Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jimmy is 5 months old!

Yesterday was Jimmy's 5 month birthday! Can you believe it? Here is his update in his own words:

Hewwo evwybuddy! My name is Jimmy. I is 5 mumfs owd now. I is getting weawwy big an' I is eating wike a widdle bawacooda (watevew dat is), at weest dat's wat Mommy sez. I is now wowwing ovuw bof wayz fwum my bak to my tumee an' fwum my tumee to my bak. I is pwaying in my exursawser now. It's fun! I wuv to waff an' smiyul wots.

Mommy haz startud a noo job (watevew dat is) so I is staying home wif Daddy wen hez not doing hokee stuff. Day aw wooking fow a baybeesitur fow me fow wen Daddy haz to go owt uv town. Dere is a wady at chuwch dey aw gonna ask.

I is vewy, vewy exsitud! I is geting baptizeded on Sundee! My Ant Deedee is fwying up hewe fwum Fworda (wer Mommy is fwum) cuz her is my godmuvuw! Her huzbun Unka Wic cant com. We is gonna hav wots of fun! Is is gonna get to bewong to Jeezuz fowevew! I weawwy wuv going to da chuwch. Aw da wadies wuv me!

Daddy tooked me an' Mommy to a hokee game wast Fwidee nite. We went bak to dat pwace cawed Gween Bay. We seed dese gize fwum da weeg Daddy usta wuwk in. Dey wuz cawed da Gween Bay Gambwers an' da Fawgo Fowce. It wuz fun! Daddy seed sum kidz he nowed fwun da teem he usta wuwk fow. I weawwy wike hokee!

Dat's aw fow now. Daddy hasta take Mommy to wuwk so I gotta go get dwessed. I wuv aw uv yew!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jimmy Went to the Doctor

We just got back from the pediatrician for Jimmy's 4 month checkup and shots. He is now 25 inches long and weighs 13 lbs. 11 oz. He wasn't too thrilled with the doctor giving him a full exam (Mommy and Daddy like his new doctor) and he (naturally) hated the shots. But he's doing very well hitting all of his developmental milestones and will have his next visit in 2 months. He's asleep right now, worn out from the shots and his appointment cut into his morning nap. We'll keep you updated as Jimmy continues to progress.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jimmy Is Four Months Old

Can you believe it? Our Jimmy is 4 months old today. He continues to be a delight. He has discovered his hands and now grabs everything. In the past few days he's started grabbing and hanging onto his feet. He is eating like a little barracuda and growing like a weed. His 4 month checkup is this coming Wednesday so he'll get his immunizations and we'll find out how much he weighs and how tall he is. I look back at pictures of him when he was a newborn and I can't believe how much he's changed.

It looks like his eyes are going to stay the same bright crystal blue...just like his daddy. In fact, he is a carbon copy of John. The only part of me I see in him is the nose and chin. He's even built like his father with broad shoulders, narrow hips, long legs, and big feet. He's in size 1 shoes already. His 0-3 month shirts fit just fine for now but he still has trouble keeping his britches up (thanks to the narrow hips). He does great in his overalls though and looks just adorable.He is "talking" to us more and more. He loves to smile and laugh. The only times he cries are when he's hungry, overtired (and doesn't want to go to sleep), or when his teething is bothering him. I think he's going to get his first tooth in back; at least that's where it feels like it's ready to come through the gum. I know it may still be another couple of months before his first tooth comes in but he is showing all the signs of teething: excessive drooling, chewing on his hands, his toys, his clothes, and me! He's doing very well sitting up with support. He's been able to roll over since he was 2 months old. He also likes to try to pull himself up when I have him in the tub. That's a bit scary with a slippery baby! He is strong and really starting to explore his world. He doesn't crawl yet but when he's on his tummy he will kick his legs and scoot himself forward. He likes to sit in his bouncer chair and play with the hanging toys. He also loves to be in one of his play gyms and he grabs and bats at the toys. I still think his favorite toy is Daddy. The dogs are just wonderful with him.

He is once again sleeping in his crib instead of the car seat. We are continuing to do the gentle neck stretches and massage with him every day to help the wry neck and he has shown some improvement. It will take time. I think sleeping in the car seat caused the problem and now that he's back in the crib that will help his progress.

