Friday, February 27, 2009

Searching for sunshine

The winter in Lille has dragged on with one cloudy , drizzly, cold day after another. I have begun to wonder if the sun even exists. Please, say it does! The dreary days suck the life out of you and make you want to curl up on the couch and never leave. In an attempt to shake off the winter blues, Shane and I took a trip up to Amsterdam last weekend.

Our weekend trip was a much needed getaway. The Dutch speak excellent English and are much more friendlier than the French, which was such a welcome break! We explored the back allies and canals and enjoyed strolling the streets. To continue our search for culture, we went to the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House. Both were very interesting and essential Amsterdam sights. Our favorite moments centered around food, of course. The Pancake Bakery makes massive pancakes with more fillings and toppings than you could ever dream- ice cream, whip cream, fruit, nuts, chocolate carmel. Dessert pancakes were the most important to me on the menu, but some also had meat, veggies, and cheese. Yum yum.

The infamous red light district was quite disturbing. Yes, there were prostitutes in windows and multiple "coffeeshops" to buy pot. But more disturbing were the multiple large groups of men gawking and visiting these places. It hurt my heart to see such sadness and people searching for temporary fullfillment.

So, did we find the sunshine in Amsterdam? Nope. Not one itty bitty ray. It was worth it and we plan to go back when the flowers are blooming and leaves are on the trees. Afterall, what is a trip to Holland without seeing some tulips?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2 weeks = 2 pounds!

Two weeks ago we had quite the scare at Kayden's well baby check up. After weighing her, we realized she was not packing on the pounds as she should and the doctor was very worried. He felt that there may be some milk allergy or other problem and referred us STAT to a pediatric GI specialist for testing, afraid that if this slow weight gain continued, there would be "brain damage." Those words obvioulsy scared the crap out of us. This was a tricky thing, due to the fact that the GI doc has no openings until this summer. After writing a franctic email to my OB regarding the situation, he pulled some strings and we were able to see the doc within 4 days. He examined her and felt that the problem was not something metabolic, but rather that she needed the supplemental nutrition of formula. By this point, she had already gained a pound! We were so releaved to hear that our precious, perfect (in our eyes!) baby would be ok. He had us rent a scale (they do that a lot in France) and weigh her every morning...

SO yesterday marked the 2 week point of "Operation Fatten Kayden". When I put her on the scale, it blinked a beautiful number- she had gained 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) in 2 weeks!!! YEAH!!! She still has a way to go, but is on the right track. We are so thankful for all the prayers and words of encouragement, we needed them!
All that said, Kayden has been extra happy, smiley and playful over the last 2 weeks. She has started really enjoying her baths, likes sitting in her Bumbo seat and is sleeping through the night consistently. Thank God for watching out for our little family!
Kayden with her new chubby cheeks and bad hat hair!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Star of the Show

On Friday, Kayden and I attended our first French NATO event. It was the ribbon cutting and reception for the opening of the new Community Service Center. As we passed through security, we were both given a name tag, Kayden's being almost as big as her head. We pinned it on her blanket and went about our business. Well, she became the celebrity of the whole day. The photographer for the event kept taking pix of her, I was interviewed on camera with her in my arms and everyone kept coming up to us and asking questions about the baby. She was dressed from head to toe in pink (like I said, the color is growing on me). Yet it was amazing, that with a pink hat, pink jacket, pink blanket, pink sweater, pink overalls, and pink socks, people still asked me if she was a boy or girl! Huh, are they blind. Even the general's wife said, boy or girl? Oh, I guess a girl because of the pink. You think?

This picture is just too funny, clearly not enjoying being photographed!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Look How Much I've Grown!!

The pix on the right was taken when Kayden was 1 week old. In the pix on the left, she is 8 weeks old and growing taller each day! She is still quite the little peanut and so adorable.