Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Beautiful pictures!

Addie's therapists told me about this site today. I don't think this will be available too much longer, so go take a look as soon as you can. These babies and toddlers are beautiful...you may need to have some tissues handy! It takes a minute to load and turn your volume up for the song!

http://www.byshea.com/bellcenter/

Addie vs. the dishwasher

The mean dishwasher won! Chris and I were cleaning the kitchen after dinner tonight and Addie was sitting on the floor right next to us, but she had managed to scoot right by the dishwasher. The door was down and we're not exactly sure what happened, but we think she must have turned her head to look at Chris and bumped her eye on the dishwasher. She had the most pitiful cry! Chris made the comment that he now knows what a "boo-boo" cry sounds like!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just wanting to pet the kitty...

Alley was playing with Addie, she would walk around in circles behind Addie, going in between Julien's computer chair and desk and then back around behind Addie. Addie would pet her each time she came by and was trying her best to follow her every move. Addie managed to lean forward and grab the underside of the computer chair...and then fell. Chris and I were just so proud of her for trying so very hard to pull up!

Had enough!

Addie was so worn out from the "trauma" at the park, she fell asleep with a half eaten biter biscuit all over her and me!

Bad day at the park

The weather has been so yucky lately that we haven't been able to play outside very much. Since we had a few good hours this afternoon, I took Addie to the park closest to our home instead of her favorite one. This park doesn't have the really neat baby swings, so we had to take this one for a test run. Not good! The first two pictures are when I first put Addie in the swing. The other three are seconds later and then...no more pictures. That would be because Addie hit melt down! Addie doesn't quite know how to hold on yet and was very nervous in the swing! I tried taking her for a walk and letting her play on the slide, but each time I tried to put her down, it just upset her. Next time, I'll make the drive up to her favorite park!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's OK

I just need to take a moment to get something off my mind that has been bothering me. As a Mother of a nine-year-old, I am all too aware of the embarrassing situations in which you can end up in thanks to your child. I can remember several situations where I would have loved nothing more than for the floor to open up and swallow me whole!
We have encountered a few situations recently where children have made comments or asked questions about Addie and their parents just don't know how to respond. Keep in mind, if I am close enough to hear what children say, I am also close enough to hear how the parent responds! It is OK to talk about Addie when I am within hearing distance. It is OK to tell a child that Addie may look a little different than they are. It is OK to answer a child when they ask "what's wrong with her?". It is OK to let me talk to a child about Addie. It is OK to be honest. It is not OK to ignore a child when they ask questions or make a comment. That is extremely hurtful to my family.
I can't figure out if people associate "shame" or embarrassment to having a special needs baby, but if they do, they are so very wrong! Addie has taught me more about this world than anyone ever could and I am so very proud of who she is. Please talk to the children in your life and be honest with them. I have a standard statement that I use when I talk to children about Addie and it is very straight forward and matter of fact.
It is OK that she is different and it is OK to acknowledge that.

Tooth number TEN!

My little cookie monster got tooth number ten today! This one is her upper right molar. She tried it out during lunch at Jim 'N Nick's; apparently it is in good working order!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Camera spotter

I was in the kitchen taking the camera out of the bag when I saw Addie trying to peek around the corner. I held up the camera and this was the response I got!

We took Julien and Addie out to watch the lunar eclipse tonight. It was really neat, I am so glad we didn't miss it! Julien thought it was "so cool" and Addie enjoyed the cool night air!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not ready for it

I was caught off guard at Addie's therapy appointment today. To make a long story short, Addie was fitted for braces today. Our hope is that this will enable her to strengthen her feet and legs enough so she will start walking in the next few months. As many of you know, it is my personal goal to have her walking before she turns eighteen-months. Addie is still working so hard on trying to pull up and she is doing much better at putting one foot in front of the other with assistance! I was able to pick out the colors for her braces. I wanted purple but knew it wouldn't match much of anything, so I had to settle for pink....ugh! The braces will have pink padding and the straps will have little sheep on them.
It was a very difficult time for me. Regardless of the fact that I am firmly aware of our struggles, it is hard when a situation becomes tangible. I know this will be great for her and I pray we see amazing progress!

Sweet little hands!

Addie left the perfect little hand prints on the blanket...so sweet!

Good to go (for now anyway)!

