Wednesday, March 31, 2010

While we were in Columbia, Lily was watching basketball with everyone and things were quiet. She then told everyone that the team they were watching, Michigan State, was the team that Maryland lost to the other night. Classic Lily.
Our friends Lindsay and Sydney came over today to play and have lunch. We had an impromptu egg hunt in the backyard. Lily was very cute helping Sydney search and showing her what to do/bossing her around. I have pictures I could share to show you how cute it was, but we still haven't done anything about the fact that the computer in the basement doesn't work At All.

I'm so excited for Easter. I love Easter at Westminster with the Commonwealth Brass Band and the amazing choir. I love the promise of Spring and being outside with the girls. I am also super excited about it this year because it's actually going to be warm here. We haven't had a warm Easter in forever. Not that it matters for the holiday itself, because I know it's not all about the outfits, but Easter dresses are still cuter when they aren't covered up by sweaters and tights!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home Again Home Again

We're back in Alexandria. Today went really well despite the fact that the last 30 miles took 90 minutes. Imogene took two naps on the way back. She was adorable in the back seat playing peek-a-boo with herself using a book or a lovey. Laughing hysterically, waiting for me to say "where's Imogene?" so she could take the book or lovey off her head. Such a trooper the whole day. Lily was completely lost in her movies, and at one point wanted to yell because I told her she couldn't. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself that I survived driving down there and back by myself.

Bill told Lily he was going to court tomorrow because one of his cases is there. Her response "Did you leave them there?"

Last night I was able to go out to dinner with my girlfriends from high school. I was about an hour late because Imogene would NOT go to sleep for anything. She screamed for absolutely ever. But my mom finally got her to go to sleep. Thank you Mom. It was so fun to get to catch up with old friends, especially when they are such wonderful old friends!

We all had a great time being in Columbia, but we all missed Bill very much! Lily was really hoping that he'd stay home tomorrow, but then she realized that tomorrow was Wednesday.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

From SC

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRUNNY! We hope you had a great weekend.

We're having a nice visit in SC, even though the weather isn't really as warm as I had hoped! We saw my Uncle Joe's family today, which was fun. My cousin Josh has a daughter almost Lily's exact age, Sean. They were so cute sitting next to each other, having an actual conversations about how old they are and how old the kids in their class are. Ryan, Susan and Whitney have all gone home. Lily will definitely miss them tomorrow when she's stuck with just me all day. I have big plans to go to dinner tomorrow night with some girlfriends from growing up, so I'm really hoping that bedtime goes well enough for me to go!

Friday, March 26, 2010

We made it

We left this morning at 8:15. We were in the car for no less than 20 minutes when Lily asked me if we were there yet. By 8:45 we'd stopped for gas, Chick-Fil-A and a dirty diaper change. It was pouring down rain. I was sure I was in for the drive from disasterville. Despite the fact that Imogene only slept for 25 minutes the ENTIRE DAY, it went pretty well. The rain ended by mid-morning, and we had an uneventful stop at good old Cracker Barrel for lunch. Then at 12, when we were barely in NC (I think) Lily asked if we could just wait and eat lunch in SC. I would ask Lily to give Imogene a snack or check to see if Imogene needed her water or a toy and Lily would literally keep her eyes glued to her DVD and never look over at Imogene while she "helped." I actually had to turn off the DVD player to get her to even blink. She's in heaven of course here, with her Nane and Uncle Ryan and Whitney to play with, and Susan to arrive tomorrow.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yikes

I'm driving the girls to SC tomorrow. I must be crazy. Yikes I must be crazy.
Besides the fact that I'm exhausted from Imogene's night sleep being erratic, I'm exhausted from the lack of naps she's taking lately. Please pray that the drive is as stress-less as it can be. I'll be drinking a lot of Chick-Fil-A tea. It will be worth it in the end to spend time with my family and friends that I haven't seen in so long. And Lily is so excited to go see naney's house.

