Friday, October 8, 2010

We're Moving!!!

Well, maybe not physically moving, but our blog has relocated!  It just wouldn't be fair to the new baby to have the blog url entitled  So hop on over to for any future updates.

Baking and Swaddling

Priya and I have been having a lot of fun together these past few days. She got a cookie baking set for her birthday (cutting board, rolling pin, cookie cutters) so we decided to try it out. She loved every minute of it - from mixing ingredients, rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies and decorating them. She was even a big help when it came to cleaning up! She helped me sweep and mop the floor and wipe the table clean. She's getting to be such a big girl!

After showing me what a big girl she is, we regressed a bit and pretended that she and her "Drewey's" were babies. We've been talking a lot about the baby - who will be here in less than 6 weeks now!!!! So I pulled out some of her old swaddling blankets and demonstrated how we'll take care of the baby, swaddle him, and put him to bed. She was utterly thrilled with it and wanted to get in on the action after her babies had been swaddled.

In the pic below she was pretending to be asleep... :)

In the video below she's starting to sing part of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. You can sort of make out the words "I can show you the world...shining...". She's been singing up a storm these days and often makes up her own words to the tune of familiar songs. I wish I had captured more of this song. But maybe another time...

By the way, these pics/videos are all taken in what will very soon be the baby's room. Priya hasn't made the transition into her twin size bed in her real room and feels more comfortable here for now. We plan to make the transition within the next couple of weeks.

My dad has been a HUGE help since we've moved into our new place! I love painting but unfortunately haven't been able to, so he painted the master bedroom/bathroom, baby's room, Priya's room and our "dining room". Pretty impressive, eh? Dad, you are amazing! Thank you SO much!

Then it was time for the Drewey's to go to bed, turn on the "night-night machine" (white noise to block out the noise of the dorm), turn off the light...and finally put up the gate so that the Drewey's couldn't get out of their room. ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ami Got Her Visa!!!

Ami's visa was approved!!! She is waiting to get her passport back (which should be any day) and then she'll be on a plane the next day! :) We're so excited that she'll be here in Redding so soon! Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gymnastics Playdate

Priya has been begging me for a very long time to take her back to gymnastics for open gym. I was feeling well enough to take her so we joined a former Simpson student (who was in my dorm my 1st year as an RD - we recently ran into each other in the Target parking lot and have enjoyed reconnecting) and her 2 year old daughter for a play date.

On the way to gymnastics, Priya was being goofy, making her own "sunglasses".Every time we go it seems that Priya braves something new. This time is was the rope swing. She loved it and kept trying it again and again despite a few tumbles!

She also enjoyed swinging upside-down. I think we have a future gymnast on our hands... :)

And finally, here's a cute video of Priya and Sophia, her new buddy, jumping on a trampoline together.

Thanks for a fun morning Leah and Sophia! We had a wonderful time bouncing around with you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Exciting News about Ashish's sister, Ami!!

We received word from Argentina today regarding Ami's visa interview date! She is scheduled to interview on September 27! If all goes well and her visa is approved she could be here in Redding in just over a week from now! Please pray for favor with those who will be interviewing her/making the final decision, for courage and clarity of speech for Ami, and for the remainder of the details to fall into place. We'll be sure to keep you posted!

Priya's 3rd Birthday - Part 2

Priya is officially 3 years old! We had originally counted on having her party at a park, but the weather had other plans. So we ended up celebrating here in our apartment. I think this is the first time we've posted pics of our new apartment. So here's a glimpse into our living room/kitchen area to give you some idea where we're living now.The guests at Priya's party consisted of some of her babysitters, Sunday School teachers, Simpson buddies and some of her young friends. It was crowded in our little place but a wonderful time was had by all nonetheless.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Priya's 3rd Birthday - Part 1

On Sunday, September 19 Priya will officially be 3 years old! Are we seriously at 3 years ALREADY? I can't believe how quickly our little Priya is growing up!

