Sunday, December 31, 2006

Welcome 2007!

Here's wishing you and your family a healthy and happy 2007!

Kevin, Isabella & Jennifer Kramer

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Funeral Arrangements

In memory of Ann Cantwell

Calling Hours
Friday, Dec. 29
2-4 p.m.
6-9 p.m.
Ferfolia Funeral Home
Northfield, OH

Saturday, Dec. 30
10:30 a.m.
St. Monica's Catholic Church
Bedford, OH

Burial at All Saints Cemetery

When it rains it pours

I am sad to report that Kevin's Grandma Ann died today. She was 83. I will post details of visiting hours and a service when they become available.

Several of you have called and emailed asking about my doctor's appointment today with my ENT. Good news...the neck cyst is so small no surgery is necessary at this time. Doctors will recheck the cyst site in 12 months. Bad news...the CT scan showed three new cysts (neck masses, as the doctor calls them) on my thyroid. I will have a needle biopsy done at each cyst site on Jan. 9. Yes, Jan. 9, the same day I see the back surgeon.

I picked up the MRI films and the report today for the back surgeon. He will confer with his partners on the results, but according to the doctor who reported the findings first to me, surgery is my only option. This disk protrusion has likely caused my back pain for the past three years and has caused the sciatica pain which I saw physical therapists for. But I will find out for sure on Jan. 9 the course of action.

Isabella is feeling much better and has completed her antibiotic for her pneumonia. She is back to climbing the walls!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tons of pics on the way

Just wanted to take a moment to say that we had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Isabella was spoiled beyond belief with the same excuse from everyone - we have two Christmases to make up for! She was overwhelmed with gifts and is enjoying them all!

A bit of sad news...Kevin's Grandma continues to deteriorate and is being moved to a Hospice Center at Euclid Hospital. She has been in Bedford City Hospital for a few weeks, first presenting with wounds from a fall, then developing pneumonia and a staph infection. We are praying for a miracle recovery.

I found out today that I must have back surgery to repair a large herniated disk in my lower back. I meet with the surgeon on Jan. 9 to decide a surgery date. Plus, tomorrow I meet with my ENT to discuss the next steps in removing the cyst in my neck. While my blood continues to show signs of mono, my internist believes I will have to wait until my immune system is stronger to have another surgery.

We will wait and pray that everything turns out okay!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

We have a packed few days ahead of us with Christmas Eve mass, Christmas Eve dinner, helping Santa, visiting with the Kramers at Keith and Tiffany's, dinner at Grandma & Grandpa Gaylord's - followed by a sleep over. So before all the hustle and bustle begins...

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!

Check us out next week for lots of pictures from the Kramers first Christmas with Baby Bella!

You better watch out!

Santa's coming!

Isabella will be following his progress all day at

She's been told she has to be extra good at church this afternoon because Santa is finalizing his Naughty List. She doesn't quite understand that concept yet but it's still a ploy to get her to sit still during mass. After church we'll head to the Olive Garden for our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner. Then it's early to bed so Santa can visit!

Happy Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Poop on the potty

Isabella had her first poop on the training potty tonight.

I brought her home today from my mom's after a week's stay to recover from pneumonia, and she quickly remembered her home. She was fascinated by the training potty and sat on it a lot this evening. Finally, around 7:30 p.m. she went to the bathroom door and wanted in. I asked if she needed to use the potty. She went in and sat down. I then pulled down her pajamas and removed her diaper. She sat down and pooped.

I jumped and clapped so loud that I scared her to tears, but I pulled out new stickers to reward her. Time to buy training diapers!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Doctor report

Isabella saw the doctor today for a checkup on the pneumonia.

While her cough is worse than last week, the doctor says that is to be expected and that the cough may last several weeks. We are to encourage Isabella to cough so the mucus breaks up in her lungs.

The x-ray showed "significant infection" in her right lung so she is continuing to take the antibodics, motrin and tylenol.

