Monday, February 28, 2011

What's Black and White...and (read) all over?

Innocent, sweet, beautiful face sleeping ever so soundly.....but don't be fooled

She's so exhausted because she's been a very busy little girl today....
Note to self: the newspaper can no longer be stored on the floor. (-:

Helping Olga

Passing along Patti's post from A Perfect Lily. Can you help?


Dear friends,

So many of you already know this beautiful little face....

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Olga turned five last month. She has spent the last five years in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, without the love of a mommy and daddy- simply because she arrived in life exactly as God designed her. One chromosome too many, and her fate was sealed from birth.


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Sealed, because in Eastern Europe, babies who are born with Down syndrome are deemed unacceptable at birth. They are discarded as cast-offs of society, and when they turn five they leave the only home they've ever known...


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And I wish I could say that for most of these children, leaving that home meant going to a place of safety, a place of happiness, a place where they would finally know the love of a family...know what it meant to be cuddled or sung to or read to, tucked in at night, prayed for, loved.

Instead, they are taken to a place that most people wouldn't leave their family pet.


A place of living hell, where they will never know the tenderness of a parent, never know the security of being raised in a family, and there they will stay, one ugly, pain-filled day at a time...until they die.



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I read a post last December that stayed with me to this day. It was called from baby dolls to bedstraps.

The blog author wrote about Elizabeth, an orphan on Reece's Rainbow who had been transferred to a mental institution, waiting for a family to step forward for her. Her words still haunt me.

I wonder where she thought she was going as they led her out of the orphanage that day. Did she think that maybe it was finally her turn? That they were taking her to her forever Mommy and Daddy?

And when they instead took her inside that dreadful place, when they shaved her head and tied her to a too-small metal crib

when they turned their backs and

walked

away…



when they left her confused, terrified,

in a room where the wails of schizophrenic adults echo through the cold air

what was going through her young mind?



Did she wonder if she was being punished?



How long did she hold out hope that this was only temporary?

That any minute, they would come and take her back to the baby house

to her baby dolls and teddy bear,

to her best friend, Angelina?


Did she long to free her arms from the restraints

to cover her head with her hands to drown out

the scary noises

the scary sights

the scary smells?



That could be my Lily….


It could be your child.

And what if it were?

What if you woke up one morning

and by some hellish, twilight-zone twist of fate

your child wasn’t still tucked into that warm bed down the hall,

what if your child was trapped

across the dark sea

in that nightmare that is

the institution?

What

would

you

DO?

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. Proverbs 24:11

Elizabeth is being rescued today, thanks to the efforts of that blogging mama, and others like her.

Olga is being rescued today, thanks to so many of you...you gave so much and created such a large grant that a family was able to step forward and start the process of adoption.

The Abells have done so much already, towards rescuing Olga. I can't even imagine all the paperwork and prayer and emotion and finances that goes into an international adoption. They have done numerous fundraisers, and will continue to do so until they can bring Olga home.

Through the help of so many, a grant of over $13,000 has been raised for Olga's adoption. That grant is set aside for the final travel costs and fees that it will take to bring Olga home. It will take every penny of that and then some.

Right now the Abells are in need of raising the $7,000 that is needed to submit their dossier for Olga. Without that dossier we don't even know if Olga has been transferred yet. Here in America you just pick up the phone and ask these questions. But here in America we don't tie five year old girls to cribs to keep them from climbing out.

The Abells need to submit that dossier as soon as possible- at the very least to find out if she has been transferred already- because I know an army of prayer warriors who is going to want to know that piece of information as well. And at the very most, it could be able to hold Olga at the baby house until the Abells can rescue her. I wish I could say with certainty that she won't be transferred- truthfully we just don't know that.

Olga has been so heavy on my heart for months- friends, I want you to know that I DO trust that God has a plan here.

I prayed like crazy for a way to help the Abells. I truly believe that there is a network of people who love Olga here in blogland...a net that is woven by God and is stretching out across this blessed country we live in, and even beyond to generous hearts in other nations. I really cannot express enough how thankful I am to be a small part of what God has already done for Olga, Peter and Kareen. But I don't think our job is done.

