Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Garrett has started "school" again for the fall....bless his little teachers' hearts:). I thought we were in for a better year (as in, less traumatic 'drop-offs'), because he got off to a very good start. The bloom has, however, fallen off the rose and the peel-garrett's-white-knuckles-from-my-neck-goodbyes have started again. They tell me the drama is short-lived and he jumps right into "fine motor". (this, btw, cracks me up....the thought of my 3-year-old-boy 'doing' fine motor...obviously i'm doing something wrong at home:).
So, here are some delayed pictures of the first day. Backpacks, sacks, satchels, etc are huge around here. Life is all about packing and unpacking his 'stuff' that part was fun.

After I dropped him off, I headed to Target (which pulls my minivan towards it with a mighty power) to pick up a work-out mini skirt-- because clearly, I was the only preschool mom so behind on the trends. I couldn't pull the trigger, though...and decided I could just use my swim-mini to look cool for the next drop off (to pretend, like everyone else, that I'm going to work out instead of go to Target in peace and perhaps take a 10 minute shower). I digress....

Here is Garrett after a grueling 'first day' of school.:) It's hard to be 3.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

look at this a million bucks, right? i was in the shower today and thought, it's been a long time since i took a shower expecting someone to burst in telling me lilah is having a seizure. and then i realized....i've quit worrying what it would do to garrett if i had to call an ambulance in the middle of the day...i no longer count her respiratory rate regularly...i've stopped hearing bells, whistles, beeps, and hums of machines in my sleep...i have not taken her to the doctor in almost 6 weeks...and i've quit expecting her to die. it seems crazy now, when i look at her--so much stronger and very much a part of our family's future.
lilah's doing great, and getting more of a personality everyday--loves to laugh, be read to, and mostly be held:)....does not want either parent out of her sight...playing peek-a-boo....blowing kisses. she's rolling over more and getting closer to sitting up. she still doesn't make many sounds, but is definitely starting to show some interest in signs (sign language).
her development is nowhere near typical, but it is soo far beyond what we were told to expect.
we are soo beyond thankful!:)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Garrett is 'into' changing clothes. I dressed him in a respectable bday outfit, but by 5 minutes into the party...he has already changed (to a spider tshirt and red sweat pant shorts)

these are all the same day--despite the costume changes:)

Garrett's 3rd birthday is tomorrow. 2-3 has been a big to boy! This birthday boy is the finest I know. He is beautiful (i'm giving myself one more year to refer to him this way b/c he just is), smart as a whip, gentle in spirit, tenderhearted, and incredibly funny. He loves life and lives it fully....engaged nearly every minute. Garrett loves new experiences (as long as he has safe company). He loves CARS, spiderman, shoes, clothes, and 'containers' (backpacks, lunchboxes, buckets), his animals, his family, and....I think, (yay!).
He is teaching me more than I am even able to comprehend and my heart squeezes with love for him at sight. I am unable to grasp that he is our child to love and raise, by God's grace. And, as I see more glimpses everyday into the demands and demeanor of 'the three-year-old'....I am begging for divine guidance.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

hello internet friends! i am reporting back from our first family vacation with the addition of Lilah and it was fantastic. i would regale you with tales from the beach or funny stories told around a table of seafood, but saltwater is still sloshing around in my brain. or at least that's what i assume to be causing the lethargy and lack of whit.
i will tell you that the entire trip (and definitely now), i am feeling a huge sense of joy and thankfulness that we were actually able to take Lilah anywhere. and, she loved it--the attention, the change of scenery, the ocean breeze, the pool.....but, the beach, not so much. garrett fully embraced all things 'beach' and his zeal was contagious! we had lots of help and came back feeling.....what's that word?......ah, yes......relaxed.
i have lots of report on (pictorially, at least) and will, as soon as my computer woes are eased.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So, I know you all are missing the key element of this of the sweetest children in the world:). I'll explain....
Since it' s been a year since Ya got sick and I figure I can't use the "I've got a sick baby" card as an excuse to let everything go forever....I've been on a kick to 'get stuff done'. For some reason, I'm not sure if everyone/mom experiences this, but even the most miniscule tasks turn into 'events' around here. My first example is about my kitchen sink, which has been leaking approximately 11 mos, and involved about 4 'experts', 5 trips to various retailers, and even emails to London to get it fixed (not to mention cash!).
I picture problem is actually a computer problem, as in 'my computer is out of the house, visiting the Apple store'. The only reason I'm telling you is because I thought you might enjoy the mental image of me taking it "in" to be serviced....I had G with me and I tried to convince him to sit in the stroller b/c I didn't think I could hold his hand and the giant computer monitor in the other. As with most nearly-3-year-olds, he had other ideas.
His involved putting the computer in the stroller along with his 'baby' (a nasty, stained big madame alexander doll that was actually a gift to his sister) and it's favorite 'blanket' (a faded washcloth). He insisted on pushing, and I'm pretty sure several old ladies realized they don't actually require a walker when put to the test (i.e. dodging a stroller run down). In the 100 yards from the mall entrance to the Apple store, he stopped 5 times to 'adjust' the blanket, and, I am not kidding here, 2 people stopped to ask me if I was okay--because all they saw was me pushing a Mac and a rag doll baby down the mall at a snail's pace (apparently you couldn't see Garrett from the front).
Anyway, pictures are piling up on my camera. So, prepare yourself for spiderman, the first day of school, and a lot of brotherly love coming soon. (the last one is a joke, G actually told me today when I asked him to pick up his books "hang on, I have to go tackle Lilah first").