Good news though is that she is starting to act like herself again and has returned to climbing everything!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sick baby

Just so no one worries when there is no post the next few days...

Isabella has pnemonia in her right lung. The last few days have been tramatic for her and mom & dad. High fevers of nearly 104 degrees, constant crying and whimpering, hard coughing and little sleep.

The doctors at Akron Children's Hospital have been amazing!

Isabella and I will spend a few days with Grandma Mary and Grandpa Steve so everyone can help sooth Baby Bella!

Check back next week to see how she's doing!

Our December to far

Check out this 8 minute video on our December memories so far!

December to Remember

Monday, December 11, 2006

O Christmas Tree

Being Isabella's first Christmas with us, we have tried to pack in two years worth of holiday events for her to experience.

Grandma & Grandpa Kramer always visit a tree farm to search out and cut down the perfect Christmas tree. Since Kevin and I use an artfical tree, Isabella and I went along to the tree farm to see what the trip is like.

View this video montage created at One True Media
O Christmas Tree

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, I'm still behind in posting pictures! So to help me catch everyone up on what the Kramers are up too, I've created a series of videos that will appear here over the week. So check back in a few days to see a new movie featuring none other than Isabella.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

10 hours of shopping takes its toll

What a long day!! Never have Kevin and I had a marathon shopping day, let alone with an 18 month old.

Out the door at 10 a.m., not to return until after 8 p.m. We hit Southpark Mall in Strongsville with hopes of capturing the best picture of the year - Isabella with Santa Claus. NO GO! After 30 minutes in line, she screamed at the sight of him. On to Kohl's with the 50+ deep check-out lines...we must have missed the coupons for the free shopping sprees! Then to lunch. Friendly's and grilled cheese. UMMMM!

Then Walmart in Stow which required a mile trek from car to shop. An hour later it's off to Chapel Hill Target. Again...did I miss out on the free items? Lines and carts full!

Chapel Hill here we come! A look at Santa from a far insights tears of fear. Old Navy, Sears, you name it, we looked...and bought!

Dinner ended at Rocknes with a cranky baby who had no nap. But who wouldn't be crabby at 10 hours of holiday shopping!

Pictures to come....

Friday, December 08, 2006


Well, the snow can stop anytime. I've seen it, felt it, drove in it...and I'm done. Once a year is fine with me so call the weatherman, the north pole, wherever and whomever controls this falling white stuff. Turn it off!

I have yet to buy Isabella a snowsuit because I'm convinced that we will only have a few snowy days (nice to tell myself that but I know the awful truth deep down). So she will not enjoy any sledding, snowball fights or snowcones anytime soon!

Make it stop!!!! (Does it help if I say please?)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Off and running

The next few days will be pretty busy for Isabella and me.

Today, we will visit cousins Kelsey and Kylie for a play date and some mom time followed by a trip to visit Grandma Mary. Then it's back home for a meeting with Ohio State Waterproofing. One room in our basement is musty so we asked for an evaluation.

Tomorrow, Isabella gets her second flu shot. Then, we are meeting with a graphic designer friend of mine who has offered to help me with me brand my new freelance business. For those who haven't heard, I've decided to lend my writing expertise to companies who need that service. The company is called Kramer Communications.

Okay, so it's ready, set, go for me!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nine months of experience teaches mom what she really needs to raise baby

After meeting with an "expecting" friend last night, I had the idea to share some of my recently attained "mom" wisdom with all of you.

Long past are the days of diaper pails of bleach and ammonia to soak cloth diapers, so I got to thinking about all the gizmos and gadgets made for babies today, from the electronic toys to the smell-free diaper containers to the complicated bottle-cleaning systems. Walking through Babies R Us or a baby department of the local drugstore can be overwhelming. What do we really need to care for a child?

While these new gadgets and gizmos have provided valuable teaching tools, safety and convenience for family and baby, very few are needed to raise a little one. But I have found a few items that I think every house with a baby should have.

