Monday, December 27, 2010

The Full of Pictures Post

Three days past Christmas and we are a house full of sick people.
It's been crazy around here.
Having cranky kids (and cranky mom) doesn't help the process much.
I'm sure our house is similar to yours, hustle and bustle and stress that leads you to the big day.
Days after are full of cleaning and sorting.
And questioning...did my daughter really need that expensive new kitchen? Did she really need anything? It is worth having another thing to pick up and dust after?
You know. You think it too.

I love it all though. Really. The alternative is being alone without my hubby or great kiddos.
I'll take busy and stressed over the alternative any day.

Hope you like pictures.
Because baby, if there was ever going to be a "chalked full of pictures post", this is it.


The children's Christmas program at church. Emma has the same attention span as her mother. Bless her.

Waiting in line to see the jolly ole man. Emma made sure to bring a cut out of the toy she wanted for Christmas. Hmmmm I bet Santa was wishing Emma would have let him know sooner. Just sayin.

Making cookies for Meme and Nana.

Enjoying Christmas Eve merriment with the in-laws.

Emma doing her version of the "Disney Princesses on Ice" care of a pair of stockings and one slippery kitchen floor.

The Joys of Christmas Day.

Santa's half eaten cookie and the empty glass of egg nog. He also feed his reindeer with the bag of oats we left out. What a nice guy.
What was Eslea doing amidst this excitement?

I must confess, there were a few things she did on Christmas day that were a joy unto their own.
She chose that day to start talking. Well, her version of talking. Mainly consisting of cooing and babbling but definitely sharing opinions.
She also managed to grab a toy that was hanging from her play area...all by herself. She hung on to that thing for like 5 minutes. Swear.

My favorite part of the day was listening to Emma sing "Happy Birthday Jesus".
I'm leaving the song on my blog for just a few days longer.
I love it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The "Time sure does fly by" Post

It's amazing to me how life flies by.
Like a strong wind that grabs you by the ankles and pulls you along.
Sometimes a larger gust will hit and you get pulled higher and higher thinking that you'll never come down. Life just seems to move faster and faster as you move higher and higher away.
Other times, it slows down and you take a glimpse at your surroundings. You can see all the things at work that need to be done, the friends that you should call for that lunch date, and family time you wish you could wrap up forever like a beautifully decorated Christmas present.
Than there are those times, when the wind actually stops. You hit the ground with a thud, brush yourself off and look around. Only to realize that it has been almost a month since your last post.
Time has dropped you somewhere in the middle of another birthday and Christmas. And most importantly you realize that it's been 3mths since your newest precious joined you on this earth.

Happy Three Months Es!
Thank you for picking me to be your Mommy!
You are my favorite birthday and Christmas gift all rolled into one adorable bundle.

Complete randomness from these past few weeks....
We were not able to visit my family in N. Georgia for our annual Christmas celebration. Thus we missed the snow fall this year.
Yet in order to allow Emma to experience just a tiny taste of the family Christmas spirit, we let her open the gifts my parents brought back from the family celebration.

I love to watch those baby blues of hers light up in excitement.

By the way, that purple unicorn pillow pet she is holding makes her FOURTH pillow pet that she owns.

Every Christmas season I try to find an ornament that symbolizes to me the year that is about to close.
This has been a great year for our family.
I married the man of my dreams and we brought the newest precious addition into our family.
That's a lot of pressure on an ornament.

My favorite........

Now. Going to work on growing my nails a little bit longer so the next time that wind tries to take me for a ride, I'll have a better grip on life. If there is anything I have learned from being the mom of Eslea, is that life is too tender to let any moment go unnoticed.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Not Gonna Rain on My Parade

Sometimes things happen in my life that make time stand still. Really. Or maybe it's just in my own little world, but I swear it stops. Life whirls around like on TV where the characters are moving super slow while everyone is a blur going by. It's kinda like that, only in real life.
It's happened four times in my life now that I can count. The first time was the day my firstborn came into the world. To be exact, it was while I waited to hear those first cries. You know, you've been there, after the final painful push and you know she has arrived finally into the world. You just wait...wait for it. And until you hear those cries, your world stops.
The second time was when I married my soul mate. I adore my husband and right there in front of the tiny circle of wedding guests, time stopped. It happened as I waited for him to say "I do". For a moment I was scared that he might not and time halted ever so briefly.
The other two times only occurred after the birth of Eslea.

