31 October 2009

Follow Up to Sneak Peak

For a slideshow of Daphne pictures, click here.

The gallery will only be available for a few days.

Cuteness, huh?

Scary AND Cute

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Am I the cutest skeleton you've ever seen? Mom is also talking about dressing me up as a flower, but I have horrible memories of being a flower in previous months, so I'm hoping that does not happen.

I want to go Trick-or-Treating tonight, but mom says I might have to go to bed instead. What is up with that? Why is she so mean? We'll see who wins; I might be able to intimidate her with this scary costume I'm wearing.

****Update: She did it. She made me be a flower. And the yuck diaper that I got all over the front of my skeleton outfit had nothing to do with it. Did I mention my skeleton was glow in the dark? It was so cool.

30 October 2009


The Bubna's came over the other night for a pumpkin carving party. I wanted Daphne to be around for at least a small part of the festivities, but she did not take a good afternoon nap and so needed to go to bed a little bit earlier than usual. What if she never forgives me when she hears she wasn't even around for her first pumpkin carving? I'll have to tell her it was her fault; she shouldn't be so temperamental and finicky when it comes to sleep.

The fruits of our labor were so beautiful.

David did carve a pumpkin in Daphne's honor. It looks just like her, down to the teeth and the cool eye trick she does.

It's hard to tell which one's Daphne.

29 October 2009

Jackpot -- & Officially Time to Babyproof

Hey, look what I found!

This is so exciting! I don't know what it is, but it sure looks like fun.

Mom made me stop playing with this stuff...something about the neighborhood children not wanting my slobber all over their candy. I don't even know what candy is, and I'm fine with my slobber, so I don't see what the big deal is. Mom is such a party pooper.

27 October 2009

10 Months and 3 Days

Daphne had a babysitter all last weekend in the form of her Aunt Becca, who left the party time at college to come spend a few days with us.

And Daphne turned 10 months old while she was here. 10 months. What is up with that? Why does she keep growing? Do I really need to start planning her first birthday party? OK, I will, because I love party planning.

We went to Cathedral Park in St. Johns for the morning of her 10 month birthday. That is one beautiful place, you should all go there if you can. We loved it.

They had a purple fire hydrant! Why not visit a place that has a purple fire hydrant?

What does Daphne do as a 10 month old?

*Crawling/scooting all over
*Loves pulling herself to standing; feet issues do nothing to stop her
*Really likes to stare at fire (weird)
*Is so happy to be able to feed herself
*Fall is her favorite season, as shown by her great love of pumpkins
*Is NOT sleeping through the night (why, oh, why???)
*Does NOT say "mama," not for lack of being coached
*Wiggles herself into a frenzy when she sees her dad or the dogs
*Super great with sign language
*Says "yes, please" in the form of a grunt
*Is losing a bit of her stranger danger and has fun interacting with groups of people
*Just scooted across the floor at lightening speed in order to chew on the computer cord, because cords are a source of great joy for her.

Alrighty, then, maybe I should go get her some real food.

26 October 2009

Pumpkin Patch #3 and Happy Birthday

Somebody turned 32 today.

(In case you think I am also that old, just know that I married someone 5 years older. I'm here to help keep him young.)

Daphne got her dad this amazing little 49ers dress that she had someone from Etsy custom make. Wow, she must really love her dad (and Etsy). Can't you tell that she's really looking forward to wearing it?

We had grand plans to go out to brunch and then explore around Fort Vancouver this morning, but the monsoon weather we've had today changed our plans a bit. This afternoon when the weather was calm we headed out to the pumpkin patch, where we had to act very quickly to find the perfect pumpkins to carve this week. The weather was clear for about 7.5 minutes before the downpour started up again.

David gets to carry the baby and I get to pull the wagon.

That may be our last pumpkin patch visit of the year, which is sad because Daphne sure does love those fields of pumpkins.

"And then, guys, I found a pumpkin that was this big..."

24 October 2009


I love this time of year when I can look out my kitchen window and see this lovely sight.

The backyard and baby make for a great view.

Pumpkin Patch #2

We headed to a patch we've never visited before. I think we tried to find it last year, but the Thomas Guide was confused on how the roads were supposed to be. This year we were smarter than dear old Thomas and we made it to Bushue Farms out in Boring.

Somebody was sooo happy.

She's always thrilled to be sitting amongst the pumpkins, touching as many as she can at one time. Which would be two, since she has only two hands.

She was willing to pull a back muscle in order to watch the little pigs.

But all happiness must come to an end so that we can go home for bedtime.

23 October 2009

Don't be Scared

Confession time.

We like graveyards.

I would say 'cemeteries' but 'graveyard' is a much more romantic word, don't you think? And I need to make this admission sound as good as I possibly can.

I don't fully know what the draw is. Maybe the mystery of imagining the lives represented there, or the sacredness, or the peace and solemnity. Whatever it is, we like finding older graveyards and spending time wandering among the gravestones, reading what little there is to read about the occupants.

