Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I caved...


to the:
"Mom, we can make the cookies, we know how".

So, I let them.

A little flour in the hair never hurt anyone and as far as I know all the sugar is now off my kitchen floor.

(Of course, I can take Julien's picture only with his approval...geez, how long does that phase last?)

They were proud of themselves!

As I'm typing this, my sweet baby boy comes to check on me. My hair is pulled up and he proceeds to tell me about this one "really big patch" of gray hair and that "you probably need to get some of that dye for your hair, Mom".

Nothing like a bit of honesty to make me feel young and pretty!

Picture of the day!


Addie and Jessica!

Check her out!




Addie is now sitting in a big girl chair at school!

She is able to get in and out of her chair all by herself.

When she finishes eating, she tries to stand and put her plate away...it's a work in progress, but it's progress!

Her teachers are so proud of her and report that she is doing so well!

Tone? What tone?




Apparently, I ticked off the God's of Grace and Professionalism today.
If there ever was a "go figure" day, it was today.
Let me see if I can sum this up...please remember, Grace has somehow managed to hide today...she was replaced by the God of Brattitude, the God of Incredible Heat and the God of Uncomfortable High Heels.
I went to "sleep" after midnight.
I woke at 4:00 a.m.
I had to leave the house by 6:30.
In my rush to get Julien up, Addie ready and still make my 6:30 deadline, I managed to chip a nail while putting on my pantyhose...which put a run in my pantyhose. I tossed those aside, ran downstairs, repaired my nail, ran back upstairs into the closet, grabbed new pantyhose and the first box of heels that I saw.
In all of my grace, I dropped the box on the floor, grabbed the shoes (no need to pick the box up, trust me, it would still be in the exact same place when I returned home) and didn't realize the reason why I hadn't worn the shoes in over a year until I was walking into daycare.
They hurt my feet...bad.
I gave Addie lovins' and out the door I went to my 8:00 doctor's appointment.
I just love my doctor to pieces! We were just chatting away and talking details of her upcoming wedding when she suddenly gasped. Out of her mouth, came the words - "there's a spider". I didn't ask for an explanation, out of the chair I came and gracefully helped her catch the spider by standing on the other side of the room, hands clinched tightly at my chest.
This spider was huge, at least 8 feet tall and as big as a baby giraffe!
Put two girls in a confined room with a spider on steroids and it becomes quite comical.
Unfortunately, I had to stop all the girl talk because I was on the verge of being late to pick Addie up...
for her two-year check-up.
For which we are six-months overdue.
Inhale.
I managed to find the most convenient parking spot at the top of the hill, the farthest from the front door. I was so relieved at that moment that I was wearing my most comfortable high heels, because of the pure grace that I showed as I clumsily walked down the hill, around the building to the front door, carrying a bag full of time occupiers and a 24 pound Monkey.
I finally decided halfway through the visit that I would rather be having my uterus examined with a magnifying glass and tweezers as opposed to sitting in this room trying my best to keep the tears at bay, hold something that resembled an intelligent conversation and remember everything that I needed to talk to Dr. Dudgeon about. Which of course I didn't remember everything, until I left and was turning onto Highway 31.
These well child visits are draining no matter how I try to deny the reality of it...kind of like me trying to deny the size of my post second baby thighs.
The truth just manages to creep right on in.
I don't know what it was about this visit. I was snarky, had no grace and found myself using a "tone" that would make my Mother's eye twitch had she heard it. Sometimes I just want everybody to understand my reasoning and my thinking, although it may not appear rational.
I know Addie's condition is so very rare and I know I am blessed beyond words, but every once in a while, I want to feel like I'm not trying to convince someone else of Addie's ability. I can't just answer "yes" or "no" without trying to give an example or explanation.
I want, no...I crave acceptance of Addie.
No grace, no professionalism. Today was hard with no fault to anyone else.
I'm allowed those days. Today just wasn't a good day for it.
Addie got ONE shot.
She wanted to sit in the big seat for me to take her picture, but we had to go. I collected our things, managed to smile politely to the nurses on the way out, thanked them for Addie's sticker and we took a very long time walking to our car.
I held Addie's little hand as she walked ever so slowly out the door. We stopped to pick baby up when she dropped her, we stopped to look at the baby going by and we stopped to look at the leaves. Addie-pa-tattie was so tired from walking and just stopped. It was my turn to help her. Up the hill we went, dropping Addie's sticker on the way. I didn't have the grace to go back and get it for her. I just wanted to get to the car so I could cry in private. Good for me for composing myself, because the tears never fell, because I'm "not a crier".
Minute by minute, day by day. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
I took Monkey back to school - a little story and pictures to follow later.
I went to work. I worked until I realized I was going to be late for therapy.
Inhale.
Back to daycare to pick Addie up. Back across another parking lot in my favorite high heels in the scorching sun in my dress not made of cotton. No, no moisture wicking capabilities built into my dress.
Off to therapy we go. Up the stairs in my favorite high heels and cotton-less dress.
Addie did so well at therapy today. I heard her say "hat".
We are working ever so hard to teach Addie to sign "help". She gets so frustrated when she can't talk to us and I really think that once she understands "help", her frustration level will decline.
My sweet Addie sat in the big girl chair and looked at a book while we waited for her therapist.
What a sweet, beautiful little girl I have been blessed with.
May she always be blessed by the God's of Grace and the God's of Beauty and most importantly of all...
by our giving, gracious GOD - the giver and provider of all.