Lily has discovered Food Network. So far we've only watched the Barefoot Contessa, whom Lily refers to as "Ina and her husband." Today she said of her new favorite TV show, "She has a bigger kitchen than we do. She has a mover kitchen. She can move everywhere. Ina has a big big house." The other day she was making a greek lasagna and Lily said it looked really good. Then she clarified that she'd eat the plain pasta she was putting in it, and maybe she'd eat the meat when she was 6,7,8 or 9. I have enjoyed watching it too. It's one of my favorite cooking shows, actually probably my favorite. And it is inspiring me to one day, when life ever gets back to something close to sane, to cook again.

At the beginning of PT Susan always asks us how things are going, what things they need to know as far as Imogene's overall development. Today she said that someday she hopes for me that I will be able to go in and say that we had a perfectly normal, uneventful week. I hope for that too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bill's New Home Improvement Project

Lily sees a drawing of an otter in her "baby animals ABC" book. She thinks the baby otter is very cute and says, "I think we should get a baby otter." "Where would the baby otter live Lily?" "In our pool." "What pool?" "The pool that daddy is going to build for me. We'll have two pools. One big one next to a little pool that I will swim in with the baby otter."

Today was one of those days where I'd probably have felt better if I'd gotten to cry and scream as much as Lily and Imogene did. Imogene only slept 30 minutes this morning. And then not at all this afternoon. And for some reason Lily decided that instead of eating dinner she'd just cry and cry and cry. I've never seen her do that. She doesn't eat much, but she's never not eaten anything. Tonight she didn't even eat a bite. It was just one of those days where I really felt like I couldn't do much of anything with either of them to make them happy.

Thank goodness I get to start it all over again tomorrow!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This Crazy Life

So Imogene didn't take her afternoon nap. Lily had ballet at 330, so we dropped her off and then went to drop off a Just Ducky order. Imogene finally fell asleep with about 10 minutes left in our drive, or so I thought there were ten minutes left. The trip took longer than I had planned. It was absolutely pouring down rain the entire trip. Hadn't planned on the traffic lights all being out on the way back to get Lily. I was 15 minutes late and had no way to get a hold of anyone at dance to let them know I was coming. Picturing poor Lily just waiting for me all sad and worried, I barrell up the stairs and find Lily having the time of her life. Two moms waited with her and she could have cared less that I wasn't there. I tried to explain to the moms and to Lily what happened. Lily was so cute the whole time. Lily kept saying "It's okay Mom. Don't rush Mom. I am sorry about those traffic lights. That's just terrible. Don't worry Mom. we had fun. Were you just hurrying so much? Who helped you with the lights? Oh the police man? That's so nice of him. Don't worry Mom. Don't be sorry. Let's not go that way ever again. Next time if you need to go that way I can miss ballet just once. It will be okay. Don't be sorry Mom." She was the one worried about me! Such a funny cute smart kid. Oh, and by the way, Imogene was screaming the entire time all of this was going on. And later Lily said, "Actually, I cannot miss ballet even just once. So don't go that way again, okay?"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Surgery Date Set

The whole family went to Imogene's ophthalmologist appointment this morning with Dr. Madigan. (It's possible that's the first time I've ever spelled ophthalmologist correctly.) Her surgery was scheduled for April 21, but that is the day before Bill is supposed to go to NYC, and two days before I was supposed to join him. Dr. Madigan said he didn't see any real change in her strabismus, so he was fine with putting the surgery off a month. Her surgery is now scheduled for May 19. It's a one day procedure. It sounds like the procedure takes between 1-2 hours, and they tell you to plan for 1-4 hours for recovery. We'll get more information as it gets closer.

We were in the backyard today. Lily and Bill were playing soccer with her new goals she got for her birthday. They also did a little bit of raking the mess left by the winter. There are these small balls, prickly burr things all over the place. Bill wondered which tree they were coming from and Lily replied "The coconut tree."
I jammed my finger in between a door frame in Lily's room and the giant over-flowing laundry basket I was carrying out of her room. It hurt badly. "Are you okay Mom? I'm glad that you didn't cry."