Olga needs us.

I don't want her to spend one more forsaken day in that place than she has to.

We're not doing a giveaway here today. I don't even think we need to do one- I know so many just have a heart to help and to give, and prizes were never the real reason we all gave anyway.

So I'm just asking- for one day- for you to do whatever you could to help Olga. Whether that's $10 or $20 or even a hundred...if you are able to help raise this money for the dossier, please do so HERE...

This is the link for the Family Sponsorship Page on Reece's Rainbow
...every single dollar goes to the Abell's adoption fund, and every single dollar will help.

We're calling this A Day to Save Olga, because there are about 17 of us blogging mamas who have set aside this day to blog, post on Facebook, pray, give and spread the word to SAVE OLGA.

Will you help us?

I know you will:)

Love,

Patti

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The baby in the mirror

Today while out shopping, we detoured over to the dressing room mirrors.
Addison was incredibly taken with the baby in the mirror.
She kept trying to make out with the other baby, which I don't have pictures of because I was busy peeling her mouth off of the store's mirror...(between that and her discovering a used ear plug on the floor and deciding it was her own personal chewing gum...my gross tolerance is maxed out for today)
"Mirror, mirror on the wall....who is the fairest baby of us all?"
She also kept yelling at the other baby. I think it perturbed her to see the other baby's mouth moving, but no sound coming out. It definitely kept her entertained. (-:

The funniest part was when I pulled out her bag of Cheerios and she lunged toward the side mirror since that's the one she saw the Cheerios reflected in. Haha.

Just wanted to share these pics- it was just so cute to watch her do this. As soon as we got home and she was on the floor in our bedroom, she crawled over to the wall length mirror to continue with her make out session with that mysterious baby. LOL. Watch out little boys, Addison loves to kiss....with a lot of tongue apparently...there were noticeable moist marks left on the mirrors in Kohls. Oh well- job security.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Irrational Fears

Thank you all so much for passing along your congratulations. It means so much.

One huge weakness/huge problem of mine is always worrying and being controlled by what others around me think. (I sometimes place blame for this fault, but recently just decided it doesn't matter where it came from, it is just time to overcome). Anyway, that being said, I really, really wanted another baby, but I was terrified about what other people would say.

I have friends from all different circles. I was afraid that my new Ds mommy friends would think I was foolish for dividing my attention away from Addison who obviously still needs so much help.

I was afraid that my grad school and work friends would think that I am now this crazy person whose life is dedicated entirely to popping out babies and give me twenty years and I'll have twenty kids and a TV show.

I was afraid that all of my old college friends who have all been recently having just the most perfect and beautiful babies would look at the one baby that I do have with so many health problems and think that I'm doing my little family a disservice by making all of the same "mistakes" all over again.

I was afraid that all of the doctors/therapists that we see on a regular basis would look at my growing belly in disgust thinking that someone with such obviously bad genes and apparently unhealthy lifestyle would really be better off with just the one "burden".

It sounds crazy to myself as I'm typing this out, but these were my legitimate fears. I warned you that this was a very real problem.

I think these fears first started a year ago when I was sitting at Chubbs' NICU bedside 24/7 and secretly listening into the nurses gossip and other patient's conversations. (Don't judge. I was bored.)

Anyway, a couple of weeks in a single mom with a preemie baby moved into the spot right across from us. As I sat and listened to loud conversations between the nurse and this mom's sister, I gathered that this was not her first preemie. Apparently, she also had a three year old who was also born early and also had health problems. I don't know all of the details because I only heard what they offered up, but I heard bits and pieces that built up the the conclusion that the sister was going to convince the mom to get her tubes tied because obviously she can't do the pregnancy thing right because both of her kids were so unhealthy and she simply should not have any more kids. The nurse was vehemently agreeing the entire time.