It's the special things in life that really counts

How cute is this little guy!?
Can you imagine the copays Mommy Monkey forked out?

This quilt was in the works for Addie for months.

A friend/co-worker told me about a family member that had made a monkey quilt and of course, my ears just perked right up!

After making sure exactly what I was wanting, these amazing people started to work on the quilt.
I don't know how long it took to make for Addie, but my heart is ever so grateful for the time and effort that went into making this quilt.

Growing up, we always had quilts that were handmade by our Grandmother. In fact, Julien is asleep under one right now.
It's amazing how that art seems to be fading, so imagine how thrilled I was to have this made - especially for Addie.

(When I was pregnant with Julien, a customer where I worked offered to make a quilt for Julien and of course, I couldn't say "no"! So, he has one as well.)

It's important for the little, special things in life to continue.
In this time where it seems everything is falling apart all around us, we still have the little things. The things that are special to us and that brings comfort to us.

Thank you M.B. for coordinating this effort, as always, I appreciate you!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mastering the game



My friend, Kim, has completely mastered "Faster than the Baby".
I don't know why I am amazed each and every time Kim manages to capture the beauty of Monkey. Kim is wonderful and has an embedded degree of patience that is required for my family.
We are a photographers worst nightmare.
My children are perfect examples of "how to embarrass your Mommy at the most inopportune times".
Bless them.
Kim sent these to me in hopes of holding me at bay until the rest of the pictures are ready.
I always tell her that all I care about is "one good picture" and we got it.
More to share soon...I hope.
If anyone is in need of an amazing photographer, please take a look at Kim's website.

More, more, more

Wow!

We have more words:

Yellow

Meow

Woof

To top that off, Chunky Monkey is showing me just how much she knows. Each time I take Addie out for a walk, we are always looking for things. We look for dogs, cats, birds, squirrels, pine cones, etc...

I think the heat has forced all living creatures to take cover, because on our last few outings, there has been nothing to see except a few lone tumbleweeds in the distance.

As we are passing by the houses where there should be dogs and cats out, Addie holds out her arm and points. Following that, she either says "woof" or "meow". She is trying to find the animals. She is trying to show me where they live.

I think the neighbors a mile down the road probably heard me shriek like a little girl when Addie did it the first time, just a few nights ago.

Addie is amazing! Although she gets so frustrated when she tries to talk and tell us something, I try to calm her down and let her know that it's OK. It's OK, because I know she knows what she is trying to say...which means - she's getting it.

She's getting it you guys...you know what that means?

She's proving them wrong and once again proving to this world the amazing power of prayer!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's almost like a hidden picture


I harbor absolutely no hard feelings over the fact that my second born looks nothing like me. So, there really was no reason for me to post this in hopes that if I looked at this picture long enough, some similarities might just come to light.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There are benefits






to having a best friend with a swimming pool and a son that loves nothing more than to help his sister learn to swim.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Progress

Monkey never ceases to amaze us.
Today at therapy, Monkey thrilled us with another new word.
Shoes
Monkey knows what shoes are, that they go on her feet and now...how to say it.
I don't know who was happier or more proud, her therapist, Chris, me or Addie.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Two ducks and a monkey

Monkey pushed her ducks around the entire house, while I held ever so softly onto her little hips. She did all the work, pushing the ducks and walking . She would stumble, fall and I would help her back up and off we would go again.
She ever so slowly is getting it.
Thank God, she is getting it.