Please keep all of us in your prayers as James Harper Meissner is baptized into the household of God on November 2nd. He will be baptized at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. We have been attending services there since we got here and we feel very comfortable and welcomed there. It's a small congregation and they are just crazy about Jimmy. He seems to love it there and spends most of the time looking around at everyone and everything. He likes the lights, the statues, the colors in the windows, and all the different sounds. His morning feeding tends to conincide with service times so he takes his bottle during the service. There is a wonderful rocking chair in the back of the nave and one of us will take him back there if he starts fussing. We've been asked/told not to take him out of church when he does start making noise, they love hearing him. I told them that was no problem, I didn't want to miss out on any of the service either. It's great to be in a place where we are all welcomed, wanted, and loved.

John has posted new pictures to Jimmy's photobucket account. Here's the link so you can see the latest photos and videos of the world's cutest baby: http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn243/jimmymize/. Of course we're not prejudiced or anything (much!).

It's getting late and that early morning feeding comes all too early. We'll keep you updated as to how things are going with Jimmy and with us. And we'd love to hear from you too! Stay tuned for the latest updates from the Meissner family!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

I was at work when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. I heard about the first plane on the way to work and I remember saying to my mother that some idiot in a Cessna got lost. She was on her way to a doctor's appointment and was watching TV when the second plane hit. We had family in the New York area but fortunately none of them were involved. Not so for my friend and coworker Maureen. The son of one of her friends worked at Canter Fitzgerald; that company lost everyone in the towers.

Today we are watching the shows on The History Channel about that day. Even after 7 years in some ways it still seems surreal. I still feel a great sense of sadness and outrage. Our son will never have the opportunity to grow up in a world where terrorism didn't touch his country like all of us did. Remember when we were kids and we thought our country was invulnerable and terrorism was some vague thing that happened in other countries and the worse we heard about was a hijacked plane? Jimmy will never live with that blissful innocence and my heart aches for him. Anyone who says kids today have it easier are full of it. They may have more technology but that sense of innocence and faith in our country are gone. Kids are forced to grow up too fast by acts like the WTC attacks and our society in general.

So today we will remember everyone who was there, both the survivors and the victims. We will be thankful for the heroes who put their lives in danger to try to rescue others. And we will be thankful that our country still stands and pray that in this election year where we are hearing all the negative political ads that we as a people and nation will somehow find a way to push past all the divisivness and once again find the unity we knew immediately following the attacks. God bless America and God bless us!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

I just watched a show that made my previous post seem inconsequential: Stand Up To Cancer.

There is not a person in this country who has not been affected by cancer in one way or another. By the Grace of God I have not had this awful disease myself but the two most important people in my life have. One is no longer with me and one is.

My mother, Mary Barrows, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989. I was in the Navy at the time and she went through chemotherapy alone. She wound up in the hospital with blood clots that could have killed her as a result of the oral medication she was on so her oncologist took her off of it. She was clean for the next four years. On her exam at the five-year mark, the point when she would be considered cured, a bone scan showed spinal metastases. For the next eight years she endured numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Her disease was in and out of remission several times. In May of 2002, after surgery for a perforated diverticula in her colon, we found that her cancer had spread to her internal organs. She went to be with Jesus on August 2, 2002. She was only in Hospice care for 6 days. I still miss her terribly. The most important lesson she taught me was the importance of having a positive attitude even when life sucks. She never gave up hope and she used every opportunity to inspire others. She gave anyone who wanted it straight talk about what they could expect in their fight with cancer, she gave those of us who love cancer patients advice on how to deal with it and what to say. She never sugar-coated anything but she also NEVER GAVE UP! She said that whether she outlived her cancer or not she was still a winner because if she lived it would mean she had beaten it and if she died she got to go be with Jesus, so either way she won.

My beloved husband John was diagnosed with Stage I colon cancer in June of 2006. We had been married for less than a year. John had been feeling rotten for about 6 months and had been in and out of the hospital for testing. He had a heart catheterization, upper GI exam, everything but a colonoscopy. The feeling rotten would get a little better for a while but it always came back. Finally his primary care doctor noted that since he was 51 he should have a colonoscopy. By this time he had been through so much I was actually opposed to putting him through more. The prep for the exam was awful and I think the poor man threw up in every room of our apartment that night. He had the colonoscopy and an upper GI endoscopy. They found a single large polyp in his sigmoid colon. I didn't think it was serious since lots of people have polyps removed. As I was laying in a hospital bed recovering from surgery John called me from work. His doctor had gotten the test results and called him. Cancer. The disease was so close the edges of the polyp that surgery was recommended. On August 21, 2006 John had his sigmoid colon removed. We held our breath through all the followup exams but he remained clean. His last colonoscopy showed nothing! He is considered cured and won't need another colonoscopy for 2 years unless his symptoms return.