I sat very still and listened- looking at her baby and then back at mine. My baby was way sicker than hers- attached to way more tubes than hers- they left the NICU way before we did. The irrational fear was installed that perhaps the nurses said that about me when I left for the night. From there the fear grew into a monster as I looked around me and saw hardly anyone else going through the same health problems (on top of the Ds). My daughter was on oxygen for nine months- you can't go through that without questioning: Was it me? Did I do something wrong?

Obviously, I have overcome those fears enough to announce our newest miracle. Yes, it was in God's plan to give us an extra special order the first time. Not in our original plans, but now we wouldn't wish for anything else. Now for our second baby, we can trust Him just as much.

When you sign up for the whole pregnancy thing, you put in your order for that one perfect baby- beautiful, smart, interestingly wonderful- the whole package of physical, emotional and mental perfection. Sometimes you don't even realize the expectations that are perhaps a mite unrealistic. You take all of the vitamins, you cut out things from your diet, you rethink everything you do and eat to reach the ultimate goal of that perfect baby.

When you're at long last handed that baby that you grew for nine long months- vomiting for- getting fat for-going on bedrest for- laboring for- all of a sudden, the old concept of perfection flies out of your head, you look down at what you've been given and decide that you couldn't imagine loving any baby more. You then assign that baby the label of perfection- different than the one you originally imagined, but much more real because now you have a face to assign to it.

When that "order" comes back with a bit of a surprise- it doesn't mean that you made a mistake. It means that God has picked you for something extra special. He trusts you with an additional responsibility- ultimately for additional reward in your parenting experience.

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I could look at this objectively. I will admit that everything I do with this pregnancy- I still way overthink "Standing in front of the microwave...did that give her the heart issue" "I put my laptop on my lap...did that contribute to any of her problems?" Everything I do I think through very carefully.

But at the end of the day- I trust God to give me another perfect baby in His perfect timing (which seems to be six months from now).

My irrational fears may have caused me some sleepless nights and some jealousy at the babylicious perfection all around me, but through it all, I settle on happiness and thankfulness.

To be trusted with Addison, my first perfect child....and preparing for a second perfect child- no matter what labels might accompany said child....I feel very, very blessed.

Side note: I really think that developmentally, it will be really good for Addison to have a sibling so close in age- I dream that perhaps they will learn and do some of the same things at the same time. Addison is very competitive- with that extra push, who knows what she might accomplish? (-:

Anyway, I wanted to elaborate on yesterday's post. I felt a bit weird about the brief paragraph referencing this fear after hitting "Publish Post". I feel much better now after giving some background.

Thank you so much for going out of your way to be excited for me. It has really helped put the last of those silly fears to rest. And even if you're not excited for me, that's OK too. I'm getting to the place where I don't need the excitement of others to fuel my own. (I call that growth!)

This blog has helped me so much this past year deal with all of the changes in my life, and I look forward to continuing to do that. Even if the challenges now take a slightly different twist, I hope you will all stick with me. For those of you who expressed concern that I would no longer have time to blog, I assure you, this is way too much fun to stop now. (-:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Announcing: Chubbs McPhee II, the sequel

This morning, the first appointment of the day was to head to my doctor (wow it feels weird to be the patient again) and hear the heartbeat of our new baby.

Sometime around September 8th (labor day weekend, ironically) our lives are about to get a whole lot crazier.
These ultra sound pics are from my eight week appointment- today was my twelve week appointment....so hopefully this little tiny peanut has gotten bigger since then, but these are the only pictures I have.(-:
I think it's amazing to have the same doctors who promised me that they would support whatever path I chose with my 'Down syndrome fetus' now see for themselves the happy, healthy amazing little girl that Addison has grown into. With my two appointments so far, Addison has definitely gotten more attention from the doctors than I have. (-: Today the doctor was completely mesmerized by Addison- totally smitten. Maybe this will help their little sad faces be happier when they deliver the news to that next Mom with that positive amnio...."I know this is scary, but earlier today I saw a little girl with Down syndrome. She could not have been more beautiful or amazing." That's what they could start with.(-:
Addison of course has no idea how her world is going to be rocked upside down in six short months. When I tell her that soon she's going to have to share all of her toys, she gives me the evil eye and clings to them protectively. I think she's going to be an amazing older sister, and I absolutely can't wait to see her with her little sibling.