"We're watching basketball all day again?" We didn't by the way.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Basketball

Lily and I are watching the tournament while Imogene naps, and we're waiting on Maggie.
"Is it time for them to take a time out and talk about what they are going to do next?"
"Did the team we like win the whole game or just that one time?"
"Look what that guy with the band-aid on his face just did!"
"Are we going to watch basketball all day and all night?"
"Why are the signs all the same?"
"Do you call it a tie when the numbers are the same?"
"There's the guy with the band-aid!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coloring after lunch. Imogene actually colors for a good 10 minutes before she puts the crayon in her mouth. She also did a nice little number with the crayon to her splint. Oops. But this was such a great use of time for both of them - and for me! I got the dishwasher emptied and lunch cleaned up! Amazing as Lily would say.

This is actually how she came to dinner one night.
Crown, princess dress, and bib to keep the dress clean.
Lucy rode to school with us on Monday. Lily was bursting at the seams to have her over before school and ride together. They were both so funny - they never stopped jabbering to each other. And of course Lucy was wearing her sparkly shoes, and despite the pouring rain, I could not talk Lily into wearing her great new boots she got from Aunt Heather and Uncle Vernon. She had to wear her sparkly shoes too.

Imogene in the swing. She really sat there for the longest time and just laughed and smiled. She doesn't go very fast, she's still pretty little in there, and she's not really holding on very well, so we don't really swing, we sway. She would have stayed in it longer, but got very frustrated that she couldn't take her shoes off in that position. If Imogene can see her shoes, she has to take them off her feet. Same for the socks.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Lily! She had a blast at school this week learning about leprechauns and pots of gold. This is her shamrock headband and her leprechaun puppet. She and Imogene both got the biggest giggles from me using the puppet and talking in a terrible, terrible Irish accent. Lily did it too and was saying "have a good morning to ya."

Soccer Practice





Fashion Show

The Just Ducky clothes arrived today. Boy are they cute. Lily was more than eager to try on her loot. She was twirling and twirling in her Easter dress and she looked so beautiful. She was having the best time and she just stopped, put her hand to her mouth, fell into my arms and said, "I love you mommy so much. Thank you for my dress." I of course turned into a puddle.
Imogene's clothes are Humongous. I ordered her the 18 month size because I just couldn't justify 12 month sizes for clothes she'll wear when she's way past 12 months. I was wrong. She will be able to wear them next summer. I just can't get over how little she is, when she really doesn't look that small. Of course a mom at therapy today asked me if she was 6 or 7 months.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Funny & Not So Funny

Lily tonight while we're getting ready for bed. "What does deserve mean?"
Me: "where did you hear that word?" (this is after I've tried to explain it and I'm not doing very well.)
Lily: "I didn't hear it, it was just in my voice."
"It's just in my head. How did it get there?"
Me: Fumbling for a good way to explain doing what you should so you get what is due to you, but that still sounds terrible as I say it.
Lily: "But what does it mean?"
Me: "Daddy, want to try and explain?"

Walking back from our neighbor's after having cake and ice cream to celebrate their 7 year-old's birthday. "Where's Luna?" (the moon) We both answer that she's not out yet, maybe she's at the other side of the Earth. Lily says, "Maybe she just forgot."

Which brings us to the not funny. Going over for cake (and the pizza we had for dinner that dropped crumbs that burned and smoked in the oven, smelling up the house) put us past bedtime for Imogene. And Bill knew this wasn't our best idea and I should have listened to him. But of course, I tried to tell myself that she'd be ok and could handle a little bit past bedtime (like 30 minutes). I was wrong. We're so tied down sometimes when it comes to Imogene. We have just completed our first hour trying to get her to go to sleep. I spent 20 minutes this morning and this afternoon getting her to sleep for her naps. We're in such a mess when it comes to her sleeping.

And tomorrow'sOT. I realized tonight I let the whole week go by without practicing the constraint therapy at home (which I call Home Therapy or HT, to myself of course). PT has her wearing the little hip-helper biker shorts two hours a day, so I've been trying to get that in, and just let the constraint slip. I wonder if there will ever be a week where I go to OT and PT and don't feel at all guilty about what we do at HT!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Catching Up

Update on the leak. We had a plumber come out and he said that it's not the plumbing so we have an appliance person coming Wednesday to see what needs to be fixed in the fridge. The ceiling in the basement doesn't look too bad after all.