We are doing 2 small birthday parties for her this year so that my parents could celebrate with her before returning to Canada (party #1 is with family and party #2 will be with Priya's buddies). So tonight was round 1 of the birthday fun. We celebrated at Mom and Dad Penner's home with pizza, cake and a few presents. Priya was elated and loved every minute of it (well, except for the waiting part before she got to the cake and her presents... Hmmm - how do you teach patience to a 3 year old?)!

Priya didn't eat much of her cupcake. She primarily focused on the frosting and left the cake part alone.

Below Priya is saying thank you to Uncle Phil for a beautiful purse that he got for her. By the way, his fiance Ami (Ashish's sister) is very close to having her interview to immigrate here from Argentina! They are planning for an October 2o wedding!
Priya loved the doctor kit, bubbles, stickers and picture that Auntie Em, Uncle Joel, Ella & Jake sent to her. Thank you! :)
Saying thank you to Grammy and Papa Penner for the denim jackets and the really fun baby doll.
Having some fun with her new toys after she had finished opening them...

The C-Section Has Been Scheduled!!

Exciting news! Ashish and I received a letter today informing us that the date/time for my c-section has been scheduled! Our baby boy will enter the world on November 16 at 12:30pm (unless I go into labor earlier than that date of course). How fun to know the date and approximate time that we'll be able to hold him in our arms for the first time! It's also very special that he will share a birthday with Grammy Penner and will be celebrating Grammy and Grandpa Christian's and Uncle Arpit and Aunt Binal's anniversaries that day as well. We'll definitely do everything we can to make the day special for him as well so that he won't get lost in the shuffle. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Who knew shaving cream could be so much fun?

My SIL Jenetta has been giving me some great ideas for creative activities to do with Priya. Since I've been unable to work I've been trying to make the most of my extra time with Priya by doing various types of activities with her. Most of them involve sitting down so that I can keep my feet up (ie. crafts, painting, etc). But today we visited my parents' house and Grandpa helped us to assemble this bizarre creation to give Priya some physical activity and fun at the same time. We cut-up a garbage bag, used some golf tees to "attempt" to hold the bag down and a bottle of shaving cream. The result was a ton of fun for Priya and a lot of giggling. And no worries, Priya didn't get any of that mess in her mouth. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Unexpected Shift...

There have been some significant changes since I last posted...

Life at Simpson University has been getting very busy and hectic as I have been madly preparing for the return of our student leaders and a week and 1/2 of intense training. This is always a very busy time of year but this was the first time that I was in charge of putting together all of the training for our Student Life student leaders so the pressure was higher than normal.

Last Saturday (August 21) I spent the day taking it easy and winding down from a busy week. In the evening Priya and I went out to do some grocery shopping and I began to have some rather painful contractions (I was almost 27 weeks at the time). After several hours of being unable to stop them I called the doctor on call and was advised to go into the hospital. Ashish was working while all of this was going on but his boss was very supportive and let him go so that he could take me. Fortunately we were able to bypass the ER and went straight up to Labor and Delivery. It took 5 hours total (not 5 hrs in the hospital) to get the contractions to stop (much longer than any episode I ever had with Priya). And they eventually released me, assuring me that the baby was healthy and that I would be fine.

I slept a lot of the day on Sunday and then went back to work on Monday but found myself having painful contractions yet again after walking across the parking lot and over to my office. They seemed to hit almost every time I stood up or moved about at all. I called my doctor and he put me on bed rest for 2 days and told me to come in on Tuesday morning. After meeting with him, his recommendation was that I go on disability for the duration of my pregnancy (I have 3 months to go). This came as quite a shock. I thought this would pass and that I'd simply be instructed to reduce some of the stress and peripheral activities in my life, get extra rest, keep my feet up more, drink even more water, etc. I was wrong about that!