I have made it through these past twelve weeks and hope that soon the nausea will fade to a mere memory. I have lost twelve pounds in the last few weeks and have slept more than I care to recount....I have random days where food sounds good, but other than that- keep it far away from me. It's strange when you have to force yourself to eat something...and then pray it stays down.

I can already tell that this pregnancy is very different than my first. Whether that predicts girl or boy...who's to say? (also, the heartbeat has been a good 30 beats slower than Addison's 190 each appointment...I've heard that can predict gender as well???)

I for sure have entered this pregnancy with a lot more fear and trepidation than naive little me did with the first one. My eyes have been opened, I realize everything that can happen that seem like far away statistics but are very possible and have already happened to our family. (There was 1 in 1500 chance that my baby would have Down syndrome...yes, I was the 1. I really should have bought a lottery ticket the day I found out)

When Addison's type of Down syndrome was diagnosed, we were assured that this was merely a coincidence- that we could have normal, typical children as well.

It's not that I'm afraid of having another child with Down syndrome. But in the same breath, I would love for Addison to have a strong sibling to be there for Addison when Aaron and I can't be. I have declined genetic testing at this point- for my own peace of mind. After enduring the last pregnancy of knowing that something was wrong- I just don't think that I could deal with the maybes and percentages that would present themselves. I just want to enjoy my second perfect baby without forty weeks of worrying.

I could not be more thrilled about this pregnancy (I know you might think it's crazy to be so excited when they will be a mere 18 months apart, especially with all of the extra help that Chubbs needs, but I just can't help it. I get to have another baby!!!)

The fear of people looking at me and secretly thinking that I shouldn't have any more children because obviously I failed with my first pregnancy is very real. I promise you- I did everything right with my first pregnancy. I took every vitamin necessary and even gave up coffee (it made me sick...but same difference). I'll probably write more about this later- it has been heavy on my mind these past twelve weeks, but for now?

I just want to excitedly announce my expectant state and hope that you too can be excited for our little family of three- soon to be stretching to a family of four.

Don't you think that Chubbs McPhee is going to be an awesome big sister??? (-:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An Easy Life?

Going into Addison's room first thing in the morning- seeing her face break out into a huge smile when she sees me-lifting her strong little body into my arms- feeling and smelling her very essence as she moves in close to attempt to pull out my hair

These are all things that I sadly tend to take for granted now.

I had such a wonderful time today with a friend.

A friend that I remember bragging to about how great Addison was sucking from a bottle almost a year ago, while Addison was spitting everything out the side of her mouth that my friend could see but I couldn't. She smiled and let me keep bragging, because she knew I needed to.

A friend who I met for lunch, allowing a break in the monotony of the NICU and learned about her own amazing pregnancy.

A friend who came over and fawned over Addison as if she was the most perfect baby ever made after she finally came home from the NICU.

A friend who has brought meals- cute diaper bags- and wondrously distracting game nights.

A friend who traveled with her brand new baby and two year old to my house so that Addison and I could meet her new baby before going to Boston for her second heart surgery.

A friend who has listened to me whine and complain- express fears and frustrations- needlessly brag or boast and always knew what to say.

Today while I was whining and complaining and she patiently listened and gave bits of advice- I was struck with thankfulness -for my friend, for everything that I was complaining about- for the reminder of this past year's journey.

After she left, I logged onto my computer and looked at picture after picture of Addison- sick and attached to tubes, barely hanging on to life in the NICU. I remembered how small and frail her body was. I remember having to hold her somewhat awkwardly around all of her contraptions. I remember wishing those days away...longing for a day that I could cuddle with just my baby without yards of tubage in between....wishing for a time when everything was easier- that motherhood meant washing your baby's clothes and keeping her high chair clean instead of hoping that your baby lived through the night.

