Thursday, July 31, 2008

We're back...

Well, it's been a long last 2 weeks. On July 17th, (my 27th b-day) Mike went to Denver for a recruitment weekend of lavish dining and luxurious accommodations with the McKinsey company. It is a management consulting company. He enjoyed the work (they did a mock project) and of course, seeing how the other half lives. He took lots of pictures of the Ritz on his camera phone for me to enjoy :o) The interview process starts in August... we'll keep you updated! By the way, my Dad just happened to be in town for a meeting, so he came over for awhile and took Owen and I out for a birthday lunch, which was so nice. And, for his meeting, he spent the night before in the Trump Towers in downtown Chicago. They aren't even done building it yet, but the hotel is open. He said it was very nice and the service was great. Mike arrived home Sunday night (the 20th) around midnight. I worked a 12 hr shift Monday night and then Owen and I flew to Kansas City on Tuesday. And, we just got home last night! We really haven't seen Mike for 2 weeks more or less. Boy did we miss him!

Owen and Gramps, getting ready to walk Lola.

My Grandpa McKim was scheduled to have some cardiac stents placed on July 18th. While they were doing the angio cath (is that what it's called?) they discovered he needed to have triple bypass surgery. Grandpa is 80, he smoked for many, many years, and this was to be his 3rd set of stents, which doesn't make him sound like a very good candidate for open heart surgery. After running test after test, they decided to go ahead with the bypass surgery on Wednesday, July 23. Surgery went as well as anyone could have hoped and Grandpa was up and walking. We planned to visit him Sunday. He is staying at the Nebraska Heart Institute in Lincoln, which is about 3 hours away from Mom and Dad's house.

Here are most of my McKim cousins who were visiting Grandpa on Sunday.

Wednesday, while Grandpa was having surgery, Emily, Owen, and I went up to visit Grandma in Falls City, NE, which is about 2 hrs from Mom and Dad's. She was having a rough day, as you might expect. She does not get around well at all. Grandpa had been her around the clock caregiver. They had a caretaker staying with her except for 8hrs/day while she worked as a CNA at a nursing home. Grandma had a new walker and kept falling before we got to their house. She didn't remember her fall but had a little gash on her head. Em and I told Mom that Grandma couldn't be left alone. Thank goodness they have such good resources for seniors in my Grandparent's small town. Someone from their church was able to come and sit with Grandma when the caretaker worked at her other job. My parents and family are moving her into assisted living this Sunday. It is a lot all at once. The apartment has a bedroom for Grandpa, too. He will join her after his cardiac rehab.

Allison is 5.5 months. Owen is 16.5 months. They loved watching each other!

The reason we didn't plan to visit until Sunday and the actual reason for our trip to Kansas was for my Uncle Frank's 80th birthday party. It was a great time and a nice mini Schieber family reunion. Saturday night, Dad hosted a bbq feast at our house. I forgot to mention that we left our camera on the dining room table instead of bringing it with us! What a bummer! We really missed out on some great pics. If anyone has some, please email me! It was a hot day and had off and on looked threatening of rain. Wouldn't you know that it started raining as soon as we put the food out! I don't even know how many people were there, but there were at least 25 people sitting on the floor in my parents living room. Em and her boyfriend, Jim, had strung lights in one of the trees, we set up the i pod speakers outside and Al made a party mix, and the flowers on the patio looked so nice. Go figure!

Such a cheesball... posing for the camera!

Saturday afternoon, before the party, Mom called to say they had to take Grandpa back to surgery. He had an unexpected complication (which are his specialty.) When they were pulling out the temporary pacing wires, he started bleeding in his chest. My cousin Jamie was visiting with him and I guess he got really sweaty and short of breath and they had to take him for emergency surgery. I can't imagine how terrible it must have been for Jamie to be there while they were coding Grandpa before surgery. He had 3 L of blood in his chest. After the 2nd surgery, they weren't able to extubate him until Tuesday. He wasn't sedated for most of that time, either. Mom said it was so horrible because he kept trying to tell them to take the tube out. Since they took it out, he's been in very good spirits. He gets tired easily and his appetite hasn't been very good (which isn't like him at all.) Because he keeps going into different heart rhythms (mostly a-fib, I think) they are going to place a pacemaker today or tomorrow. It's hard when you are getting all of this info 2nd or 3rd or 4th hand. And, it's hard to be a nurse and know a little about this stuff but be hazy on most of it. This is definately not my area!