This has been a hard decision for me on so many levels, but in looking at the bigger picture I know that it’s what I need to do for the health of the baby and for my health as well. It was hard to walk away from a job that I really do love and to leave my team (the day that round one of our student leaders were scheduled to arrive). But the positive side of things is that I now have the opportunity to do what my heart has been yearning for – to be home with my daughter and to have the opportunity to be a mom and wife without having my emotional and physical energy depleted by the demands and stresses of work. I love my job (most of it anyways) and find a great deal of fulfillment in what I do, but it really can take away my family and my ability to be as invested in them as I'd like to be. So I am focusing on the positive and thanking God for this *blessing* while I have it.

The past week has been difficult but good. My stress levels have definitely decreased and I've been feeling more "normal" as each day passes. I am able to move about here and there but have to be careful not to be on my feet too much or those crazy contractions come back. Fortunately by putting my feet up I've been able to stop them every time. I'm thankful that I'm not on strict bed rest and that I do have some freedom, but I definitely have to be careful.

My parents are back in Redding (they arrived the day my doctor put me on disability), so the timing couldn't be better. It's been great to have this time with them and to have some additional hands to help Priya get the exercise that I'm not able to adequately give her right now. She, of course, is thrilled that they are back as well!

Ashish has been really helpful and supportive through these transitions. He is back in school, taking some pre-requisites to an RN program. He's trying to get some of the hardest classes out of the way before the baby arrives, so he is definitely keeping busy with his studies and with his job as well.

So there you have it. Life is definitely never dull around the Christian household! There always seems to be something going on... :) We are thankful for God's provisions, that our baby boy is healthy and strong and for the support of family and friends.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

She's on the mend!

Priya has shown a great deal of improvement today!! She woke up saying she was hungry and actually ate more than 2 bites! She also didn't want/need to sleep most of the day, actually had energy to move around our apartment and asked to go outside! So I took her out for a while for a change of scenery. She's lost weight this week from not being able to keep anything down and basically not eating! She was already so tiny to begin with but now she feels so frail to me when I hold her. But now that she's eating again and regaining her strength I'm sure she'll be back to normal soon!

Drewey (her monkey friend) came along for the outing. This isn't a common occurance but we made an exception since she's been sick.

I was SO happy to see this mischevious smile back on her face again today!

In case you're wondering, the stuff on her right arm is adhesive residue from her IV from Tuesday! We're having a hard time getting that stuff to come off!

Thanks again for your prayers! It's so great to have our little monkey back again! :) She's even sleeping in her own bed tonight!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Priya Update

Today is the 4th day that Priya has been sick. She has shown many improvements - no more throwing up and no more fever. But she continues to be quite ill. She has struggled with sleeping due to stomach pain and has been crying and fussing quite a bit over the past two days. It's heart breaking to see your child in pain! She has eaten very little these past four days (a cracker here, a spoonful of rice there, maybe a bite or two of a banana) and has such little energy, says very little and just wants to snuggle close to us when awake or asleep. She usually sleeps in her own bed but has been sleeping with us since this whole thing began. I have to say that both Ashish and I are enjoying this time of closeness with her but wish it were under different circumstances.

After missing three days of work I went back this morning, but am back home again this afternoon because she's still so sick. But she is very closely following the pattern that her doctor predicted so we are confident that she'll be back to her normal self again soon. We're praying for peace for her little body and for a speedy recovery. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Priya's Trip to the ER

Priya gave us a bit of a scare yesterday. She woke up around 4am and cried for me to come to her room. I thought it was your typical, "Mommy, I have to go potty" scenario. But when I got to her room she was crying more than normal. She then said, "Mommy, I spilled". I thought maybe she'd wet the bed or something (surprisingly she hasn't done this once since she's been potty trained). But I soon discovered that she'd thrown up in her bed. And the throwing up continued every 5-10 minutes for hours!

We called Priya's doctor as soon as his office was open and were told to watch closely, try to get liquids in her to keep her from getting dehydrated and to call back/go to the ER if she continued to throw up after 12 hours. It was a long day (with a lot of laundry) and Priya was unable to keep anything down. We watched her go from crying a little bit as she got sick, then bouncing back to her typical self in between episodes, to becoming increasingly lethargic and weak. We eventually called the doctor back and were encouraged to take her to the ER so off we went.

