2009 Year End Summary…

Our usual tradition of Christmas cards includes a letter that shares our adventures from the year.  But this year, we (more Clara) felt that our 2009 wasn’t worth sharing.  Or, at least, it wasn’t worth reliving since we had some personal nightmares.  So, as I wait for a representative from USPS.com (I’m approaching 17 minutes, should I hang up??) to dispute a charge, I thought I’d “share” my 2009…. via blog…

2009 started off in the usual way: our dog, Bailey got her yearly check-up.  Did you know that she was a Christmas present when Shane and I were in Indianapolis?  Then, in February, it was a balmy 60 degrees (no snow!) and I had decided to take the boys and Bailey out for a walk.  Without going through all the details, Bailey was attacked by a pitbull who ran out of its yard.  Bailey suffered a broken leg, but thankfully survived.  The cops came and shot the other dog.  But we’re most thankful that neither I nor Toby or Topher were harmed in the incident.

March comes around and Topher celebrates his first birthday.  We had a delicious lamb shank dinner from Ayse’s, a little Turkish place in Ann Arbor…

Around April or May, we found out that we will definitely be staying in the Columbus area until June 30, 2012.  Shane was officially accepted into the Adult Electrophysiology Fellowship at (the) OSU.

Then, during the entire month of May, Toby was finally potty-trained in time for our vacation in June.

In June, the whole family traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit with Clara’s family and dear friends from college.  We also met Clara’s twin nephews (Raiden and Thorin) for the first time since they were born.  Toby and his older cousins (Malachi and Gideon) had a blast chasing pigeons on Pier 39, too!  Toby and Topher also got to play in a swimming pool for the first time.

Sometime in July, Shane and I started a new “hobby” of sorts: we started shopping for and designing  our Dream House.  After looking at about 30 model homes, some more than twice, we’ve finally settled on a favorite.  If you’re ever in town, we’d love to show it to you!  Of course, it may take a few jobs before we finally settle down and build it, but we have a solid idea of what we want for the future.

In August, Clara joined a women’s group called “Side by Side.”  It’s an offshoot of CMDA (Christian Medical/Dental Association) full of doctor’s wives.  The women’s husbands span the entire training/career spectrum from medical school through attendings.  It’s been a blessing to go and share with other women the burdens of long work hours, parenting as a “single” parent (it feels like it to some); plus, they provide childcare, so the boys have enjoyed new friends.

In September, Toby started preschool.  He’s really enjoying it!  As Miss Lori says, “Toby always has something to say.”  So we don’t worry about shyness with him.  He’s even learned how to write his name!

In October, Toby and Topher went trick-or-treating for the first time.  Toby was Robin, Batman’s sidekick.  🙂  Topher also had a hearing test: his ears are just fine.  He’s just ignoring us!

And in mid-November, Shane had the honor of presenting an oral abstract at the American Heart Association’s national conference in Orlando, Florida.  To celebrate, we decided to take the entire family to Disney World!  Even the boys’ godparents came a month early to see us there.  Unfortunately, this trip turned into another nightmare.  Topher started throwing up within 10 minutes of checking in to the hotel and didn’t stop until about 3 days later when he had a seizure (from dehydration) and was admitted into the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in downtown Orlando.  Topher had 2 bowel surgeries (he had complications from his previous bowel surgery when he was in the NICU which caused a bowel obstuction that didn’t allow anything to go through) and didn’t get back to Columbus until the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Topher was finally discharged from Nationwide Children’s Hospital one day before Toby’s 4th birthday (Dec 10th).  He still has a broviac (permanent IV) and a gastric tube on him until further notice.  Thankfully though, he’s not attached to any IV pumps.

Which brings us to December: Toby turned 4!  We can’t believe our little boy is already 4.  He’s quite accomplished.  He loves card and board games; plays PS2 games that were meant for 10 year olds, and now enjoys  Wii bowling.  He also likes to tell jokes that make no sense.  I’m told this is typical of kids his age.   He does have some simple chores (he;s not always playing!): putting away the utensils, sorting and matching socks, and (when I remember to) swiffering the kitchen floor.

So there’s our 2009!  Not our favorite, but there you go.  Hopefully we’ll have a less eventful 2010.  God bless you and yours for the upcoming New Year!

With Love and Thanksgiving,

Shane, Clara, Toby, Topher & Bailey

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