Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Mieko and Daddy

March has always been a busy month for us with two family birthdays. Of course, this year has been different without Mieko. But, thanks to our friends at Rondo School, we had a very special celebration on what would have been Mieko's 5th birthday.

They invited us for lunch at school and we had the chance to thank volunteer Skip who designed and built Mieko's music bus. Everyone had a chance to see the bus and check out all of the musical instruments.

We donated a guitar in honor of Mieko's birthday. She always loved the guitar during music therapy. It was wonderful to spend the day with people who knew and loved Mieko. It means so much for us to stay connected to them.

We went to dinner that night at the Rainforest Cafe, where we took Mieko for her first birthday. Hana liked the monkeys, but got a little overstimulated. We are thankful for all of the friends and family members who helped support us on a day we missed Mieko's smile even more than usual. It helps to know other people are thinking about her too.

Daddy celebrated his birthday with a big burrito...then his favorite African food (at Fasika) a few days later. He's really enjoying taking Hana out in the backpack everyday now that it's warmer. She really enjoys seeing the neighborhood. We're hoping she will fit in the backpack through the rest of summer and fall.

Hana is getting so animated. Check out her wiggling here:

One of her big recent discoveries has been her toes.

Shes' gotten pretty good at rolling but isn't sitting up just yet. Hana's using both her hands to play with toys and, like most babies at five months, she likes grabbing things and putting them in her mouth. No teeth yet, though she does drool quite a bit. She pets and sometimes grabs the kitties too. She's also become very vocal and laughs a lot. We're so lucky to have such a happy, smiley girl (again).

Hana still doesn't sleep through the night, though sometimes she sleeps for longer stretches of about 5 to 7 hours. We're trying formula with rice cereal at night, which helps sometimes. We'll try solids in about a month.

We're looking forward to visiting Grandma and Grandpa in L.A. in a couple of weeks. We'll be going to a wedding in Northern California too, so we'll have a chance to see many relatives. We're really excited for warmer weather both here and in California. But, we're also concerned about everyone in Fargo. We hope all the Johnsons and friends stay dry and safe and the city is OK.

One more thing... March 31st is "End the R Word" Day. This is a campaign by the Special Olympics to teach everyone about hurtful language used against people with intellectual disabilities. If you'd like to learn more, go to r-word.org. Mieko would be proud of you.