Faster than the baby

Well, at some point in the last two years, a Mommy invented a game known in her house as, "Faster than the Baby". The goal of this game is to put the diaper on the baby before the baby pulls all the wipes out of the container, put the shoes on the baby before the baby pulls her socks off, wipe the nose of the baby before the said baby can turn away or block the would be wiper, etc...

Yesterday, the goal was for one said Mommy to make it from the living room to the powder room before baby could follow Mommy. The Mommy in question every so often, likes to go tee-tee all by herself...you know? This Mommy thought she was winning the game until she heard the little baby crawling at top speed through the kitchen and down the hall. Mommy immediately put her hand up and said, "stop" to prohibit baby from crawling onto the powder room floor. Baby sat up, looked at Mommy, said "stop" and nodded her head.

Baby is one very smart little girl.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A box full of Monkey




Father's Day

I hate more than anything that my Dad never knew either one of my babies. Julien really is missing out on having a Grandfather to show him how to hunt and fish, because my Dad was the best at both. I will never forget the first time I saw the inside of a buck or the many times my Dad took me out fishing on the boat...or the 1,999,845,000 times he told me to always wear my seat belt, although I never get in a car without putting one on.

Chris is amazing. He would do anything for our children (and for me) and I don't take for granted what a kind heart he has.

For Father's Day, we sent Chris on a four day golf trip with 23 friends. He deserves it. He is actually on his way home now, maybe in time for a relaxing dinner.

Greenvale x 2







It had been a really long time since we had a visit to Greenvale. I was certain that everyone had forgotten our existence and that every last penny I had would forever more go to Dr. Davis.

Julien was due for a re-check on his ears and an updated blue form. The office was unexpectedly quiet, which was awesome. Our visit with Dr. Dudgeon went well. Julien even agreed to routine blood work and two shots and I'm absolutely positive that it had nothing to do with me bribing him either. The monogrammed Florida Gators hat in this post has nothing at all to do with anything regarding any alleged bribery that may or may not have occurred.
Did I just hear a gasp of disbelief when I said two shots? Yes, I agreed to give Julien two shots at one time. Very possibly because he's ten-years-old and healthy and he hasn't had any vaccines in years.

I was off work because of something that I had to do so I told Julien we would have lunch after his appointment. Well, we no more than got to our destination when we ran into Julien's friend. His Mom offered to take the boys to lunch and a movie and I just couldn't say no. I guess that was a good thing, because right after, daycare called.

I knew that Addie wasn't herself because she kept me up the night before. So, I didn't second guess myself when I called Greenvale to see if we could come back in. Addie-pa-tattie does not have the physical composition in order to fight off sinus infections by herself. It is a given that she has to have an antibiotic. Addie really did feel miserable because she didn't say a single word to Dr. Dudgeon. She waved at one of the nurses, but that was it. I didn't even have the chance for Addie to show Dr. Dudgeon how amazing she is. Everyone was so great and it honestly was nice to be back. When we left, Addie had enough boo-boo band aids to last her a week!

Addie has her two-year check-up soon. I already get sick just thinking of it. Although, I'm so stinking proud of Addie for all she does, that doesn't get me out of having to answer "no" to all those milestone questions.
Minute by minute...day by day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Out of the ordinary choices

Julien, Addie and I decided to go to a restaurant that we never go to for lunch today. I usually vote against this place only because it is so incredibly quiet. When I take my children out to eat, I prefer some kind of commotion or music to drown out the noise that my kids are making!

Regardless, there we were. After placing our orders, Addie very impolitely fussed until Julien gave her the toy he was playing with. Julien and I were trying our best to grab all the little pegs that were slipping through Addie's hands before they hit the floor, when out of nowhere, a waitress stopped at our table.