I highly recommend the video monitoring system for a fret-free nights' sleep. No need to get up for every cry or peep, just check out the video image to see when she'll be back asleep.

Invest in a potty chair early. Even though your little one may be far from ready for using the pot, seeing it in its place will quicken the potty-training routine and will eliminate the potty fear that many toddlers develop.

Buy a dishwasher. If you have one, I'll develop a new love for the appliance. If you don't have one, dishwater hands will become your fashion statement. Between bottles and spoons and cups and plates, you will do at last three sinkfuls of dishes each day. With the dishwasher, I've gotten it to one load a day (Before baby, I could run the dishwasher twice a week to clean the dishes for Kevin and me.)

So that's it for today. From time-to-time I will return to this topic so other moms can learn what has worked for me and Isabella!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Shopping Spree at Aurora Farms

On one of those unseasonably warm November days, Isabella, Grandma Mary and I started our Christmas shopping with a spree at Aurora Farms. While Grandma and I enjoyed the sales, Isabella loved the playground and ride-ons throughout the mall.

Potty time

I have introduced potty-training to Isabella.

For the past few months, she has told us when she needs a diaper change so I figure it's time to get her to go to the potty before going in her "di-per" (Isabella emphasizes the "i" in the word).

Kevin captured the first big-girl potty experiment.


Isabella and cousins Kelsey, 2, and Kylie, 4 months, are learning to play nicely together and to share. At Kelsey's 2nd birthday party, the girls played well with Grandma & Grandpa Kramer, Uncles Keith and Tim and Aunts Tiffany and Melissa. Oh yeah, Kevin and I were there, too.

Those warm "Fall" nights

This fall has been unseasonably warm, at least to me it has.

When Isabella and I were staying at my parents' house, we enjoyed those nights by sitting on the patio near the warm fire. Isabella loved playing with rocks and riding her car in the dark.

Sick Day #2

Isabella has added a cough to her nasty runny nose, and I'm on new antibiotics - for bacterial pneumonia. Staying inside and warm today. We've got to rest up because tomorrow is niece Kylie's baptism (Keith and Tiffany's baby).

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sick day

Both Isabella and I are sick today. I've been fighting bronchitis since Sunday and she started with a runny nose yesterday. We are spending the day in bed!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Can't I drink in peace?!

I'm always sticking a camera in Isabella's face. If she could talk, she's tell me to go away!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sifting for Gems

At the Gem Show, kids could sift for their own gems. For $1, Isabella got a coin which she gave to the man who ran the gem mine. The bucket went up the shaft and got filled with dirt and rocks. Then she sifted for hidden treasures. Grandpa Al will smooth them out for Isabella so she can play with her lucky rocks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Gem Show

Grandpa Kramer is a member of the Summit Lapidary Club. A lapidary (the word means "concerned with stones") is an artisan who practices the craft of working, forming and finishing stone, mineral, gemstones, and other suitably durable materials (amber, shell, jet, pearl, copal, coral, horn and bone, glass and other synthetics) into functional and/or decorative, even wearable, items (e.g. cameos, cabochons, and more complex facetted designs).

Each year the Summit County Club hosts a gem show with vendors who sell and show their artwork and gems. Isabella was invited to this year's event so Kevin and I joined her.

Tomorrow...sifting for rocks and gems.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I want to do it myself!

Since Isabella is so independent, she has started to undress and dress herself - sort of. The undressing part has come pretty easy but she has not mastered the dressing part as quickly.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Adoption Day Pictures - Post #3

Opening gifts at Dontino's

Adoption Day Pictures - Post #2

Getting ready for court

Waiting our turn in the court room

Celebrating in the courthouse

P.S. Note that Isabella is pulling her hair bands out!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Adoption Day Pictures - Post #1

Talking with the judge about Isabella and us

Accepting the final adoption decree Stamping the final adoption decree

Receiving the final adoption decree Taking our court adoption photo