Lily's finger got caught in the front door today. It was mostly my fault so she made me pay for it, without knowing it most of the time. She's fine (I think) but boy did she work it for all it was worth. At one point tonight she said "my finger still really hurts. Are you still really sorry?" She would be fine, and then she remembered, and would get all teary. When we told the story to Bill she actually looked away and got tears in her eyes. I would ask her to bend it so I could be sure it wasn't broken, and she would say it hurt. And then when I tried to get her to wash her hands she would bend the hurt finger so it wouldn't get wet.

We took her to a birthday party Saturday afternoon. She wanted to be dropped off of course. Almost every other kid had their parent with them. I mean who is this kid of our's???? It's amazing how much she has grown up since the fall. Lily used to get all freaked out by other kids she didn't know at the park. Seriously she would run off the jungle gym if kids who looked younger than her were around. Last week, she actually made two new friends at the park on her own. One of them is in her ballet class, which we didn't know until today. We went to a playdate at at friend's and she was the one who figured out what they should play. It's such a neat thing to watch her really blossom into such an outgoing little girl.

Lily sat with Bill the other day watching a documentary about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Lily said after while, "Why are we watching this boring show Dad?"
She knows we don't like her to watch her kid shows in the morning, so she's been asking if she can "watch the highlights on Sportscenter." We let her stay up and watch Maryland's one game in the ACC tournament. (that was a waste.) She put her little cheerleading outfit on and shook her poms-poms and cheered. She sat with her legs crossed and asked me 10 times if she was sitting like the cheerleaders at the game.

We did some spring cleaning this weekend, mostly getting the Spring and Summer clothes out of the attic. Imogene has so many cute clothes to wear of Lily's. Problem is, Imogene is so much smaller than Lily was at this age! Seeing all those clothes brings back so many memories of sweet Lily at the age Imogene is. And it makes me really ready for some warm weather. It's been raining here for days! I have to admit that seeing the clothes Lily wore at Imogene's age made me a little sad. Imogene is three weeks younger than Lily was when she started walking. When I think of Lily in these clothes, I think of her learning to walk and then walking all over the place, . I know Imogene is going to walk one day, it's just hard to think that she might not walk in these clothes. Maybe that doesn't make sense. And seriously I do know that she'll walk one day. It's just hard not to compare the stages of their lives. I think I'd do that even if Imogene didn't have CP. Whatever she's doing in the clothes, I know she's going to look precious. She really is such a cutie-pie. But I'm biased!

A mom in our area is coming over for coffee tomorrow morning. We met through the stroke and hemiplegia parents' web-board that I follow. Her six-year-old little girl has Imogene's same CP, right hemiparesis. They have gone through a lot of what we are going through right now, and I enjoy getting her insight and advice.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What a Day

