickly. They made a brief appearance just before we all came home.

After Treats on Main, Morgan and I went to a party hosted by our friends the Jaggers and the Graces. Oh what fun! Morgan got to go bobbing for apples (she almost immdiately spotted the apple with a stem still attached and removed it by simply biting the stem - didn't even get her nose wet). She got to play in a sandbox, and Mom got to have good conversation with adults! :) Just before we came home, Morgan wowed the crowd with impromptu performances of a couple of her favorite songs. Good times for all! :)

like every other parent's post lately: Halloween! :) (part 1)

Morgan got to decorate the little pumpkin at Justin and Charis's house last weekend. Then her Daddy helped her carve the big one (and roast the seeds) the next day. She loved it.

As to the costumes - Morgan said she wanted to be Darby. The new Winnie the Pooh cartoons have a girl character named Darby who helps Tigger and Pooh solve mysteries:
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So here's our version :-):

some catching up

Morgan is coughing a little, but she is almost out of the woods now. Athan, per usual, just takes a little more time and effort the kick a cold. He's still coughing quite a bit, nose is running, and he is not sleeping well at all.

Ryan is showing signs of getting sick, too. Poor guy sounds like he's going through puberty again with all the voice cracking.

With the exception of some lost sleep, I'm well.

Ok, details out of the way. On to the fun part: pictures.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

snot, snot, snot

Both kids are drippy. And both kids are asleep.

Why am I sitting at a computer?! Both kids are asleep!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

all weekend long

I've been meaning to get to the computer to tell you all about physical therapy on Friday!! Soo.... Athan is getting closer to cruising! Can you believe it?! He has been standing for a while, but his feet were always glued to the floor - no hint of the desire to try to step. But the past week and a half, Laurie has gotten him to realize that he can move once he's standing. On Friday he held onto our chest/coffee table and took several steps with minimal assistance ("minimal" meaning Laurie still has to push on his back a bit or he would sit down as he took steps, but the rest he did on his own). Woo-hoo! :) I'm so proud of him!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

while I was gone

The kids were great, apparently. I heard nothing but good stories. Athan kept them all up some nights, and slept others. Morgan, as you'll see, was her usual entertaining self. MANY thanks to Papa, Naw-naw, and especially Nana for being here to help Ryan while I was gone.

This is the video they sent me while I was in London, and it's too good to keep to myself. (The first movement herein is both spontaneous and original, as far as we know. The second movement is a not-so-subtle tribute to Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer - our many thanks to them both for contributing).

and home

Ok, now I'm home. Jet lag is real, and my brain has been mush the past couple of days. But the trip was AMAZING (details on my blog later), and it is so good to be back here with my babies and my Ryan. I think I'll have some time to post more in a couple of days.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

made it

I'm in London! With Meme. Just wanted the worriers to know I'm ok. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008


Morgan is feeling better. After a week of lethargy and lack of appetite, she is finally bouncing and singing and eating again. Laurie was here to see Morgan at the top of her game this morning during Athan's PT. Quite entertaining.

Athan is better, too. No more snot or cough. I may, however, have to renig on the "sleeping" post from last week, because this boy is suddenly up once or twice a night again. Sigh... poor kiddo. Maybe now that he feels better he can sleep better again.

Ryan is doing what seminary students do - read and write and read and read and read and write and go to class and read.

I am getting ready to go on my trip. "London, baby!" (Friends, anyone?). I leave Wednesday at noon for and 8-day trip to London. Yes, London, UK. Not London, KY. I'm excited and nervous and really excited! :) Posting on the blog may be a little thin, but I'm hoping Ryan will put an update or two up for me to check while I'm gone.

Friday, October 3, 2008

random pics

Morgan and I got to see some itty bitty bunnies last week. there's my giant shoe in there for perspective:

I just liked this one:
Ella thought Athan needed to snack on a domino:

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Morgan has been feeling yucky the past couple of days. It started with a midnight round of puking, and she just hasn't fully recovered yet. This morning she slept until almost 11, then sat at the table staring blankly past her food for over an hour. She's perked up a bit right now because she got a letter in the mail from Tia Mitsi (thanks for the stickers!), and she is making her a sticker page to send her "for her wedding so I can be there and dance with them and the stickers."

Athan still has a bit of a cough, but I think he's about to kick it altogether.

So far, Ryan and I are fine (aside from missing sleep to clean up after Morgan and keep Athan hydrated). :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

more mobility, and more snot

Mobility: Laurie is a genius. She brought us a creeper dolly wrapped in baby-friendly material. We put Athan on his tummy on the cart, and he uses his ARMS to move all over the kitchen. He loves it - giggled for most of the PT session. So the two big things here are that he is using his ARMS and he is HAPPY about it. Yeah! :)

Snot: Yuk. Runny nose. Little cough. Not sleeping well. But no fever, so maybe it'll be over soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

more appointments

Ryan took Athan to Lex yesterday to see Dr. K (cardio) and Dr. Irene (endo) for checkups. According to both, everything looks good. His heart looks a little better than last time, and we'll see cardio again in March. We see endo again in February to check his labs, but she was very pleased with his progress.

