We were very disappointed to have to cancel our Kansas City trip for Christmas, but we did manage to make a day trip up to Rockford to visit our friends, the Martins, who have 2 daughters, Riley and Shelby. Shelby is currently waiting for a liver transplant at Children's in Chicago (these are the same girls who came to visit us over the summer). As usual, Anni had a fantastic time playing with them. Riley and Annika had a great time hiding out under Riley's "bed tent" (she has a sort of a tent-like structure over her twin bed), and playing dress-up with her extensive collection of necklaces, gloves, shoes, and hats. Anni also discovered the joy of Barbies at their house, as they have a very large collection. Shelby, the younger girl, was fascinated with Frankie, and played a very funny game with her in which she ran from one side of the room over to where Frankie lay kicking on the floor. She would stop on the way to stand on top of a book (???kids!), and then run the rest of the way over, and bend down and kiss Frankie on top of the head. Frankie would let out a little squeal of delight, and then the game would start all over again.
I took a lot of pictures of this trip (hooray for my digital camera!), and have them posted.
I also have made several more little "movies" and will post them as soon as I can get them compressed.
Anni has been very healthy recently, and we're enjoying it! She's back on her 4 times a day antibiotic to counteract the effect of the antibiotics she took to get over her monster ear infection/sinus infection. However, we should finish up those antibiotics in another couple of weeks. We've been experimenting with no nap during the day or only a very short "rest", as she has been having a lot of trouble going to sleep at night if she takes her full 2 hour nap during the day. I think she's beginning to outgrow naptime, but the transition is very hard! Meanwhile, she's been enjoying lots of pretend games lately. She's been playing doctor with Baloo (from the Jungle Book), a big stuffed bear that her Grandpa Bond got her. For some reason, Baloo is *always* the patient. She'll come to me and announce, "Oh dear, Baloo has a fever! We have to take him to the doctor." Then she'll get out all her medical equipment: a play blood-pressure cuff, play otoscope, play shot, and a real stethoscope (left-over from the hospital days). She checks his blood pressure, looks in his ears, looks in his mouth (usually using an empty pen barrel, which doubles as a medicine syringe in her games), feels his tummy, brushes his teeth (yes, brushing teeth has somehow become part of the game. Again, ????kids!). She also enjoys "changing his diaper." Yesterday, she told me, "Uh-oh. Baloo's diaper is kind of poopy. He needs a fresh diaper." And then she ran to the room and grabbed a diaper for him. There were no wipes out (I learned long ago that if I left wipes out that she would have them scattered everywhere in no time), and she had a look of real consternation trying to figure out what she was going to use to wipe him with. She looked around the room, and then brightened when she spotted her "Shelby" doll (yes, it appears that she named her favorite doll after her little friend Shelby in Rockford). She ran over to her and took off the doll's shirt, and then used that to wipe Baloo's bottom. She then proceeded to take a rectal temperature on Baloo using the handle of a dolly tennis racket.
She also has been enjoying playing "blood draw" with me in the morning. She does a very good job, even using her index finger to gently feel around for my vein before "inserting" her pretend needle. She actually really enjoys her blood draws, as the lab workers always ooh and aah over her, and give her stickers afterwards. She has been known to announce, out of the clear blue, "I need a blood draw!"
I.V.'s, on the other hand, she still detests. However, they have become a part of her life. As I've mentioned before, I sometimes give her a book and have her "read" it to me. Recently, she was reading a book to me before bed when she included as part of the story, "And she has to get an I.V." This really surprised me, but it was true that the girl went to the hospital later on in the story (it was a book about a girl getting a liver transplant), and so I told her that, yes, the girl probably did get an I.V. I was wondering where she got this idea, though, as there was no mention of an I.V. in the story, and Anni wasn't even at the place where she went to the hospital (she was on the page where she was playing outside with a friend). I didn't think any more of this, until a few days later when I was reading the story to her. Right on that page was a mention of "poison ivy", and suddenly it all made sense!