One, feeling now like a lifetime ago, occurring as the nurse is telling me that my new beautiful and perfect little baby daughter may have down syndrome. Time almost didn't start again that day...but it did.
And now, I bring you to the fourth and most recent suspension of time in my life. A few days ago we went back to the cardiologist for our continuing every 4 week checkup. This time they did a more recent ultrasound. The last being done on the day she was born. And that's where it happened. Right there in the ultrasound room while the tech was cuddling my precious close to her own chest while doing the scan. I watched the screen and saw her heart...right there. My baby's heart beating and trying so hard to keep on doing so. I saw the mixing of the blood through that very large hole of hers. At the same time, I looked at her so tiny in someone elses' arms knowing that broken heart was just underneath the surface...and it happened again..time stopped. This time I couldn't focus and I couldn't wait for it to start back on it's own. I had to leave the room, forcing time back into my reality.
That day we found out some rather disheartening news. Baby Eslea does not have two holes in her heart like the doctors originally thought, she has three. Worst of all, one of those holes (the VSD) takes up almost 70% of her wall. Her tiny little lungs are failing and she has to have surgery before she is 6 months. Now, we are praying for weight gain because she is still under ten pounds. The bigger the baby , the better the chances of a successful surgery.
On that note and to lighten the mood just a little bit...
I have some hopeful signs of baby leg pudge! Yep! The baby fat is right there, I can see it, just waiting to join us for some serious baby fat squeezin'.

Some fun things from this week:
A little girl who dreams of being a fairy princess...

...with the ability to use magic on her unsuspecting little baby sister.

A little buggie dressed in cute Christmas gear because you gotta look good when going to see your first ever Holiday Parade.

Finally, the sweetest of four year olds making herself even sweeter while examining the candy overload and other goodies she acquired just by flashing her pearly whites at every passing float in the parade.

(Yep, the beads and dollar were part of the haul too.)
Gonna be even a better day tomorrow, so I need me some zzzz's.
Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

National Adoption Month and A Cause for You

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month?

It is a month set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care.

With that in mind, today, the last day of the month I have decided to ask you to participate in a worthy cause.

Through the blog Life. rearranged, people are raising money for one little boy in the hopes that he can one day find his Forever Family.

I first came across this little man shortly after having Eslea. While searching the Reece's Rainbow site, I paused when I saw his picture. He looked so much like my precious baby. My body physically ached for him. What I wouldn't give to make it possible....

I am so happy that someone else felt that same way. Not only that, she is on a mission to help Cliff find a home.

There are those of us in the world that have the drive to adopt. The will has been in me since I was 5 years old. It has yet to be possible. Money is a huge issue. Especially now with my own little buggie's medical issues.

But it is possible for someone. There is a family out there who will want Cliff to finally come home.
You can help. Just click on the link below and pray. Your heart will tell you want to do.
God bless.

Want other ways to help? Life. rearranged will be raising money through January 7th for baby cliff. Grab the button on my right side bar and add it to your own blog. Or simply, spread the word.

Thank you! Now go've got work to do baby.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Look on Their Faces

Something strange is happening.
I have noticed that the people around are looking at me differently.
They are speaking to me differently.
People that once didn't seem to care to take the time to speak to me are stopping to chat.
They all want to know about Eslea.