I took a moment to just remember last year at this time, the constant ups and downs- I reread comments friends left on the photos on facebook. So many people were praying for Addison- for us. All of those comments and prayers meant so much. (Side note: your comments still mean so, so much)

It's now one year later, and I have found new things to complain and vent about. How is it that within the space of merely months I have forgotten everything that just happened? You know, the miracle of my daughter's life? How have I forgotten everything that has been provided for us, taught to us and given to us through Addison's life?

It's like for months we prayed and prayed for Addison to live and be healthy, and then the minute she became healthy, I said "OK God, I'm good. I'll take it from here."

I feel strangely chastised- not through a long eloquent sermon or devotional- but through the simple actions of a friend that caused me to remember and look back.

If the past was any indicator of how I can trust the Lord with my future, I think I'm in pretty good hands. Even just with her one year leukemia checkup (she's good, btw). I really freaked out about that check. It's like I felt that the bigger deal I made out of it, the more I could control the results.

I think our Heavenly Father has done a pretty amazing job of sustaining Addison's life to this point. Why would I doubt Him now?

And even if it was part of His plan for my beautiful daughter to develop leukemia. Who am I to question His perfect plan that oh by the way also included extra chromosomes and a lot of health problems. He has stood by us every step of the way. Why would He stop now? Bottom line? God is good all of the time.

I like to take credit for nursing Addison to health, being with her, medicating her, hauling her all across town to the world's largest record of doctor's appointments. But can any of that compare to the One who actually healed her?

Part of the reason for feeling so chastised is that I have just been so worried about the future. Lots of unknowns in my life right now- and apparently I felt that complaining about them would solve the problems. Apparently I have learned nothing in this past year.

I am thankful- for remembrances, for everything that the Lord has done in our lives this past year, for everything that He has planned for this coming year, for my good friend who is so patient with me, for my perfect daughter Addison.

Most of all, I am thankful for hard times in life because it's what reminds me of where my strength really comes.

I don't think life ever "gets easier". There will always be something that makes life seem impossible. Contentment, thankfulness, rejoicing in the small details-this is what makes life doable-no matter the level of difficulty we are currently facing.

The small details that I'm rejoicing in tonight? Listening to Addison breathe while she sleeps. Breathing is seriously such a miracle, and I hope to never grow tired of hearing it- of seeing her little chest rise and fall with the amazing gift of life that she has been granted- of seeing her dark eyelashes flutter against her chubby little cheeks as she sighs with contentment when I lean down to kiss her.

I am thankful for this past year and I am thankful in advance for the coming year.

Now I'm taking my thankful self off to bed-lots of appointments tomorrow. I'm glad I had this little chat with myself before hauling myself and Chubbs all around town once again. A new and improved perspective makes it seem, I don't know, "easier". (-:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinderella/Chubbs

After a full morning of grocery shopping and a long nap...Chubbs and Mommy decided to pick up with some more housework.....Addison insisted today that she not be left out. After all, how young is too young to start helping out around the house? When I told her that she could help me, she got pretty excited.
Mopping the kitchen floor was on today's agenda...
So I strapped her up

put her in her allotted space...and told her just to crawl around and that the sponges would do all of the work.

She thought it was all fun and games at first

But started to get a bit of cold feet as she could hear strains of "Signing Time" coming in through the living room and she thought about how much easier it would be to just watch her movie, put her feet up, eat snacks and watch Mommy do all of the work.

After only a slight hesitation, she cheerfully did her part...now if only we could get Daddy as on board with helping out around the house...it could be like the dynamic cleaning team...

for some reason, it wasn't as much fun when there wasn't anything to chase on the floor...(-:
LOL. Before you click off my blog to look up the phone number for social services in Vermont....I didn't actually put any soaps on the floor. I was concerned she might inhale some chemicals, so I just used her sponges to pick up any excess dirt that the sweeping may have missed. (-: Now if they would make baby safe cleaning products...I think this idea could be marketable....Can you imagine? It would be like a mopping roomba....but instead of a robot it would be a baby. What would we call it? Roomby. Babymba. Imop....Child Abuse.

On a totally different note...