So for fun, here's a day in the life of your's truly. This day in the life just happens to be the one where I turned 34. Warning: some of this is really boring.
3:22 am Imogene awakes. Bill rocks her. She sleeps. She wakes. I nurse her. She sleeps. She wakes. Bill rocks her. She wakes. She sleeps.
5:00 am We sleep.
7:20 am Lily comes into our room and announces she that she has to go potty. Bill asks her if she has something to tell Mommy. She says she'll tell me Happy Birthday after she goes potty.
7:50 am Breakfast and present opening. Mommy receives the new Lady Antebellum cd, the complete works of Jane Austen bound in a beautiful book, and a gift certificate for an iPhone. (beside myself about this. So freaking excited.)
8:00 am We all start getting ready to walk Lily to school. Daddy decides to work from home.
Mommy excited at the prospect of not fighting Imogene at naptime.
8:20 am I cannot find my shoes. Perhaps it's because I haven't worn my tennis shoes in several months.
8:35 am All of us walk Lily to school.
9:05 am Drop-off Lily to school. Bill asks her to tell the teachers it's my birthday. She says "I did that yesterday."
9:08 am Mommy receives a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, a big hug, and a lovely gift from Miss Pam.
9:40 am Mommy goes to get some coffee. Daddy puts Imogene down for a nap.
10:00 am Mommy returns from coffee to find Daddy very forlorn. Worries that someone has died. He has to go into the office.
10:36 am Mommy finishes a record-time shower, dresses, gets Imogene up from her nap and races to therapy. Daddy goes to work.
12:20 pm Mommy and Imogene meet Lily, and friends who brought her from school at the mall for Chick-Fil-A. Mommy's favorite!!!
1:40 pm We return home to a lovely gift from Grunny & Charlie. Thanks to you!
3:00 pm Imogene goes down for a nap without any screaming. Lily watches a show.
3:05 pm Feeling great, Mommy runs downstairs to the basement for a minute before sitting down to write some thank-you notes and hang out with Lily.
3:05 1/2 pm: Mommy's heart stops beating upon hearing massive water leak hitting the floor.
3:07 pm: Mommy finds every towel within reach. Freaks at finding another puddle. Freaks again. Calls Bill. Freaks to Bill. Tells Bill to come home. Right.Now.
3:20 pm Mommy tries yelling "PLEASE GIVE ME AN OPERAToR" at the automated system for the home warranty. Hoping that if I sound really desperate the computer lady will send me to real person. This attempt fails.
3:35 pm Call Bill making sure he's on the way. Gone through a second set of towels. Talk to plumber. Then the home warranty system - a real person!!! - and am told to turn the water off wherever it's coming from. Yeah, thanks. I would if I could tell!
4:00 pm Call my sister and cry. It's my birthday, I'll cry if I want to. You would cry too...
4:15 pm Imogene wakes up. Bill has arrived home, calms me down, figure out to turn off water to ice maker (thanks to my dad) behind fridge. Leak stops. Bill talks to plumber again. He'll come tomorrow since we stopped the leak. We clean more water off floor and start surveying the damage to ceiling.
4:30 pm Lily comes out of TV fog and realizes Bill is home and the fridge is in the middle of the kitchen.
5:00 pm Bill uses the shopvac and gets water out of the carpet, girls have had a snack, Lily has asked a 1,000 questions about the water.
5:15 pm We're all enjoying the nice weather at a neighborhood park. With rain in the forecast until Tuesday, this feels awesome. Imogene goes back in forth in my arms and then in Bill's arms. She reaches for us with both her arms. Fight tears. Bill and I realize how much Lily has grown since we were last all at a park together.
5:55 pm All sitting down to a great dinner at our favorite place.
6:35 pm Head to the Dairy Godmother. Mommy enjoys her first "Dusty Road" sundae in almost a year. Imogene makes greatest face ever upon eating sorbet.
7:55 pm Both girls in bed (Imogene puts up a great fight. Bill prevails, thankfully). Mommy reads all the wonderful birthday messages on her facebook page, while Bill cleans up the house and does some more shopvac. Did I mention he's world's greatest husband and father?
9:55 pm Finally watch the "baby" episode of the Office from last week. Of course, something is wrong with the DVR and a few minutes are skipped in the middle and we missed the last 2 minutes.
10:08 pm Finish blog posting. Realize that life is not always the way you plan it, that things go wrong, almost disastrously wrong, even on your birthday, but that it will all be okay in the end. That you get up and do it all again, because you can, and because you want to, and because you know that you are so lucky, so lucky to be living this life. Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Princess Lily's Royal Party

Lily's princess party was such a blast and went really well considering most of the girls were dropped off! A few moms did stay, so that certainly helped. Lily was such a gracious hostess. Greeted her guests so sweetly and showed them where all the stuff to do was. I feel like she genuinely wanted them to be happy and have fun. I think they did!

Sugar Cookie Magic Wands. Despite the fact that I got the idea from the magazine "Family Fun," there was nothing fun about making them. Extremely top heavy and such a pain to frost! But they were a big hit with the girls and they all ended up taking them home and ate cupcakes at the party instead. All in the name of Lily's happiness!
Lily and her doll Emily in their matching "Belle" outfits. I found this great site http://www.littledressupshop.com/, that has matching girl and doll dresses that are Disney-themed, but don't have all the Disney things on them. Lily of course has never seen Beauty & the Beast, or any of the princess movies for that matter, but she loves the princesses and
loves that she can be "Belle" even though she knows nothing about her!