We went to see Dr. Davis today and Addie's ears are (surprisingly) good to go! There was no fluid in either ear and both tubes are wide open! The left tube is starting to come out, so no shock to me, we will probably be heading for set number three in the coming months.
I can only assume at this point that it is Addie's one-year molars that are causing her so much grief. The left one has broken through - tooth number NINE - and the right one will be in any day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Funny!"

"Funny" is the newest sign that I have taught Addie. She understands this sign completely. At dinner tonight (Happy Anniversary to Chris and Me!), Addie had her usual appetite, but wasn't feeling very well. She kept pulling at her ears and touching her face and was in obvious discomfort. At the end of her meal, I offered her a bite of an orange. She loves mandarin oranges, but this was the first taste of a "real" orange. She took a bite and immediately had the worst sour face and just shivered all over! I couldn't help but laugh! I got her attention and signed, "funny" and she just started laughing hysterically! I offered her another bite and we repeated the whole process! She LOVES this sign! It was good to see her laughing again!

Hearing evaluation - six-month follow-up

Today was Addie's six-month hearing evaluation. Her left ear is only registering .8, so we are scheduled to see Dr. Davis in the morning. Her ear isn't draining today and yet the volume is so low (please, please don't let the tube be blocked again!). In spite of this, Addie's hearing was still within "normal limits" (great!). We go back in another six-months for another re-check or sooner if we have any concerns!

Love this picture!

Patti sent this picture to me this morning- thank you!
The look on Addie's face is priceless; this picture shows her beautiful personality!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rotten, rotten, rotten!

We finally had some down time and managed to get Julien's old farm out for Addie to play with. I gave this to Julien for his first birthday and I am so glad that Addie has a chance to play with it too!
Addie had the best time playing inside the farm with the cow, pig and chickens. Notice on the first set of pictures how happy she is...and then on the second picture she is so upset! Why? I put the camera away!
In the third set of pictures she is smiling and happy again only because I brought the camera back out! Chris and I couldn't believe it! She is such a little ham!

Party 3 of 3 - Congratulations Julien!

Last, but certainly not least, Julien received his basketball trophy this afternoon! I really enjoyed this basketball season and I am so proud of Julien for his hard work! We had a great team and really great coaches this year, which truly makes a difference!


Party 2 of 3 - Happy First Birthday Ali!

We also attended Ali's First Birthday party today! Addie and Ali are in the same class at daycare. Ali is such a sweetie and we love that Addie has such a great friend to play with every day! Ali wasn't shy about digging right into her cake and she had the best time playing with her new toys, she even let Addie play too! Melanie wins the prize for giving the BEST loot bags! Addie went home with a "boo-boo all better lamb", two hair bows and a ball! Thank you Blake and Melanie for letting us share this day with you!

On the way to party number 2!

That's my Addie...all done with the party and wanting to change into something a bit more comfortable! We got the biggest kick out of watching her try to take off her tights!

Party 1 of 3 - Happy First Birthday Trenton!

We were so happy to join in the celebration of Trenton's First Birthday party today! Trenton is a Valentine's Baby, so his Mom had a great theme to work with! We had the best time hanging out with friends and watching Trenton enjoy his very own cake! I will have to say, this was by far the best food I have ever had at a one-year birthday party - it was more like an all you can eat buffet! Thanks Ronnie and Dewana for including us in on your very special day! We wouldn't have missed it!

Poor baby...never a break!

When Addie woke up this morning, she sat up and immediately started to shake her head side to side. At first, I was hoping Addie had learned a new trick, but then it hit me...she has yet another ear infection! She has only been well for less than one week! Her left ear is draining again and is causing quite a bit of discomfort! I'm just thankful that she is staying well otherwise!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Boo-boo report

Addie has been doing very well at nap time, but today she had plans that didn't involve napping! Addie somehow managed to get off her cot and make it a few feet away before she was caught!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Addie's First Valentine's party!

Date night!

Tonight, Chris and I finally had our first date in 14-months (kid-free)! My Mom came to watch Julien and Addie with the agreement that we would stay close to home "just in case". We chose to go to Fox Valley and for those of you who live nearby, you know how great it is! The night was perfect! We met friends for dinner and drinks - I had my first glass of wine in almost two years, the last one was with dinner at our wedding reception (and then I got pregnant with Addie and then breastfed for one year), it had to be the best best glass of wine - ever! :)
The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was so peaceful and it felt so good to laugh. I think it was the first time that I have really laughed since I had Addie. It was nice to leave our problems at home for just a little while. As we were wrapping up the evening, my Mom called to let us know that Addie had hit melt down! Luckily, we were only ten minutes away and got home quickly to calm Addie down!
This Valentine's Day was PERFECT!