Addison still hates to sit in the grocery cart. Today she got super cranky and then fell into a light sleep....effectively squishing a loaf of bread. I didn't do the cheater thing and replace the bread with a fresh loaf before checking out...I took the loaf that my baby had squished and decided that those sandwiches would be extra yummy because Chubbs had blessed the loaf. (-:
Seriously, is Motherhood supposed to be this much fun?

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Crawl for Chocolate

Today was a delightful day of couponing, laundering (oh so much laundering), cleaning and dish washing....all pretty much stuff that has to get done before I can even start with the deep cleaning. ha. While I was working in the kitchen, I left Addison playing in the living room and watching Signing Time DVDs (does anyone else have that "Signing Time with Alex and Leah" song going around and around in their head all day long?). Within a few minutes, who's cute little head came poking through the kitchen door as she decided to investigate what Mommy was up to? She is now a lean (well, mostly lean)-mean-crawling machine. I love it.

Then later, when I was cutting coupons, she once again abandoned her toys and crawled under the table as if waiting for me to finally drop some paper her way (when one accidentally fluttered down, she pounced within seconds, eating the paper quicker than I could pull it out). When she got tired of waiting, she crawled over one foot and grabbed my slipper off of the other foot and quickly moved away to the far reaches under the table so that I wouldn't take it away from her. lol. She's developing quite the cute little personality.

I loved spending the day with my little baby. My all time favorite activity? Post nap Hulu watching in bed, cuddled up with Chubbs beside me, eating leftover Valentine Little Debbie chocolate cakes. She loved that so much. It's amazing how fast her eating skills improve when chocolate is involved. (-: After the Little Debbie was gone, she appropriately rolled over to Daddy's side of the bed, dispersing the crumbs evenly throughout his sheets. Shhhh, don't tell him. It's a little surprise present...to Daddy, love Addison. (-:

I snapped a few pictures of her tonight after her ravioli/blueberry bread dinner. She is quite the expressive eater. You'll notice that she isn't wearing a bib- mostly because after the little Debbie incident it was a lost cause and this is pre bath. Here's a look into eating time from Chubbs' perspective:

"I would like to order some more of those chocolate cakes?"

"I know I can get pretty much whatever I want when I flash you this cute little grin."

"No? How about this smile?"
"Hmmm, didn't work. I'm going to pretend play with my spoon while I think of a new plan."

"Forget it, I'm too tired. Doesn't Mommy realize the crawling mileage I put in today? I really deserve some more chocolate.....maybe tomorrow."
And last but not least, I would just like to explain why I am unable to deep clean my entire house. The Living Room is out. My husband has turned my very brightly lit living room into a green house. There are a lot of things about my house that frustrate me and that I wish I could afford to change right now- but, I love, love, love how much sunlight comes spilling into my living room every day. It's so cheerful. So I put up with the plants....mostly because my husband said that we'll have to keep the heat nice and high for them....it's a bummer about the cleaning though...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Step. away from the Clutter


So the past few days, I have found myself busy perusing children's clearance racks and tucking away adorable clothes for Chubbs to hopefully fit into next fall and winter. With her though, it's so hard to tell. Will she finally get a big growth spurt, or will she stay tiny??? Who's to know. So I gambled with a few 18 month and 24 month things, hoping that we will have some cute things to clothe her in come the next cold season.

One of the favorite things that I picked up was this Gymboree hat....big, because it's for next winter, but I couldn't resist giving it a try. (-:
Also- the tutu skirt with attached leggings I have been watching for all winter. Finally, I found one on my clearance hunts at Children's Place.
Also this weekend- we have been working hard on standing independently.
Saturday morning before we headed out to shop, I was holding her hands and barely giving her any support at all. She looked curiously down at her feet as if discovering them for the first time, looked back up at me, and then took a step all on her own! I was so amazed because we haven't worked on steps at all- I thought we should wait until she could stand more independently. But she knew what to do and did it! She did it several more times that day when I placed her a step away from a desired toy (I know, mean Mommy)
I know she's still a long way from walking, but this was so encouraging to see that she has the desire to walk and move even if she doesn't have the skill level to do it yet.
When I told her therapist team at her one year eval that one goal I had for her was to be cruising somewhat by the fall- they all but laughed at me. I don't know if she will be, but we'll work our little hearts out and celebrate every tiny accomplishment along the way. YAY for taking her very first step!
So I have this week off of work for winter break, and I'm trying to convince myself to do some much, much needed white glove cleaning around my house. If you have any snarky comments to help motivate me, I welcome your input....as long as they comments aren't mean (I'm a somewhat sensitive clutterholic)- I just need a push to get started. What motivates you to deep clean your house from top to bottom?