Fortunately the wait wasn't too long to get in to see a doctor - only about 30-45 minutes. Priya just snuggled in our laps while we waited. Then she was finally given a bed (and her monkey blanket Drewey came along too). I've wondered many times what she would be like in a hospital if she ever got sick. I imagined her crying and wanting to run around and not stay put. But she was very different from that. She just laid there, quietly studying her surroundings, sucking her thumb and sleeping on and off.
She was eventually given an IV so that she could be rehydrated and was given medication to stop the vomiting. They had to tape up her arm and put a brace on it to keep her from bending it. This process was quite scary for her. But once it was complete she was calm again. They proceeded to run a series of test including x-rays as well as blood and urine tests (the most painful for her).
After all the tests were done and 2 bags of IV fluids had been administered there were still concerned that she hadn't perked up or changed at all during her time there. They told us they were going to admit her and move her up to Pediatrics so that they could run more tests and continue to observe her. They were concerned about elevated white blood cell count and the possibility of appendicitis.
They did an ultrasound and after about an hour came back and told us that they'd changed their mind about admitting her. They had ruled out appendicitis and thought that she'd be more comfortable at home. They were still concerned but instructed us to return the next day for a follow-up appointment and possible further tests.

After 8 hours in the ER we were released and got home around 1am. Priya slept with us during the night and has remained either on our laps our in our arms for almost the entire day today. This morning we to take her to her pediatrician for her follow-up appt rather than take her back to the ER. She experienced a lot of poking and prodding yesterday at the ER which was tough on her and very scary. Her pediatrician was involved in her case via phone and we trust him a great deal with her care. We knew that she’d feel safer with him and that the appointment would be much shorter (ie. 30 min vs. 4 or so hours).

Priya has only thrown up 1x today which is a HUGE improvement from the 40-50 times that it happened yesterday. So that is a very good thing. She is very achy today, very weak, tired and has a fever. She wants to be held while awake and sleeping so we are taking turns snuggling with her and trying to comfort her. Her doctor thinks it’s probably just a really bad case of the flu/gastroenteritis and that the elevated white blood cell count was a result of the trauma/stress of throwing up so much yesterday. She is on a liquid diet and is expected to be back to her normal, cheerful, energetic self in about a week.

It's heart-wrenching to see your child in pain and so fragile. She is normally so full of life and enthusiasm. But we are thankful that her situaiton isn't more serious. She gave us a scare but God has been watching over her and we are so thankful for His protection.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Day of Fun!

Priya had a pretty fantastic day today. She has been asking me for a while now to take her to gymnatics so we headed out for open gym this morning. We hadn't been for a few months and I was amazed at the new things she attempted and how much more daring she was. She didn't stop running, jumping or moving the entire time we were there - and loved every single minute of it!

Priya's friend Elliot from church/Mom's Group came to spend the evening with us. The two had a blast together and had me cracking up too.

They are wrapping up the evening by watching Toy Story 2 and enjoying some popcorn. Fun times!
Elliot will be coming over again tomorrow evening. Should be another fun-filled night!! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is it a BOY or a GIRL? We finally have the answer!

The verdict is in...

We visited the doctor this afternoon and brought Priya with us to give her an opportunity to see her brother or sister for the first time (Ashish's mom also joined us - she'd never seen an ultrasound before so it was extra special for her). I talked Priya through what the doctor was going to do and showed her the equipment (without touching it of course). I'm not sure that she fully understood what she was seeing on the screen, but it was neat to have her there to take part in that special moment. It didn't take long for the doctor to announce that we are having a BOY (and it looked pretty clear to us too)! Yep, Priya is going to have a little brother and her cousin Jake is gonna have a little buddy to play with only one year apart in age (now if we just lived closer to Uncle Joel & Aunt Emily...or the rest of our family for that matter)!