So, Mom was not home the entire day we were there. It was sad, but we definately understood and were happy she was with her Dad, where she needed to be. We got to see Grandpa on Sunday and he was intubated an looked pretty bad. We got to go visit him a couple of times for about 5 minutes each. He could tell we were there though. He nodded his head and opened his eyes. I am so glad we were able to go visit. My Aunt and Uncle took some pictures of him yesterday, and he's looking much better. They said they'd email them today. In Overland Park, we did some fun things. We went to Wonderscope, which is like a small children's museum. We went to the farmstead again. We got to see Grandma and partied it up with the Schieber's. We bought Owen a trike off of Craigslist and he loved it! I wish I had some video of that. We spent some quality time with Uncle Sam and Uncle Al, Aunt Em, and Grandpa. We ate way too much. I think Owen's legs grew while we were home. He mostly ate cheese (his favorite thing to scream, "Cheese! Cheese!") and fruit and hamburgers and hot dogs! It was a good, but long trip. We're very happy we could be there but so happy to be home!

Please keep Grandpa in your prayers, and I'll try to keep the blog updated as we hear anything new.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Coloring is a new favorite activity of Owen's. I bought him a box of triangular toddler crayons and he wants to color at least twice each day (for about 3-4 min each time!) Here he is with his latest masterpiece.

Spray Park

Last week we met our friends Katie, Abbie, and Isabel at a spray park in Westmont. The kids had a ball. It was great because they were easy to spot and you didn't really need to worry about them drowning. Owen had is first dum-dum sucker.

They also had a great playground (as you can see!)

I can't believe we managed to get all three kids in one picture!

I couldn't resist adding this picture of sweet Isabel! I just love that bikini!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cherries for lunch...

He loved them and they were delicious. His hair was literally purple!

Things to remember when feeding Owen cherries...
1. Strip him down to his diaper.
2. Only feed him cherries before you plan to bathe him!

The beach

Saturday it was a little warmer so we went to the beach... Here are some highlights!

Happy 4th of July!

More company for the 4th!!! We were very excited to have my sister and her boyfriend visit for the 4th! We originally intended to spend the day at the beach but decided to hit the park instead because the temperature was in the high 60's- low 70's all day.

Who'd have thought?! It was such a beautiful day.

We picked up some food and walked to the park. As you can tell, we all had a great time (especially Lola!)

Later on, we had a few friends and family over for a brat bbq and fireworks at the beach.
Owen's usual bedtime is around 7pm. We were a little nervous because the fireworks didn't even start until 9:15.

He stayed awake and did great. He loved the fireworks! He wasn't scared at all! He was pointing at the fireworks and applauding.
Because Owen recently outgrew his tennis shoes, he had to wear his Spiderman slippers. We thought they were more patriotic, anyways!

Thanks to everybody for coming! We had a great time!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Walsh/Stratton Chicago Vacation '08

We were very lucky to have Mike's parents, sisters, aunt, uncle, and cousin in town last weekend. They came last Thursday and stayed through Monday. We did lots of Chicago touristy things and had so much fun. Friday morning, the girls went to brunch at the American Girl Store on Michigan Avenue.

It was so great!!! I would highly recommend it to anyone with little girls or any older American Girl fans. Going to that store seriously makes you feel like a little girl again (I'm sure the mimosas didn't hurt, either.)

This is Mike's cousin Olivia, who is 5, with her doll, Julie. She loved the American Girl store. I seriously wanted to buy all of the many new outfits and accessories for my Samantha doll (which is somewhere in a closet at my parent's house.) It was so cute to watch the little girls (many dressed in matching outfits with their doll) enjoying such a fun outing. I hope that we will one day be blessed with a daughter or niece or some little girl who we can buy this stuff for so I can play with it and not feel ridiculous.

This was the dessert. Everything was delicious and so cute, too! Otherwise, there are these twin dolls that come in boys and girls... I'm sure Owen (and Mike) would love them... I would highly recommend this activity to anyone familiar with the American Girl dolls.

After the American Girl brunch, we met up with the boys at Navy Pier for an architectural boat tour on the Chicago river.

The weather was great and we enjoyed the boat ride

and seeing all of the interesting buildings.

Owen had lots of fun playing with Grandpa Jimmy.

After the tour, we had lunch at Charlie's. Then Mike, Owen, and I took the "L" back to Evanston. Owen was overtired and a little cranky, but stayed awake and silly the entire way back to Evanston!

while the Walsh crew spent some time at Navy Pier.

Other trip highlights included hanging around the Orrington Hotel

Dave's Italian Kitchen (Owen ate an entire loaf of bread, among many other things!)


And, an obviously enthralling tour of Mike's lab and the Northwestern campus.

Thanks to everyone for coming to Evanston and including us in your vacation. We had so much fun!