Our favorite graveyard that we've been to so far is the Old Dutch Church and Burial Ground in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Washington Irving is buried there, as well as people he based his characters on in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It's also the oldest graveyard we've ever been to, and since in Oregon anything built in 1900 is considered old and historical, we loved seeing American history dating to the Revolutionary War and before.

Fall is the best time for graveyard visiting, with the crisp and beautiful weather. So basically we are freaky people who like to spend time in graveyards around Halloween time. I hope that's OK.

Last Sunday we ventured to a graveyard that David had read about online. We bundled Daphne up in her bear suit (from GAL!) and took off. Poor girl was sweating in the thing because it really wasn't cold enough to be bundled so, but I just wanted her to wear it. She makes a cute bear cub.

It was a little weird to pull in and see this right at the entry way:

Lots of Roth gravestones. (My maiden name, for all of you who are confused right now.) I know Roth isn't that unusual of a name, but it's not so common that I would expect to find a whole slew of Roths in the middle of Portland. But there they are, and I took a picture. (Are we related, Mom?)

The earliest stones were from the mid 1800s, which is about as old as you get around here. If you ever read Martha Stewart Living, she had an interesting article in her October issue about early gravestone art and the significance of the designs. It was very fascinating, and fun to remember seeing those designs on the East Coast and then finding a few here.

OK, confession time over. Your turn.

20 October 2009

Another Sneak Peek

I haven't disappeared from blog land, I promise. Our AC adapter for the laptop threw a fit and died the other day, so I have not been able to upload the HUNDREDS of photos that are just sitting on my camera.

So to tide you over, you can check out what Amy came over to our house and did yesterday afternoon.

Serious cuteness.

13 October 2009

A Windy Day

It sure was blustery out today. Good thing Baby D has lots of warm duds.

She would be such a cute Amish baby, if it weren't for her bonnet being so fancy.

Plus, we really like running water and especially electricity after the MASSIVE amounts of grape juice we made today. Like 20lbs of grapes worth.

So yeah, no Amish-ness here. Just cuteness and warmness.

09 October 2009

Oooh, Fancy

Two weeks ago our washer started making funny noises, and then last Saturday gave a final rinse and died. I was pretty excited because part of using cloth diapers over disposables was the joy of saving many dollars and then buying a fancy schmancy energy efficient frontloading washing machine.

Everything I read said that if you have a working dryer, you don't need to get a new one since drying technology hasn't changed much in the past years. So it was our intention to just get a washer. But then we were shopping around and David kept saying, "don't all women want nice matching washer and dryer sets?" (Because if I had $1000 to spend on whatever I wanted, I would immediately go for appliances, apparently.) And, "look at how nice the matching pair is." I think he really wanted the new dryer. Well, we had the money in the bank, found a really great deal that includes a rebate from the power company for all the energy we'll be saving, plus the tax credit, so....

Now we can all sit and watch with wonder and amazement as our clothes go 'round and 'round.

Yes, it's always a party at the Kemple household.

But I have a week's worth of laundry to get to, so no more sitting here wasting the daylight hours.

08 October 2009

Wind Storm

New fun game to play with Daphne...face blowing!

She thinks it's pretty funny as long the air is more on her forehead as opposed to disrupting her breathing rhythm by blowing over her nose/mouth.

06 October 2009

Daphne on Drugs

Daphne is snug in bed for the night, all recovered from her day at the hospital.

It took FOREVER for them to take her back this morning. There is a rule about getting the youngest patients in first, since it's harder for them to go too long without food. But for some reason they took this other little girl back before Daphne. She was probably 6 or so, and one of the whiniest kids I've ever seen. She spent about an hour screaming bloody murder as the nurses tried to get her IV put in, which meant Daphne had to wait a very long time for her turn.

Daph was none too happy about being forced to wait, but once she did get called back they gave her a lovely dose of something wonderful that made her nice and relaxed.

She went from making this face...

...to this face...

...very quickly.

Then she got so tired that her head just flopped over onto the vibrating, light-up toy that they gave her to play with. That was so funny.

Thank you, Cindy, for your tip about staying with her until she went to sleep. The first time she had surgery they didn't even offer us that option, but today they told us that's what they would have us do. No stranger danger issues! Hopefully we can continue to do that.

Watching her wake up always provides a good laugh or two. I felt badly for her because I knew she was confused on why she felt weird. She was so loopy, but wanted to be free to play. Hard to do when you can't even hold your head up.

She was back to her old self by the time we got home.

Thanks for praying for her today! She was a little trooper, and everything went perfectly. We'll have a follow-up appointment with her doctor soon to decide when her foot surgeries will be.

MRI Preview

Daphne is still back having her MRI done, but here are a few pictures of our action packed day so far.

03 October 2009

This is Full of Medical Jargon

**I apologize for the insane length of this post. If you need to stop and take naps while reading, I completely understand. If you are going to skim, perfect, just don't ask me any questions about when Daphne's next surgeries are. Ha!

I don't talk a lot about Daphne physical issues, partly because I forget that some of the things she deals with aren't the norm. People might look at her and wonder about the kid with the weird leg issues, but I just look at her as the kid. No issues. Also partly because we don't like to make a big deal out of things. She's Daphne, we love her, she's fabulous, she's so funny, what else is there to know?

