McParents, McKids & McFun

Christmas Portraits 2014

December 28th, 2014 by adam.

Merry Christmas to all!

Long Time Gone! – Olympic National Park – August 2014

November 21st, 2014 by adam.

It’s been too long, and many things have happened. First, my old implementation of Gallery2 is no longer supported in WordPress, so I’m going to try use a new photo/media manager. If you can’t see the pics, please let me know. I’ll probably try a few until I find the right one.

We went to Kalaloch in August. We had a great time camping, visiting Ruby Beach, the Hoh rain forest, and a few other sites.The campground is very tight quarters, but a really pretty place. It was my first time there, and a revisit for the Penning crew. We hiked the Hoh River trail and explored some great places. We even saw a monster elk, munching away at grass near the trail.

Hoh Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, lots of fun!

Cowiche Canyon

May 10th, 2014 by adam.

Hannah’s first hike! She slept through much of it in her backpack, but loved to play with the kids at lunchtime. Found a few geocaches along the way. We love that there is water here to hike near, even in the desert. Thanks to the Hartmans, Kearns, and Hammonds for an awesome excursion!
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Easter 2014

April 24th, 2014 by adam.

Much to be thankful for!

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Some More Photos and Progress

September 23rd, 2013 by adam.

September 3: I forgot to mention that yesterday my feeding tube was moved to my nose. It’s smaller and I can start using my mouth to eat. I can also finally make all the noises I want, and I get to wear my own clothes!
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September 4: I was so busy growing today that I forgot to ask mom and dad for a picture!

September 5: I was feeling wild today and decided on leopard print! Also, I received this lovely blanket to cover my isolette and help me sleep.
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Sptember 6: I grew an ounce and a half today! I am trying really hard to get big enough to go home.
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September 7: Today was a big day; I got to meet all of my siblings and a couple cousins too! The nurses said I was doing so well that my brothers and sisters all came outside one of the windows and I came off my monitors for a whole hour.
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September 8: I tried my pants on today. Grandma McCracken says I can do stripes and still look fashionable! You can see how cute my mommy is too!
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September 9: Sporting the monkeys.
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September 10: Daddy says I have beautiful eyes.
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September 11: I was being a stinker today and had to get some extra oxygen. I’m OK; just like letting everyone know I’m the boss.
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September 12: I was tired and didn’t want to pose much today.
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September 13: Today was Friday the 13th. I refuse to take pictures on such a scary day.

September 14: Nana Penning visited today. I also got a new friend to visit with in the incubator. My auntie Marisa and her kids sent me my little monkey and this new blankie for my incubator. Isn’t it pretty? In the afternoon, my nurses said I was ready for some visual stimulation, so they put some pictures inside for me to look at and said the blankie would help me too.
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September 15: My cheeks are filling out!
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September 16: Daddy says I’m his little monkey.
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September 17: So tired today!
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September 18: I was up 1 pound over my birth weight today.
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September 19: Big day today; I’m out of the incubator and into a crib! That means I am keeping my own temperature regulated and I’m big enough to maintain my body weight. All my friends joined me in the crib to celebrate!
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September 20: Bath Time! I took my first bath today; my feet were kind of stinky!
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Weekly Update, 9/2/2013

September 2nd, 2013 by adam.

August 27: Today I had a visitor, my Uncle Mike was here from Wenatchee.
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August 28: My CPAP came off today. I have been breathing well with it and the doctors set me free! I am a lot happier without it.
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August 29: Mommy and Daddy got to see me much happier today again without the CPAP. My nurse Jen made a cute flower for my hat and we took some pictures.
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August 30: I hit 3 pounds today! Unfortunately, I didn’t keep breathing as good as the doctors told me to, so they put the CPAP back on. :( I really don’t like it and keep trying to pull it off. But, they tell me it’s for the best.
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August 31: My feeding keeps being increased. Today I am at 17mL every 3 hours. I have been very good at eating! Today I had great fun with Nurse Dan. He thought I hadn’t pooped enough and decided to help me with that. I don’t like that kind of stuff, so I showed him who’s boss! He said he’s never seen anyone poop like that before; it went all the way up his arm and out the incubator. I was trying to make a good impression. :)
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September 1: My PICC line was removed today. The doctors say that I’m eating good and can get all the nutrients I need from my food now. My feedings are up to 20mL! I have been a very good girl and Mommy and Daddy are very proud.
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September 2: The CPAP is off again, this time hopefully for good. I’ve been tugging on my feeding tube too, so I got to be tubeless for 3 whole hours today!
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More Hannah pics

August 26th, 2013 by adam.