Monday, February 11, 2008

All glory to God!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

I couldn't decide if I was going to share this or not, but finally decided there was nothing wrong with letting you in on my most personal moments from the race. After all, it is you who are praying for our family, who is helping to provide the strength that keeps me going.

I knew the race would be emotional for me, but I didn't expect for it to get the best of me. Chris and I were up at 4:00 a.m., pumped and ready to GO! My Mom, Rhonda and Amy met us at the room and then we made our way to Boutwell for the group picture for the Partners in Training. Shortly after 6:30, we finished up inside and made our way to the starting corral (herding us in like cattle...). Just knowing what I was about to do got me a little teary eyed, but my adrenalin was in full gear! Right before the start, Amy and I prayed together and my strength was renewed. On went my iPod and off we went!
Each time my feet hit the pavement, all I thought about was Addie. I kept seeing the look on her face when Heather was helping her walk and I could see the tears streaming down her face as she tried so hard to put one little foot in front of the other. I could hear her calling my name and I had her blue eyes emblazoned in mine. There were a few moments throughout the race where I really wanted to slow down. When that happened, I would reach back and grab Addie's picture and I would "pat her" and tell her that this was for her. It was kind of funny, because I was concentrating so hard on Addie that I remember passing mile 2 and the next thing I knew, I was coming up on mile 4. I kept saying, "This is for Addie".
When I approached the top of Greensprings and saw mile 6, I could feel my emotions starting to waver. I topped the hill at Greensprings and started looking left for Arby's on Valley, knowing that I was almost there. I rounded the corner onto Valley Avenue and immediately started looking for my sister. As soon as I saw her, I started waving and completely lost control of my emotions. By the time I made it to her, I was sobbing. I told her that, "I did it - for Addie and that I loved Addie so much"! The sobbing came from deep within my soul, all I could think is how my race (for that moment) was over, but Addie's never would be.
I wasn't even close to the best runner out there, but I completed what I set out to do. It was a very personal moment for me and one that I can't completely describe. All I know is that God was with me each mile of that race and I was RUNNING FOR ADDIE!

It was all for HER!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Home...after the race

We did it for Addie! This was an amazing day for us!

Wow, it felt good to get home and wash off the streets of Birmingham!

Addie - after marathon party!

This is what Addie thought about the party!

Becky wrapped it up for us!

Becky ran the last leg of the race for us! Like we said from the beginning, this year it wasn't about the time, it was about ADDIE! We all finished the race and did better than I thought we would do! Thank you all for your prayers!

On the way to watch the big race!

Addie really just wanted to nap...

First night to stay at a hotel!

Saturday night was Addie's first time staying at a hotel!

Addie was uneasy about being in a new place and insisted on having me in her sights the entire time - no private restroom breaks for me! :) After I got her to sleep, she slept well and allowed Chris and Me to rest up for our big day!

Thanks to all of the donations to The Mercedes Marathon, we "won" a free room at the Sheraton for Saturday night. This worked out perfectly because I was worried about not being able to get to Addie quickly if I needed to. Julien and Addie (and my Mom) stayed at the hotel during the race. Afterwards, I came and got them so they could enjoy the excitement at the finish line and the after marathon party.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mercedes Kids Marathon - Brooke

Once again, Brooke wanted to run in honor of Addie at The Mercedes Kids Marathon! This little girl is so very precious and I am so thrilled that she wanted to do this for Addie. Her Mom told me today that Brooke completed her mile in just over 9 minutes - WOW, was I impressed! Brooke also continues to pray for Addie every day and I can't even begin to express how that makes me feel. On top of that, Brooke has never met Addie and yet she cares so much for her!
Thank you Brooke, you are WONDERFUL!

Last basketball game of the season

We didn't get ANY good pictures today...Err! Julien's team had three games today. We won the first two, finishing the season with only one loss! The third game was the championship game; which we lost but not without a fight! Overall, we had a great season! Great job, Julien!

Showing off Addie's medal!

I wish you all could have seen these babies today! I can't begin to describe how wonderful today was, just watching the babies and toddlers in this race - THEIR race! They all did an amazing job!



On your mark, get set, go!

Julien wanted to be the one to push Addie in the race today and I am so glad that I let him. He did an incredible job! Addie, Bergen and Trenton were in the same race - it was perfect! It took all I had to keep the tears from streaming down my face!


The big race at The Bell Center today