But this is going to be a busy fall for her, plus I've somehow gleaned some readers from far off lands who are probably wondering "what does that poor baby have on her legs?" So I suppose I should do a little update. This update will also help clarify why you'll be seeing a post or two from the hospital in the coming months.

Part One

Daph was born with talipes equinovarus. Do you like how I can throw out Latin like some sort of genius? Actually I don't even know if it is Latin, it just looks like something that would be Latin-ish. But you more common folk might know it as club foot. You can click here for a really clear and simple website that explains exactly what she has.

While club foot can appear for no apparent reason, her club foot is a side effect of her skeletal dysplasia. Daphne's type of skeletal dysplasia is unknown at this point, although the people who really are geniuses and who work at Cedars-Sinai Hospital are occasionally throwing out a gene test or two to test her for. All we know is it seems to affect the lower part of her legs (between foot and knee) and lower part of her arms (between hand and elbow) the most. I don't notice it so much in her arms (although people who don't see her everyday probably do), except that I have to roll long sleeves up for her. I think the shortness is way more apparent in her legs. So far in public we only get questions about why her legs are in braces, although I think people usually think she's younger than she is because she is kind of scrawny and of course, short.

But she's growing on a perfect curve that she's set for herself, and she's above and beyond doing everything a typical 9 month old would be doing. Go Daphne!

We need to get her feet fixed so that she can start walking soon. (What? Walking? Noooooo!) She's had one heel releasing surgery and she needs to have at least one more. Her doctor wants an MRI done so that he can see exactly what is going on with her feet, because x-rays have shown her ankles might be structured slightly differently than one would expect. We go to OHSU Tuesday for the MRI. Babies are notorious for being very wiggly, so Daphne will have to be put under for the test to be affective. Blech. Her doctor mentioned he might do her next feet surgeries one at a time instead of both at once like last time, but we'll know more after the MRI.

We have paperwork telling us how to prepare for the MRI, and I was so happy to read this (bold print my own):

We may not be able to do an MRI if you have any of the following:

Some/most cerebral aneurysm clips
Artificial heart valve
A metallic foreign body imbedded in your eye

Whew, I am so glad they cleared up the fact that she cannot have a metallic foreign body in her eye. Any other part of her body is fine for the metallic foreign body, just not the eye. Good to know.

OK, moving on to Part Two

Also as a side effect of her skeletal dysplasia, Daphne has a small cleft palate. Hers is a soft palate cleft, meaning it's at the back of her palate toward her throat and does not affect the bone. If you use your tongue and follow your palate starting at your teeth and go back toward your throat, you'll feel hard bone and then suddenly just soft skin. (Please don't gag yourself while trying this experiment.) The soft skin is where her cleft is. It's really caused no problems except for affecting her ability to suck. I wrote this post explaining this a little. I think sometimes with solid foods if something is too big or too thick she has a bit of difficulty, but Daphne is the first baby I have ever taught to eat, so I don't know what non-cleft eating is like. For all I know the gagging and Joe's O's shooting out her throat at my face is completely normal. I do fear bits of food going up her cleft and lodging into her brain to rot, but I've been assured this is not possible.

She is getting her cleft fixed on November 23rd. Don't judge us for taking pleasure from poor Daphne's pain, but we were so happy to get her surgery scheduled for that day. This is the Monday before Thanksgiving, so now David will get the holiday off for family leave. Yes! I don't like it when David works holidays.

She'll be up at OHSU again, and hopefully we'll only have to stay for one night. I say hopefully because last time Daph had surgery she had a weird reaction to the narcotics and we had to stay longer than we expected. We hope this doesn't happen again.

In Conclusion - finally

None of these surgeries are really that serious. Like if you compare them to a heart transplant, they're not that big of a deal. But they're still not what I would call fun. I'm concerned about her mouth surgery, because how will she eat while she's healing? It doesn't sound fun to have your palate skin flayed off and put back together again. (That's how the doctor described it. Flaying.)

Also Daphne has SERIOUS stranger danger issues right now. I mean, crying buckets of tears when other people hold her. I imagine walking her back to the OR where I have to hand her off to the anesthesiologist, and she's crying and crying while reaching for me. And then I have to leave. Can we say not cool.

Alrighty, are you totally bored with the longest blog post ever? I personally only stopped for two naps.

I hope you all feel a little caught up on Daphne's busy life. And now you know when you can send her gifts, because you always need gifts when you're under the weather. I hear she likes large bouquets of flowers.

02 October 2009

Pumpkin Patch #1

Ah yes, it's October. You know what that means...

Baby D's first visit to a pumpkin patch!

She was so jolly about it all. But she needs to explain to her dad that he should not pick a green pumpkin. Pumpkins are orange, silly Daddy.

Pumpkin patches were always super fun when just David and I would go, but now they are super duper fun with Daphne.

She's a good addition to any fall fun.

01 October 2009

Pumpkin Baby

Happy first day of October!

Daphne is ready for some pumpkin fun.