August 19: Today I was born and placed on a ventilator with some supplemental oxygen.

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August 20: Mommy got to see me for the first time today. The NICU nurses made me a special name tag for my incubator.

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August 21: Mommy and Daddy got to hold me today! I went under the bright blue lights today. I’m breathing normal air now!

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August 22: Today mom and dad saw my eyes for the first time. I needed more time under the blue lights again.

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August 23: Mommy changed my diaper and no more ventilator; I’ve graduated to the CPAP! I’m breathing stronger and stronger. They make them very small for kids like me. A little more blue light today to help me out and I get to wear cool shades.

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August 24: Today my belly IV came out and I got a PICC line instead. Now the doctors and nurses can give me a little more nutrition. Also, I finished up with the lights. Daddy shared his wedding ring with me; it goes all the way up my arm! I have a couple friends in my incubator to keep me company.

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August 25: Grandma McCracken had to go back home to Las Vegas, but visited me with Daddy before going to the airport. Thanks for visiting and helping watch my big brothers and sisters while Mommy was in the hospital!

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August 26: I’m growing! After losing a little bit of weight, I gained it back and now weigh the same as when I was born.

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See all of the pictures here: Hannah’s photo gallery.

Go here for my growth chart.

Welcome the newest McCracken

August 20th, 2013 by adam.

Hannah Catherine McCracken

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Blankenship Meadows

August 18th, 2013 by adam.

July 18-20 brought our crew to a 21 mile trek from Soda Springs, up Summit Creek, across the meadows, and out Indian Creek. Brooklynn was visiting from Utah and joined the fun and the Hartman crew also joined us for the adventure.

A big thanks to Nana Penning for helping us set up the car and dropping us off at the trailhead. After realizing I left my much-loved Leki poles at the house, we began hiking up Summit Creek to Jug lake and had a great lunch by the lake. We continued on and spent the first night at Fryingpan Lake. The lake was beautiful, but the site a bit gross; because of the allowed use of stock and relative proximity, it is a garbage dump for some. Despite that, we had a great time. Just as Price was about to jump in the lake for a brisk swim, we found leeches in the lake. Between that and the fact that any exposed skin immediately led to scores of mosquito bites, no swimming was attempted.

Shortly after taking off the next morning, we came to our short section of the Pacific Crest Trail, breaking off again after a mile. Well… there was that extra half mile unplanned when we missed the turnoff. But, we thought an extra half mile in 3 days was OK; it also led to our only encounter with another hiker on the trip, a PCT section hiker travelling from Chinook to White Pass. We had lunch at the smaller of the Twin Sisters lakes. The breeze kept off some of the mosquito hordes, but the relief was short-lived. The second night was spent at a beautiful spot next to the largest of the Blankenship lakes. As it cooled down at night, the bugs were slightly bearable, and the kids spent some fun time down by the lake.

The third day brought a return of mosquitoes, with a vengeance! We could scarcely move without another bite. We hustled through some gorgeous meadows and next to Indian Creek, as it tumbles down the mountains toward Rimrock Lake. The kids crashed as soon as they got in the car. We’re ready to plan next year’s summer trip. Suggestions?

Lots of pics below, all of the photos are in the Blankenship Meadows album.

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Round Mountain Lookout

August 15th, 2013 by adam.

On June 28th, I took several of the kids to the site of the former fire lookout on Round Mountain, just south of White Pass. Although the lookout is no longer there, you can get views of both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams from the top, as well as several peaks in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. It was a simple out and back, but lots of fun. We hit patches of snow a little above 5,000′ and the kids had a blast with that. Snow in the summer, who knew?!? Another fun plus for Washington!

On the way home, we did a little exploring on Summit Creek, scouting out our next adventure.

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