So what is it like living with cancer? What is it like living with a survivor? The old metaphor about the 800 pound gorilla is close. Even though we don't dwell on it there is still the niggling little fear in the backs of our minds that John's cancer will return. Every time he starts having some kind of bowel trouble our minds go right to the thought that ohmigoditsback! We don't dwell on it but we live with it. We do what we can to keep both of us healthy and we support efforts being made in cancer research. John belongs to an online colorectal cancer support group and he is vocal in his efforts to spread awareness. For the past two years we have been part of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life; I was a team captain in our former parish church and John was the emcee for our local event. This year at Relay I couldn't be a team captain or on a team because I had just had Jimmy. But at the age of 10 days Jimmy helped fulfill a dream his Daddy and I had; he walked the Survivors' Lap with Daddy. That day would have also been my mother's 85th birthday. Needless to say I bawled like a baby and proudly took my place once again at my husband's side to walk the Caregivers' Lap. There is a picture of Jimmy in his Snugli with his Daddy at the bottom of this page.

Every person in this country is affected by cancer in one way or another. If you don't have it then you know someone who does. It could be your parent, your spouse, your sibling, your child, your best friend, your neighbor, or your coworker. Tonight's show cited the sobering statistic that every 60 seconds one person dies of cancer. As a woman there is a 1 in 8 chance that I will develop breast cancer, probably higher than that since my mother had the disease. There is a 1 in 3 chance that I will develop cancer of some kind. There is a 50% chance that at some time in his life my son will develop cancer of some kind. One in three women and one in two men. That's too much!

There is a lot of research being done on finding causes and cures. Researchers are so close to a cure but many programs are woefully underfunded. The private sector and private citizens can only do so much. If the money that is wasted on all the pet projects slipped into Congressional bills was given to research we could probably find a CURE in a few years. I don't want cancer. I don't want my husband's cancer to recur or for him to get another type of cancer. I sure as hell don't want my son getting cancer. Every week the United States loses 10,000 people to cancer. That's too much!

I am standing up to cancer. My husband is standing up to cancer! We are doing whatever we can to spread the word and promote awareness. We won't rest easy until we know that our families and friends, and most especially our son, will not have to live in fear of cancer. Stand up to cancer! Stand up and fight! Stand up and write to your Representatives and Senators urging them to make this their first priority in funding. If we don't stand up to cancer and fight it, if people keep dying at the rate of 10,000 people a week, we may not have a country to save.

The Dice Are Cast

The political conventions are over and the people who are shooting craps with our lives have been picked. Yee Haw. I'm just soooo excited. I'm really looking forward to non-stop negative ads for the next two months.

The question I would like to ask the candidates is this: What are you going to do for ME?

Several years ago one of the presidential candidates--I don't remember who--asked the question of whether or not we were better off than we were four years ago. My answer to that question is yes and no.

No. I am not better off finanacially than I was four years ago or even eight years ago. I'm paying more for food, more for gas, more for living expenses, more in taxes, and I'm getting sick of it. I also don't think that either one of the candidates is really going to do anything about it that will have any overwhelming impact on me and my family. We had a balanced budget and even a surplus under Bill Clinton and now we don't; but I don't think Barak Obama will be able to balance the budget. Bill Clinton's morals were reprehensible; I don't think John McCain or Obama will be having sex with interns. George Bush helped hold this country together after 9/11; I don't think McCain can bring that cohesion back despite all of his talk about reforming Washington and crossing the aisle.

Yes. I am better off with my family life than I was four years ago. I met and married a wonderful man who is the love of my life. We have a precious three-month-old baby boy. No politician or political party did that for me, even though I've been screwed by Washington on more than one occasion and didn't get kissed.