A funny note to end the day... When we got back to the waiting room Priya came up to me and tried to pull my shirt up asking if she could see the baby in my tummy again. There were quite a few people in the waiting room and that gave them all quite a giggle. Kids really do say the darndest things... :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Random Cuteness

I've seen and heard some pretty cute things from our little monkey lately and thought I'd take this time to record some of them.

*Tonight when putting Priya down for bed she came running at me from across the room, jumped into my arms, gave me a big bear hug and said "I so proud of you". With all of her potty training success, she's heard that statement a lot lately. I thought it was really cute to hear it back. ;) (By the way, she is fully potty trained now! She's even had the pooping down for the past 2 weeks and hasn't had a single accident!) Yes Priya, we are so proud of you! :)

*A few weeks ago we were at the grocery store and I accidentally bumped Priya's head when taking her out of the shopping cart (there was a metal bar above her). She cried for about 2 seconds and then broke into song singing, "Glory hallelujah, I shall not be moved..." How timely!

*We've been trying to get Priya used to the idea of having a new brother or sister soon. Last night while we were getting ready for bed, she asked if she could pray and ask God for a sister. We are totally open to either and will actually find out on Tuesday afternoon if Priya's prayer will be answered the way she hopes. We'll be sure to update the blog once we know more.

*Below is a video of what a typical day with Priya looks like. She absolutely LOVES to dance and twirls her little heart out every chance she gets. She was given this bathing suit/grass skirt when she was a baby and wants to wear it almost every day!

The weather in Redding has brought us back to our usual summer sweat fest. So after going to multiple stores to find a little blow-up pool for Priya to splash around in and finding nothing (seems everyone else in Redding had the same idea we did), we came home with this crabby monstrosity. Priya loves it and it provides a little shade for her as well so we're thankful. It's just challenging to store when not in use...
Apparently it's really fun to play in with no water indoors as well! And it does a number on Priya's hair which had us cracking up quite a bit. We are currently keeping it in Priya's room (she's sleeping in the baby's room for now and uses her room as a play room so it's all working out right now).

Thanks for looking! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Yesterday we enjoyed having Bella and Lucy Slavens over for a couple of hours to play. These are two of Priya's favorite little buddies and she loves every opportunity they get to play together.

I love to observe the create games that kids come up with in their play times. In the pics below they were pretending to be cowgirls. They also took turns being mommies and babies and putting each other (including me) down for naps. They read stories to each other, sang songs and tucked each other in. So sweet!
Emily (SIL) gave me the idea of getting some pipe cleaners and beads and letting Priya make necklaces and bracelets out of it. She has loved the craft and it's been amazing to see her dexterity sharpen with this task. We used heart beads and amazingly enough she arranged them by alternating color (never repeating the same color before using a new one) and managed to get all the hearts facing the same direction! Impressive! Bella and Lucy enjoyed making their jewelry as well and did a fantastic job!

They are showing off their finished products below...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Family Vacation

Ashish, Priya and I are currently enjoying a small vacation in the Sacramento area. How wonderful to get away and to enjoy some quality time as a family! We drove down yesterday and tomorrow we'll be heading home again. It's been quick but we've managed to cram quite a bit of fun in. Here's a "highlight" of our adventures (warning, lots of pics ahead!)...

We visited Fairytale Town this morning. What a neat place!
The Old Woman in the Shoe...

Owl's House (Pooh's friend)...
The Tin Man and Dorothy :)
Petting the "cow who jumped over the moon"
Cinderella's carriage (this was definitely Priya's favorite)

Jack's Beanstalk

Pirate Ship
Watering Rabbit's Garden
Mother Goose slide
Priya's first exposure to Shakespeare. It was a condensed version of Macbeth. Sadly she didn't last very long and was ready for a nap.
Swimming at the hotel after nap time. "I love swimming!"

Dinner at Chevy's
Priya's 1st Carousel ride after dinner. She LOVED it!

Back at the hotel for some snuggling before bedtime.