My older sister is a neat freak (love you) and we used to share a room growing up. That was such a disaster. I enjoy creative clutter; I determined early on that it is my right as a free spirit (ha). Anyway, almost every day, she would get the urge to scrub our room down until it sparkled. Then, invariably, she would bring our parents up to see her work. What did our parents always see? The oohed and aahed over an amazingly clean room...with Deanna's bed piled high with everything of hers that had been scattered around the room. I always, always lost with that competition. I didn't even have a chance. boohoo. It was always then so much harder to put everything away since it seemed so overwhelming, so I would re-scatter it and the vicious cycle would start all over again. It's amazing that we both survived those room sharing days.

Sigh. Oh sweet older sister, if you could come visit me this week and do your magic on my house- I won't even care that you're messing with all of my clutter- just this once. (-:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

shoes, naked vest, drunk baby

We found a solution to our shoe problem, thanks to an awesome birthday gift (Thank you from the two cute little brothers on her boyfriend list): Robeez shoes. They arrived yesterday and Addison wore them ALL day...they totally stayed on even though they are still a little bit big. This is a shot of what I saw while out doing some pre-doctor's appointment shopping. Such an adorable shopping buddy. (-: (While giving shout outs, must say that we love the new stroller from the Grandparents...another awesome b-day gift)

Love, love love the new shoes.
Note to self: don't let doctor's schedule appointments at 1:30 in the afternoon...totally during naptime. This is what happened in the waiting room...and then ten minutes later we had to totally undress her to get a weight.

She was surprisingly a good sport.

A ball of energy after her mere 20 minute power nap
She rocks the puffy vest only look...now if only it was a practical look. (-:
This is her birthday gift from her Aunt Bekka....she loves it!

OK, so she insists on feeding herself her own bottle...and I admit that sometimes it is the last thing that she does in the day (I realize that this is horrible and we are trying to wean away from it but when you have such huge eating issues as Addison has...you do whatever she will cooperate with...) Anyway, one night I came in to see this:
I feel that she looks a bit like a drunk, sprawled out clutching a bottle...horrible thought, but it made me laugh. (notice the torn bumper pads and disorganized mess....she likes to wreck havoc in her crib before actually falling asleep...maybe part of the drunken rampage?)

Today's appointment went well- won't get results until tomorrow. I did learn that the rash signs that I am supposed to be watching for are totally different than the rash signs that I thought I was supposed to be looking for. Oops.

I'm waiting for the doctor's phone call, I'm waiting for an email back from an agent who requested to see part of my book earlier this week....I HATE TO WAIT, but I find myself doing a lot of it these days. I would say that it is character building, but I merely find myself biting at the bit. Just another thing to work on.

This post wasn't nearly as racy as you thought it would be based on the title, was it? (-:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

completely random

I sit at my cluttered Dining Room table, encased in my very soft North Face fleece that is my new all time favorite thing to wear with chapped hands typing furiously away under the healing salve of slathered bag balm. The joys of a Vermont winter.

Addison is curled up in her fleece sleeper, zipped up in her sleeping bag with chubby arms latched around her stuffed animal of choice tonight.

I am amazed how much she has even changed in the last few weeks. It seems that right in front of my eyes, she is transitioning from baby to little girl. This scares me. A baby with lots of health needs was relatively easy to take care of- learn all the right things to do at what time and keep to a schedule. Now she loves to play hard, read books and randomly yells for things that she wants (turns out, she is very opinionated.). This scares me. What if I don't do the right activities, the most stimulating games, read enough books for her to develop to her full potential?

