Sunday, February 28, 2010


Today we were a part of a wonderful community campaign.  Fynn, a four year old in our region, was diagnosed with a rare from of (myeloid?) luekiema.  He is in need of a stem cell trans(plant/fusion?) and after searching the world wide data base of 7-8 million people they didn't come up with anyone.  We went to a blood-typing assembly line which was amazingly orgainzed and full of people.  We arrived right at the beginning and people were already lined up out the door of a high school sized gymnasim.  We were only there about 50 minutes, including registering and drawing blood.  I was so struck by the shear number of people who were there to help a little boy they didn't know.  Of course some people did know him...Jan heard a Dad showing a picture of Fynn to his son, saying 'you know him from the playground, remember?'  I was honored to be part of such a community mission and we hope they will find a match - I even hope it will be me! 

To anyone local:  the article I linked to also has information how to donate.  Each blood typing process costs €50, so they are thankful for any and all donations.

To everyone:  I encourage you to go and have your information "typed" so you can be added to the data base in order to help other children like Fynn in the future.  The whole time I kept thinking...this could be my son - how eternally grateful I would be for everyone's help.  Please keep Fynn and his family in your thoughts and prayers.  How thankful I am tonight for my healthy baby sleeping peacefully in his bed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stinky Sign

How did I forget to mention the "stinky" sign in my last post?  This one he only does on commend (i.e. he doesn't "tell" us when he is stinky, but if you ask he can usually show you where the stinky is located).  It seriously!  Of course we had just opened a new toy, so he was more interested in the packaging than playing along at first, but he finally came around!


We have been trying to teach Blaise some signs.  Really, we started a long time ago, but it didn't really catch on, so now that he is older and learning at a much faster rate than I am, it seems to be much easier.  He made up his own "I'm done" sign (see last post), but the first one he did that we taught his was eat/drink.  Unfortunately we haven't been able to see a clear difference for eat or drink, but at least we have the general idea.  He seems to do this sign quite often recently and when he really means business, he starts doing it harder!  For example, if we are taking too long in the morning to get moving on his breakfast he'll start pounding his mouth with the "eat" sign...sheesh.

"Eat," Mommy!

He also does the sign for "milk," "crayon" and "car".  We are working on other important ones like "hug" and "I love you"!

Crazy Hair

Telling us he is done eating

Okay, we got it...

Fish and brussel spout mess

Love this silly face!

Just trying to record and remember the little things that make us love him so much.  His super personality, his growing independence and increasing ability to communicate.  Every day he amazes me over and over again.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We fled our apartment this weekend.  The crazy carnival ("Fastnacht" if you're a Mainzer) celebrators kicked off the weekend long binge on Thursday evening, and although we heard an occasional screech, it wasn't too bad.  Jan slept with earplugs which made it extra "quiet."  Last year Blaise was still a newborn and easily sleep through the insanity, we didn't want to chance it this year.

The cities along the Rhine celebrate carnival ("Fasching," "Fastnacht," or "Karnavel") in a big way.  The top three cities are Cologne, Dusseldorf and Mainz.  Each have their own traditions, but a lot of it has to do with the number 11 and the final celebration in Mainz starts Thursday before Lent and has it climax on Monday, the so-called Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday.  Rosenmontag is the day of the big parade - approximately 4 hours.  It is peppered with clubs who play music and dance, political themed floats and many silly people in even siller costumes.  Center stage throughout the festivies is of course food and drink - hence the crazy loudness as the day wears on, and since we live right smack dab in the middle of the madness, we've fled.

We had a great opportunity to get out of town this year.  This is my cousin Kim's first carnival in Germany and she wanted to experience it first hand.  So we swapped domiciles for the weekend!  We left on Saturday morning and got here in time to stop at the local supermarkt to stock up and let Blaise unwind a bit from the drive before bed.  He isn't the happiest camper sitting in the even for a 5 minute drive, but we packed a ton of toys and he had fun pulling things out of my bag.  It is about a 3 1/2 drive and we actually made really good time.  We'll head back home on Tuesday once the major craziness is only a memory and the bouquet of alcohol and urine begin to subside, until then we are enjoying snow covered pine trees and The Best of Friends and Walk the Line in dolby surround sound!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Daddy: The Sleep Whisperer

While on our mega trip last fall in the US, Blaise napped in our bed.  When we got home he of course didn't want to go back to napping in his crib.  I kept putting off the transition for many good (and some not-so-good) reasons:  holidays, illness, various other changes, etc.  I mentioned that he started only taking one nap a day?  Jan has him back to two naps a day IN HIS CRIB!!  He was even sleeping for really long stretches (2+ hours) in the morning for a few days in a row, but this could have been due to his recent bronchitis diagnosis :(  All in all sleep poses a constant challenge for us, but with Daddy, "The Sleep Whisperer," all can be conquered!