The biggest news from the appointments: His weight is finally ON the growth chart! :) He is only in the 3rd percentile, but that's great compared to being off the chart low until now. I've never been too concerned about his weight gain after surgery, and now I can relax even more. Morgan, who as you know was otherwise healthy, was in the same range of the weight chart. Soo.... I just make skinny kids.

I think that does it for doctor appointments until December.

birthday date

Ryan and I had an impromptu date on Tuesday for his birthday. MANY thanks to Laurie, Jordan, Shannon, and Kelly, who combined efforts to babysit our kids and give us some grown-up time. It seemed like Morgan and Athan entertained everyone quite well in our absence. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I always manage to pout in my blog posts about things that are tough, then I forget to tell you when they get better. Oops.

Athan is sleeping. Alot. He has a consistent daily nap schedule, and sleeps through the night probably five nights a week or so. Once in a while Ryan has to get him a drink and rock him, but we are edging closer to sleeping from bedtime (9:45 or 10) to breakfast time (6 or 6:30).

And I'm edging closer to sanity because of regular sleep. Yeah!

Also - Ryan is 29 today. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008


Athan is finally moving, and of course our boy had to find a unique method. I give you "Scoot":

doctors and company

We saw a couple of new doctors last week, and I'm finally getting to an update:

On Wednesday, we say and orthopedic doctor at the Lexington Shriner's hospital. Laurie and Dr. Coburn wanted to make sure we were not going to hurt his feet or back by letting him learn to stand and walk without any kind of brace or other help. We got the go-ahead to let him move however he's motivated to move and to keep working on his low muscle tone. They think any of the issues we might have are primarily due to the low tone. We'll see them again this time next year just to check up.

On Thursday, we saw an ENT. We know Athan can hear, but Dr. Bay (geneticist) recommended we just make sure he can hear well. We were not able to do an actual ABR, but the preliminary tests showed his hearing to be well within normal ranges. Also, he saw no signs of fluid in Athan's ears that might suggest the need for tubes (as had been suggested by another ENT once). So two days in a row we got an "all clear." :) We'll also see then in one year, just to make sure everything's still fine.

Changing subjects, we have company! :) Jeremy and Amy Patman are here to visit for a few days, along with their precious kiddos - Cap and Ella. They arrived Saturday afternoon, and we have had a good visit so far. Morgan and Cap are hilarious together, and I think watching Ella might just get Athan motivated to be more mobile. I think the Patmans will leave tomorrow to spend mid-week down in Nashville, then back to see us briefly before they head back to Texas. So good to have our friends (also family - Amy is Ryan's cousin) here to see us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

future PT?

With no prompting at all, Morgan brought Larry the Cucumber in one day for some physical therapy:


I didn't take the time to do much editing, so with almost no ado at all, here are a couple of recent Athan clips. First, the Yes/No Game (with hiccups), followed by Knock Knock and More (which you can hear better than see, but oh well)...

Monday, September 15, 2008

the budding artist

Last time I posted about Morgan's art, we were in the strictly green phase. Now she has branched out. You may call them meaningless scribbles of a preschooler, but I (with my well-trained, unbiased eye) call them poetic experiments with color and motion.

When she is slightly less ad lib and slightly more supervised, we are working on learning some letters and other recognizable shapes. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

from yesterday...

This boy loves his bath time! Finally caught a picture of his shoulder tape:
Morgan and her dad camped out in the back yard Friday night. This is Morgan watching Dad deftly toast marshmallows:
The cook at work:
And Morgan enjoying the result!
Then they got to sleep in a tent all night long. So fun!
(Grammy - I haven't forgotten your request. I have to do video stuff on Ryan's computer, so when he's not typing a paper, I'll grab it and get some of the latest stuff up)

Monday, September 8, 2008

thanks for the picture, Kelly

This just needed to be shared. That's Morgan's friend Ellie H. in there with her. Ah, friendship.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


It is interesting to aim for a day of rest when you have young kids, but I think we came close today. Morgan gets to do special things like stay in the bathtub for an hour - twice, and eat dinner in the living room with the adults. Athan gets rest from all therapy (and as an added bonus, he filled his diaper - twice - always good news given his recent struggles with constipation). I got to worship with fellow believers this morning - twice. Once over coffee with Rob, Kat, and Ryan in our kitchen, then later at Wilmore FUMC. Ryan got to watch football today - (you guessed it) twice: Cowboys game, then Colts/Bears. He and Rob also made big batches of yummy salsa with ingredients grown in Rob and Kat's back yard (plus a few from the Wilmore Farmers' Market).

A good restful day for the Strebecks today.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Athan has been...

learning to self-feed with a spoon (also known as Lessons in Body Paint):teething,
and hanging out with friends,

Morgan has been...


hanging out with friends,
and, of course, being a princess (or ballerina or lion or Mama or fish or baby or...)