It's hard enough parenting a "normal" child, but being told from day one that you will be fighting an uphill battle with intelligence and skill level terrifies me that I will somehow let Chubbs down. Even doing the activities that the therapist's suggest- it just doesn't seem like enough. No matter how much I play with her or let her explore on her own- it never seems like enough. And yes, I give her independent play. It was very important to us that she not need us to entertain her every hour of the day. But then I wonder, how much is too much independent play? Am I missing valuable teaching time? But then she expects attention every second of the day. What is the balance?

It makes me wish that I was more into little kids before I actually had one of my own- learned some fun games- some songs that weren't in compound meter or with wide leaping intervals-some activities that would make her want to learn. I stand in front of her with my baton ready to teach and it seems to do nothing for her. Hmmmm. It's a mystery. I guess I have the wrong skill set to be a great mom to a little girl.

Definitely something to work on.

Also heavy on my mind- tomorrow is Addison's one year leukemia checkup. Call me paranoid, but I just have a bad feeling. This bad feeling isn't going to go away until she is three years old leukemia free. Last week at her pediatrician's appointment, he jokingly laughed that she either had a tumor in her stomach or a poop waiting to come out and I didn't let go of my held breath until three hours later when she finally grunted and worked that bad boy out.

She has a rash on her jaw and I immediately assume the worst. She easily gets dark circles under her eyes and bruises from this and that and I freak out that she is already advancing before even being diagnosed. Last week while playing hard, she just randomly started bleeding twice in one day- once on her finger and once on her lip. My heart just about beat out of my chest before I convinced myself that they were paper cuts since her one goal in life right now is to hunt down the nearest paper and then eat it.

Yeah, I am super paranoid. I will feel better if we get a good blood work results tomorrow. Last year, Dr Homon told me that a popular time to transition is right around one year. And you wonder why I'm nervous?

So I am off to go shower my little angel with more kisses. Seriously, there is nothing more amazing than a sleeping baby. First of all because how stinking cute she looks all relaxed and cuddled up. Second, it's a sigh of relief because there is obviously nothing more that I could be doing for her at that exact moment.

Sorry for the completely random post. My mind is a bit in a muddle...but it actually feels better after this rambling. Thanks for listening. (-:

Now I'm off to bed. Lately Chubbs has been using that loud opinionated yell to demand crib side bottle service around 2AM. Hopefully a very short lived trend...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love to Scrap?

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I am not a crafty person. Like to cook, read, write, play all the musical instruments, pretty much all around crazy- but not crafty in the least.

That being said- I greatly admire people who are. Especially on my mind tonight, is one of my faithful blog followers, Becky. Becky is all about scrapbooking and making beautiful cards and blogs about it at Love to Scrap.

Anyway, all of this to say- the most beautiful package arrived for Addison in the mail yesterday. A creation made by Becky taken from pictures that she got off of this blog.

I apologize that my measly pictures can't do justice to her creativity and scrapbooking style.

She left blank spots for me to fill in info about the picture or dates or what not, and sent a special pen to use- I'm a little afraid to write on it!

She took such a variety of pictures and surrounded them by beautiful papers, lettering and accessories.

The little brown envelop is for me to put letters to Addison in. love it! Also, the purple page on the left I think is my favorite!

The picture on the right says "Let's Fly" (-:



Needless to say, I am a bit speechless by this gesture. How amazing is this scrapbook! I would never in a million years be able to do this- but Becky took it upon herself to make sure that Addison had her own mini album. This is totally challenging me to organize my iPhoto full of thousands of pictures and perhaps do a bit more with them...hmmmmm.

Thank you so much, Becky! I am going to keep this out on a coffee table so that everyone that comes over can get a peek at Chubbs' mini album! (since my photographing ability totally takes away from the overall effect)

If you get the chance, check out her blog and see some of the other creative things that she is working on...truly inspiring!