Both candidates are talking about how the other is out of touch with the middle class. What do these guys really know about the middle class? Both of them are millionaires whose most recent jobs are in the rarified air of the Senate, making a lot more in that job than most of us do down here in the trenches doing the real work that make our country go. If you listened to the acceptance speeches of both candidates you're probably wondering, like me, when they're going to start walking on water. Get real! These guys know nothing about what it's like to worry about how they're going to pay the rent and the electric bill. They don't have to wonder about whether or not their insurance is going to cover that scan you need to find that cancer. They don't have to buy store brands in an effort to make their food budget go farther. They don't have to make the choice of either buying gas for their cars or drugs to manage their chronic conditions. They know nothing about what it's like to live the way the rest of us do.

McCain is portraying himself as a maverick who will stir the pot and change things. How long has he been in the Senate and it's still business as usual? His heart may be in the right place but it's like an ant trying to fight a freight train; the ant's gonna lose. Obama is playing the race card. Why? He's half WHITE for crying out loud! To be perfectly mean, he's an Oreo; black on the outside, white on the inside. I really doubt that he's had to overcome a lot of the social and financial obstacles a lot of African-Americans have had to overcome.

So far the only one I like is Sarah Palin. She said the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. I like that but one-liners don't outline platforms. I think she's probably the most real and genuine person campaigning but still she's a politician so I automatically distrust her. In my opinion Obama shot himself in the foot by taking Joe Biden as a running mate.

It's going to be interesting. I will probably watch the debates but I doubt I'll see or hear anything new. All of them will manage to tap dance around the questions and answer them without really answering them. All of them will promise real change but none of them will manage to effect it. And I will still be down here in the muck and mire of reality, trying like hell just to make it from one day to another. Let the games begin.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jimmy Is 3 Months Old!

Where has the time gone? Little Jimmy is 3 months old today. He continues to be a delight and the light of our lives.

He is now able to roll over and holds his head up and look around. He is using his hands more and more but he still hasn't quite "discovered" them. He's also using his legs a lot more and he will try to stand up in the tub when he gets his bath. He coos at us and is starting to "talk" to us a lot more. Daddy had him laughing in church on Sunday which cracked Mommy up. People let us know they heard him and they loved it. We don't know exactly how much he weighs but he is growing like a little weed. It's amazing how much he has changed since he was born. He's a real little person now and his personality emerges more every day. He would rather be up and playing or being held than anything. The dogs are very good with him and they don't seem to scare him at all so we're fortunate there.

It looks like we are only going to be in Wisconsin for another couple of weeks. Next week John and his boss are going to Battle Creek to get some work done and to find us housing. We have really enjoyed our sojourn here in Fond du Lac and we wouldn't have been sorry to stay. But we're glad that things are falling into place now and that John will be doing what he loves. Please keep your prayers going for all of us.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jimmy Goes to Lambeau

On Wednesday we went to Green Bay, watched the Packers practice, and took a tour of Lambeau Field. Jimmy was a little trooper and enjoyed his day with us. Here are his impressions of the day:

Hewwo evwebuddy! My name is Jimmy. I had a gweat day wif my Mommy an' Daddy. We awe wiving in a new hows cawed Wiskonsun now. I weawy wike it. I has my own woom at wast! Dere is a pwace hewe in Wiskonsun cawed Gween Bay whewe dey pway a game cawed footbaw. Mommy sez footbaw is da bestest game evew inventud. Daddy sez hokee is. I hasn't seed any hokee yet. I has seed Daddy do basbaw games. Today Daddy tooked Mommy an' me to dis Gween Bay pwace to see dese guys cawed da Packews pwactus dere footbaw and to see dis big pwace cawed Wambo Feewd. It's where dese Packew guys pway dere games. We gotted dere an' we gotted to watch da Packew guys pwactus acwoss da stweet fwum dis Wambo Feewd pwace. It was fun! Den we wented to da Wambo Feewd an' tooked a toor uv it. It was weawy cool! We seed da stachus of a coupwa guys cawed Curwy Wambo (I fink dey nameded da pwace aftew him) and Vins Wombardee (he wuz a koch). We gotted to see pwivut box too! An' den we gotted to go down and go on da feewd where dey pway da games. At weast dat's what Mommy an' Daddy towded me. I fawed asweep aftew I eatud. But Mommy an' Daddy gotted a piktuw of aw fwee uv us dere. Den Mommy an' Daddy goed to da Pwo Shop and Mommy botted a widdle Packews hewmut fow my woom!

