Monday, July 23, 2007

And the Winner Is.....

Sal Monella! Congratulations for such a stunning performance the past couple of days. After a year long run in the hit drama "Ben's Intestines", audiences in the Donahue home feared they'd seen the last of the award winning bacterium. However, Sal is back, two years later, by not-so-popular-demand, this time playing a part in the soap opera "The Days of Annie Beth's Life". No one knows how long Mr. Monella will be able to continue on this project, but the CDC will be following him closely through their Union County branch of the Health Department to make sure old Sal doesn't take on work elsewhere. Until he "clears out" of here, we'll be enjoying the fruits of his labor. Stay posted as the new season unfolds....

Bleh. The culture came back from the lab today. Health Department has called already, but I missed the call. Those guys are really on top of it...

On a good note, Anna did something new today. She pulled up at the window sill all by herself. I did a double take when I glanced over and saw her standing at the window, looking out. Now, given, the muscle work was done mostly by her arms. She still had to lock her knees and balance in just the right way to stay upright. Very impressive. I'm interested to see how good she gets at that before she decides the walker might be fun after all.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Food Poisoning

This week has been very busy with Vacation Bible School at Matthews. I've had a really fun time, and I think the children have enjoyed it despite the fact it is a little tiring. Unfortunately, tonight I am sitting here in my bedroom while the rest of my family is off having fun on the final day of Avalanche Ranch. "Why," you ask? Well, it is believed by the medical professionals that I am suffering from food poisoning. I started getting sick yesterday after lunch, and by last night I was in pretty bad shape. I went to the Dr. this morning, and they did blood work and other tests to determine the problem. We won't have any results until next week, so I can't tell you for sure why I am so sick, but I am guessing they are probably right in their assessment of the issue.

By the way, Ben had his birthday Wednesday. We will be posting pictures of the party, as well as pictures from VBS as soon as I feel well enough to do it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Anna's Birthday

Sunday was Anna's 2nd birthday. We had a small party at home with the family. That afternoon, after nap time, Brad's parents came over with Karen and we enjoyed chocolate cake and strawberries. My sister Laura was here as well, since she was visiting for a few days. Anna's present from us (which is actually a present to both her and Ben) was an artist's easel. She unwrapped several little packages of art supplies that go with it, and we saved several more small packages for Ben to open for his birthday on the 18th. The easel has a chalk board on one side and a white board on the other. There is a roll of paper on a dowel in the middle that you can pull over the top so you can paint or draw with crayons. We even have paint pots with colored lids and brushes that have colored handles to match. Anna can draw while sitting in a chair, but we are having the board adjusted to a height that she can roll up to it in her wheelchair on her own.

Speaking of Anna turning two... The speech language pathologist with the CDSA came over to do Anna's evaluation. The mostly focused on language- receptive (understanding words and following directions) and also her own vocabulary. Guess what? Anna scored on target or ABOVE for all categories. She was also above average in her social skills. The lady told me, "In fifteen years of doing this (administering the test) I have NEVER seen a child with Spina Bifida score so high." She even called me later that day and let me know that she had been talking about Anna to the other people she works with. Most children with SB have some delays, and often they have trouble processing what others are saying and following directions. She told me that on some of the ones that Anna missed, she could tell that she was simply *choosing* not to follow that directions, even though she really understood what she was supposed to do. Those items were not counted toward her final score! Anyway, I was very proud of her. When the lady left, she handed me a packet and said, "I brought this packet of skills you can work on up to age 5, but it doesn't look like you need it." I took it anyway because I am dorky and like stuff like that. So. That is our awesome update on Anna. Happy Birthday sweetheart!

PS. We also painted her toenails for the first time today. A lovely mauve to match one of her cute new birthday outfits.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Berkshire Brick

And the winner is..... Berkshire Brick.

Today Brad and I rode around and looked at a variety of homes in our area. We started at the brick company, where we narrowed down our choices a bit. Then they supplied us with a list of addresses (complete with brick names and mortar color) for us to check out. We probably looked like suspicious characters, driving slowly by people's homes, eyeballing properties from different angles. We settled on Berkshire Brick, which is actually within the middle of our price range, so I was quite happy with that. I enquired about the brick color at Queens college, and was told that it was a custom color, but that it was very close to another of our favorites, except without some of the darker brick. I briefly entertained the thought of using Queens colored brick for our home, but decided against it. The guy at the brick company told me a funny story about working with the contractors for the new Queens sports complex. I can't do it justice, but he was describing the meticulous manner in which the contractor was trying to match the brick color to the other buildings. He was practically using a magnifying glass, complaining over each discrepancy he saw. The brick guy was like, "It's a brick! There are 30,000 bricks on this campus! You're not going to exactly match each one. You have to look at it from 20 feet away!"

Well, this was our first real step toward building our home. Onward ho!

P.S. In case you are confused, our house is not pictured above. That is a brick sample home.