Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Family Update

I started an "update" post two weeks ago with the grand plan of doing a family update and an update on each girl, complete with picturs. HA! What was "I" thinking that I would have time to finish that in a timely fashion!!

So I've posted the family part of the update and will get to Rowan and Gemma soon. Rowan's birthday (she's turning 8!!) is in just a couple of weeks, she's finished second grade and has had lots going on that I'd like to reflect upon. So my commitment is to share about her on or before her birthday!!

Picture taken Memorial Day Weekend in Freeport, IL with some members of Jani's side of the family after we rode the antique railroad.

Our Family
After about 3 months, Jani's whooping cough is starting to mellow!! In China it is often referred to as the "One Hundred Days Cough" and I can understand why. It's interesting that I'm opening my post by talking about Jani's whooping cough. I think it has had a mucher larger impact on our family this spring than we imagined it would. I can now understand why it is considered a dangerous disease. My perception is that Jani is physically exhausted from the bouts of coughing that take her breath away or send her to the bathroom, vomiting. My heart just breaks every time she starts a coughing bout and its a relief to me to hear it not sounding so deep and chesty. If the illness is that straining in a healthy adult, I don't even want to imagine it would do to a child.

This winter/spring, we also experienced the impact of having both of our sets of parents go through medical challenges. Jani's folks are doing well. Her dad has healed from his knee surgery and the more impressive part of his story is that he (along with Jan's mom as support) has modified his eating and exercise behavior so that he can be off of all diabetes medications!! There was speculation that he'd be on injectible insulin the remainder of his life. Nothing like developing a good knowledge base and setting one's will and intention!! They leave for two months in Laos later this month. One might say they are nuts to go with their ever-changing health status and being in their late 70s. I think its pretty darn amazing.

My folks have finally returned to Wisconsin from Florida, a month later than usual. I ended up making an emergency trip to Naples in April to help out when Dad landed in the hospital again and it looked like surgery might be on the horizon. After nearly 5 months post-injury, he is healing, responding to physical therapy and has gotten his blood thinner medication re-regulated. He was not able to work most of the winter and after a long battle with Florida's workman's comp, they have been reimbursed his medical expenses and lost wages. Now that he's back in Wisconsin, hoping to get his own business back up and running, his good friends have offered to help him in whatever ways he needs. This really touched my heart to know how much his friends are willing to come to his (and my mom's support). So, they've closed up the Florida house, hurricane shutters and all and they'll hope for a better hurricane season this year (they sustained a lot of damage last year) and are happy to be back in the midwest.

Now that school is out and summer is upon us, we once again face that on-going challenge of how to manage summer childcare. We don't want to send the kids to full day center-based programs as it seems really important to have a change of pace. I still work full time and Jani has lots of summer-time school-related commitments so we still need care. A friend suggested nanny-sharing with another family, so that is what we're doing, with close friends. Our younger kids have been in care together since infancy. Our new provider started Monday and she and the kids are working through routines and boundaries this week. It's a pretty wild time. Gemma is less than pleased and is finding lots of ways to challenge D (the provider). We've been supporting D (hopefully she feels supported) with lots of strategies and I think (hope) that things will mellow once Gemma realizes that D is the provider and that she (Gemma) is not running the show!!

We'll take some time to go to Washington Island this summer to visit my folks, other family and friends over the Fourth of July. I'm really looking forward to this. I booked two weeks of vacation into my schedule in August, one week we may go back to the Island and the other will be spent at Rainbow Family Camp in northern Wisconsin.

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