Monday, September 7, 2009

blind sided...kicked in the stomach....hit in the face with a baseball bat....that's pretty much how we were feeling this time last year. it's an anniversary of sorts around here....this weekend last year is when we took our newborn Lilah in for a "cold".

i left G with Paul and took her to the pediatrician on call (providentially, the best in the practice and the genetic specialist). by the time we got there i was feeling very uneasy...knew she did not look right...felt like we might end up at the hospital. they suctioned her nose, concluded she had double ear infections, took her first chest xray and told us to head to Children's. looking back, i was 'shaky' at this point...feeling a little panicked that my 7 week-old was checking into the hospital for iv antibiotics for an 'ear infection'. had i known how bad it would get, i would have had a snack and taken a nap in preparation for what felt like awful nightmare that just kept snowballing and would not end.

they had a terrible, terrible time sticking Lilah... and i wasted a lot of tears way before it actually got bad. they started her on oxygen and told us she needed a repeat chest xray to rule out pneumonia. i took the first of many slow walks down a cold hall, balancing a tiny baby, an O2 tank, an IV pole, and a chart that was quickly becoming way too thick for such a young thing. we weren't back from xray 30 minutes when our room phone rang....on-call pediatrician explaining Lilah's heart looks enlarged on her chest xray, probably a bad angle, we are going to try and get an echo tonight. now, i'm no expert (or i wasn't at that time), but calling in an echo tech on a saturday night is telling.

that technician could barely choke out 3 words by the end of that scan and was certainly not looking me in the eye...between that and the pictures of her heart that looked like a giant mess, even to my untrained eye, i felt my anxiety rise.

the call came early the next morning. a hole in her heart. a lot of babies have them. it will probably grow together or can be closed. i thought i could not go on....a hole in my baby's heart. but, after hours of tears, i remember thinking. "it will be ok. it could be so much worse". boy was i right.

our pediatrician came by and said they were moving us to the ICU because they could get her better faster. we walked onto that ward.... the air stood still... and the avalanche began.
a pediatric cardiologist informed us that Lilah actually had 2 holes in her heart, but what was worse, and also incurable, was diseased heart muscle. she was in serious heart failure and would be started on a slew of medicines to try and pull her out of it. she would need a central line to her heart asap. her odds are 30:30:30 / medication alone:heart transplant:death (a statistic that still holds, btw). oh, and since she's got all of these cardiac malformations, we are probably looking at a syndrome. a week later, when she'd been pulled out of heart failure, Lilah started having seizures.

i am not kidding ya'll when i say 'i wanted to die'. if there had been a fiery pit or an on-coming semi...i would have jumped. it was too much. i was pretty sure that lifeless, unresponsive infant would either die, or worse, live the life of a vegetable.... unable to enjoy life.

the rest is history. 2 weeks later we took her home. i can't believe it's been a year and it seems like forever. bittersweet memories. it literally hurts to remember, but is good for me also. it was undoubtedly a trial that she/me/ we could not have survived alone. i am able to look back and see that the Lord has provided for our every need and continues to quiet all the fears i have about the challenges. remembering that time makes me all the more thankful to be in this sweet spot right now....Lilah is so much more than i would have hoped for a year ago. it also reminds me that no life is without pain and suffering, and it usually comes in seasons. i hope and pray that i will remember, during hard times in the future, that the dawn always comes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I overheard this today....

Garrett: I go to school last night (yesterday).
Marissa: Oh yeah? You have new teachers?
G: Yep. I do. Miss Lisa.
M: Oh. Is she pretty?
G: Nope. Just momma.

That sweet boy:). That pre-breakfast shower must have really had an impact on him!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I feel compelled to share with the world, or the 5 of you that read this blog, that today...this glorious day...for the first time in, uhm...let's see (L is 13mos, and I was preggo and tired 9, so)...21 months....I was awake, showered, dressed and pouring a cup of coffee before either child peeped. I took that first sip and heard, I am not kidding, a choir of angels break into the hallelujah chorus.
It is a day that will live in infamy. There is hope.