She didn't make pleasant "niceties", she just went straight to the point. She said that she had watched a show on Addie's condition. I immediately thought that she must be confusing the diagnoses because I don't recall ever hearing about a show on Microcephaly (because of course, I would know if there were such a show) and I didn't feel the need to point that out. She went on to say that she just happened upon the show and watched it. She was simply amazed by the children on the show and how they were all doing so well. Then, the million dollar question came:
"So, can she walk?".

Julien piped up and told her that Addie could take a few steps and of course I chimed in to let her know that she can walk with a walker, but is not walking independently as of yet.

The waitress went on to say how beautiful Addie was and how she would try to watch the show again just for Addie. The waitress then asked if I minded if she brought Addie (and Julien) out a plate full of biscuits while we were waiting, of course I thanked her profusely and told her that it was very nice of her to stop by...and it really, really was.

That waitress really made my day. She did what I always harp on. If you have a question, ask it. Don't sit across from us and stare and then avert your eyes when I so sweetly stare back.

I know Addie's condition is becoming more noticeable..and that's not an easy fact to digest. At the same time, she is becoming more beautiful and is bringing joy to so many people. It amazes me how she brings joy to people.

Minute by minute, day by day...I'll take the bad just to be able to experience all the good.

__________________________________________________

After lunch, we decided to stop by the mall for a few things. I needed a new swimsuit to fit my post-second-baby jacked up body and new flip flops that could withstand the 3000 degree heat. With amazing speed, I got what I needed and then chose to check out at cosmetics. Not the best move because the lady didn't take the security tags off...

As the lady is getting my receipt, she asked if Julien and Addie belonged to me (because I must look like the average Saturday afternoon nanny or either nobody can figure out how I can have one brown hair/green eyed baby and one blond hair/blue eyed baby) and of course I told her "yes, I am the most blessed Mom in the world". She proceeded to tell me that she had a boy and a girl and felt that way too, but that her son died when he was seven. She proceeded to tell me that he went for a check-up one July and by September he was sick and died the following March. What struck me though, was when she told me that her pediatrician was from Greenvale. She went on to say what this pediatrician did for her before, during and after her son died. She was ever so grateful to him and from what I have heard from many, he is an amazing man.

I don't know what made her tell me that story and how ironic it was that we were just at Greenvale for the first time in a very, very long time. I guess I'm not the only one who feels so grateful to have fabulous physicians near by.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All over the place!




"Lets wait our turn"...

I think I said it about a million times that afternoon!

McWane Center

Chris and I took Addie back to The McWane Center.
It's a nice way to pass a hot, Sunday afternoon. Addie had such a good time, with one exception. She loves other kids and has no problem going up to them and trying to play. I realize that not all little ones like others scooting in on their "territory", so it was a constant effort to get Addie to wait on other children to finish what they were doing and not to crowd them. She really was just being so sweet and just wanted to be right in the middle of the action!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Gabi!







Regardless of the nasty weather, everyone had a really great time at Gabi's birthday party. The kids had a lot of fun painting and showing off their creativity, while Addie had a great time painting my shirt, hair and hands. Bless her, she was just so happy to have a paint brush in each hand and a pallet full of paint in front of her.
She didn't care where she put the paint, as long as she could smear it somewhere!
Hopefully, we will get the finished product back soon!
Thanks Gabi for inviting us to a fantastic party!

My little Monkey









Nobody cracks her up more than Julien! What beautiful sights and sounds!






Thanks again "Kathy" for Monkey's shirt! She looks so cute (and comfy) in it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big helper...



Addie wanted to pick the toothbrush up all by herself!

Uh-oh!



My little, dramatic princess dropped her toothbrush!

How about the chair...clean it too?



Show off!



Do I look pitiful yet?



How long did you say I had to brush?

(This is my rocking chair from when I was a toddler. Julien used it and now it is Addie's turn. She loves it!)

Yes, we are "cat people". Apparently I was born with it in my blood. I had to collect every stray that came my way. Midnight (the black kitty, of course) came with us when we moved here from Michigan...God rest his soul.

What a silly little Monkey!

Addie told me there was no way she was walking by herself...and with Julien, she couldn't stop giggling long enough to take a step!

As if I wasn't proud enough!





Check her out, standing all by herself!