Aftew dat Daddy tooked us to dis pwace cawed Tony Woma's to eat. Daddy an' Mommy had big peepuw food an' I eatud my fowmuwa. I be gwad wen I can eat da big peepuw food too. Aftew Mommy an' Daddy wuz dun wif dinnew we cameded home. Mommy feeded me agin. It's bedtime now. I vewy tiwurd. I has had a big day! But it shur wuz fun wif Mommy an' Daddy. I weawy wuv dem wots and wots. Dey wuvs me too.

Pwetty soon we awe moving to anuver new hows cawed Mishagun. I hopes I wike it dere. I weawy wike it hewe in Wiskonsun. I hopes I has my own woom dere too. But I guess as wong as I have my Mommy an' Daddy an' da puppies I will be vewy happee. Nite nite, evewywun. I gonna go beddy bye now.


Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm Sick of Politics As Usual

And it's only August, nowhere near Election Day.

It's not bad enough I'm assaulted with slam ads every time I turn on my TV or radio, now I get all this crap by email. I'm sick of it. Even when I send out emails and ask people not to send me that stuff I still get it. I guess I'm on some kind of group list.

I'm not going to go into my personal political affiliation or ideology. That's not anybody's business but mine and the voting booth's. My view of politicians as a breed is pretty cynical. I think that anyone who has been in either house of Congress for more than 10 seconds is probably a criminal and deserves to be lined up along the wall and shot. I don't believe there is any such thing as an honest politician. Every last one of them has sold out their ideals or beliefs, every one has prostituted him- or herself in the interest of getting what they want. There's more pork in a Congressional bill than on a pig farm. And our "public servants" are only serving themselves, the public be damned. Well I'd like to say to them, "You're a public servant, I'm the public. You're fired!" See? I told you I was cynical. I also believe that even though our political system isn't perfect, it's better than the majority of governments in the world.

After listening to the ads so far (and they haven't even gotten really nasty yet) and being bombarded with email, my question is: If Obama is as evil as McCain paints him and McCain is as evil as Obama paints him, why would you vote for either one? Hmm. Could it possibly be that the ad agencies who produce these ads are engaging in a little hyperbole? Is it possible that the emails that are sent out as "fact" are just a bit slanted toward the sender's own political view? Nah! Nobody would ever do that! Not here in the land of free speech. It has been my experience that when extremes are presented on either side that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I don't know whether President McCain will be better than President Obama or if President Obama will be better than President McCain. I don't think that with either one things will get better for my personal economy; I'm the only one who can change that. I don't think that either one of them will make our country more secure; if anyone wants to launch a terrorist attack against the U.S. then a way will be found to do it. I don't think either one of them will be able to successfully end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home; we're too deeply involved for a quick solution within the next four years.

I think one of the biggest problems with this country is that the majority of its citzens expect the government to do it all and are too lazy to hold that same government accountable when it fails to do what its citzens want. Too many people complain about our government and too few do what is necessary to change it, namely, VOTE!

So once again I'm left with a choice for president between two people I'm not crazy about. It would just be so easy to not vote at all but I won't do that. I will vote. I will vote to preserve my right to bitch about the presidential administration and Congress we get, whether I am part of the majority that put it in office or not. I will vote because it is my right and duty as a citizen of the United States and if I don't then I might as well move to a country run by a military dictatorship that doesn't believe in allowing its citizens to have a say. I will vote because I am still idealistic enough to believe that my vote can make a difference. I will vote because it's the best way I can express my approval or disapproval of our elected officials. Yes, I will vote. But this year I think I'll vote for Darth Vader. I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Finally Updating!

My darling husband has been after me to update my blog for a long time. He doesn't buy my excuse that I have more important things to do than update my blog. Or the excuse that I don't have anything on my mind. Okay, so he has me over a barrel and has called my bluff.

Something really cool has happened recently (other than the birth of my son Jimmy). I was researching Jimmy's family tree on Ancestry.com so when he gets older he'll have some idea of who his ancestors were. I found a distant cousin of mine right here on Blogspot! Her name is Gina McRobie. She is related through my maternal grandfather's mother. Granddaddy had lots of brothers and sisters so I'm sure I have a ton of cousins out there I'll never meet. Gina and I have exchanged emails several times and she has given me some tips on researching my husband's side of the family. I hope when Jimmy gets a little older I'll have more time to pursue the research on the Meissner family. Until then, if you think you may be my cousin, contact me! I'd love to meet you!