How is she doing? How am I doing? How is it going? What is it like?
I see it in their faces. They know. They all know. They have all been told by one person or another. The word spreading like a brush fire after a long drought.
Their eyes show that they are struggling somewhat with the words they are choosing but they are fairly certain the right ones have made way to their lips.
They have heard. They want to know.
I try to make it easier. I begin by saying that she is great. She is beautiful. She is making it day by day.

Yet the look on their face is still there. They want to ask. To find out if it's true.
Again, I try to make it easier. I tell them that she was born with down syndrome and that she also struggles with a pretty severe heart defect, two holes to be exact.
Their face changes. Yes. That is what they wanted to hear.
But which was it? Which one were they most curious about?
I do not know for sure and probably never will.
It doesn't matter. For I am certain that what drives their curiosity is not the same factor that keeps me up at night. It's not the aspect of Eslea's condition that has me watching her mouth closely as she eats to make sure she doesn't turn blue.
So, I say something else to them. I tell them that she is perfect. She is as close to heaven as I can get on this earth and I am overwhelmed that I get to be her mother.

They can not know that what causes me the most concern at night has nothing to do with that tiny extra chromosome.
It is something greater. Something so very small that struggles every second to work efficiently.
It is her heart.
Yet every day it continues to beat.
Every night I thank my Savior for allowing me another day to spend with her....and that extra chromosome.

Regardless of what their motivation may be, I am grateful that people take the time to ask about her.
So thank you to everyone that ask. Thank you for taking the time to ask about my little buggie.

I am determined that sometime in the near future to squeeze me some sweet juicy baby thighs.
 Eslea's strength is in her legs.
In an effort to keep that as a strength, she takes part in baby leg presses.
It's not her favorite thing, but after about a minute of groaning and pushing she finally gets somewhere. That's right. That's my baby.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finally Fall (9weeks, 1 day)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve. This time tomorrow night I will be full from a day of mouth watering treats and giving thanks for my overly stuffed tummy.

I spent the day with my two favorite girls. Ever so grateful that Eslea is with us this Holiday season. Remembering a time after my divorce when I was scared that I would never have any more children. That Emma, the joy that she is, would be my last.  I am an only child and more than anything I wanted a large family. I could have never imagined the blessing that was coming my way. Just 2 years ago I had to give up the desire to ever have another little girl. Yet now I am not only thankful for Eslea but also for my sweet husband. A year ago he and I went on our first date and have been together ever since. He is about as close to a soul mate as I can imagine. He is the best thing that could have happened to Emma and I. He is the best daddy Eslea could ever have.

Tomorrow is a day of Thanksgiving. With that in mind, my girls and I spent the day in preparation for tomorrow's festivities. The Thanksgiving table would not be complete without confetti made by little hands. I taught Emma how to use the paper cutters and she set off on a mission to fill a baggie full of fall colored trinkets.

Thanksgiving is also not complete without a homemade sweet. An easy treat that is a tradition for most families: rice krispies treats. Ours is made with peanut butter because well, it's peanut butter. Oh baby, everything is better with peanut butter.

Eslea loves to be outside and it is the perfect place to do our daily development routines.

1) Tummy Time
Good ole' tummy time. Today I plopped buggie on a quilt and tried to tempt her with colorful leaves to raise that tiny head of hers. Started with a pillow till she pushed herself off. She is strong like that.

2) Tactile and Visual: Leaves....again
When there are so many colorful leaves around, why not use them? First, I had her set those beautiful eyes on a leaf and follow it from side to side. I would take her hand and stretch out her arm to touch the leaf while saying "leaf" over and over. I swear the kid eventually grabbed it all by herself. I also let her spend time with her feet in the leaves. They make this great crunch sound which she loved to hear as she kicked those tootsies amongst the piles.

3) Copy Cat
Every day I try to spend time with my face as close to hers as I can get while making silly faces for her to see. I will do one expression repeatedly until she finally makes the face herself. Let's just hope that the old saying "your face is going to freeze that way" is not true.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
Be Thankful. Love your family. Stuff your tummies full.