Mommy & Lily in their face paint. Amazing artist came and painted the girls (and moms!) faces during the party. I can't say enough about how great Erica Exline is if you are in the area! http://www.sweetcheeksfp.com/

Daddy and his girl. I love this picture because we have the same one from her 1st, 2nd and 3rd parties. We'll have to carry on the tradition.

All the princesses. And Queen Maggie too!
She blew out her "castle candle" and then asked "Mom can I eat this?" No Lily you cannot eat the candle. "No can I eat what's under it?" Yes, you can eat the icing!

Naney and Princess Imogene.

Such a sweet picture. Lily loves, loves, loves Maggie.
This is on her actual birthday. Of course Lily was sure it was the other way around, so much that she said on Saturday morning "Guys, aren't you going to wish me happy REAL birthday?"

This is happy Imogene on Lily's birthday. Considering she thinks the world revolves around her sister, it's pretty fitting that she should be this happy on the day of her birth!

I'm So Behind!

So behind on the blog, on sleep, on cleaning, on laundry. On life. I'm just so behind.
Sleep is going so poorly with Imogene that it pains me to even type it out. Perhaps it's because she was sick most of January and February, but we can't figure out how the sleep train got so terribly out of whack for her. She had been doing pretty well, but we're back to putting her to sleep before we put her down. She cannot put herself to sleep now. Screams hysterically, sobbing to the point of giving herself hiccups and those can't-catch-your-breath little puffs of crying that kids/babies do when they have just cried too long. We spent 3 hours with her one night this weekend, and I spent almost 2 hours getting her to go to sleep last night. Hopefully Bill's very long hours at work will take a break so that we can work on getting her to put herself to sleep again. Meanwhile poor Lily falls asleep in her room waiting on me to come read her a book (after we've read together to Imogene). She's getting so big!

The weather has been amazing the last three days. We've made it to the park twice (plus being able to play after school) and Imogene and I walked to get Lily at school today, and they ate lunch in the stroller on the way home. What a relief it is to be outside in the sunshine. It completely changes your outlook on the day when you know you'll get to be outside. I even cleaned out the car yesterday just so I could be oustide. Apparently it was way overdue, because when Lily got in at school she said "Yeah Mom, you cleaned out my car, thank you so much. You did a good job. I knew you could do it." Alright already, I get the message.

Lily is getting into letters and numbers a lot these days. She was flabbergasted that she'd never noticed that the aisles in the grocery store and the registers have numbers on them. It was such a highlight for her yesterday. She had a lot of time to observe them, we shopped and then ate last night (love that about Whole Foods). Lily seems to recognize almost all the letters (I guess she has for a while) but now she's interested in the sounds they make. I have to say it's enjoyable to watch the wheels turning in that little head. She's left-handed, and Dr. B said it's normal for lefties to read backwards for a while. Like Register No. 14 last night was number 4-1. If she's "reading" a picture book to Imogene she reads the picture on the right side first and then the left side. I think this is going to be a really exciting time for her, this age of 4, and I hope I'm awake enough to help her enjoy it, and to encourage what I think is an early love of learning. (Boy I sound like a dorky, overzealous parent.)

Bill and the girls were doing something in the basement for me this morning and it was in a bag, and Lily came running upstairs and said "Mom, you are not going to notice what's in that bag okay. You are not going to notice."

"Mom what is your birthday going to look like?" (I think she meant what decorations was I going to have.)

Whenever she gets fussy or just too tired at night and she loses it over me asking her to brush her teeth or take her own clothes off (I'm such a meanie.) she'll say "Do you know why I am crying? I am crying because I miss my daddy. I need my daddy." Love how she tries to tug at my heartstrings in order to get away with something!

Today we turned off the TV (We put "pet star" from Animal Planet on in the morning since Imogene adores dogs, still.) So Lily wouldn't get dressed, so we turned the TV off. *Let's just put aside how the TV probably shouldn't be on in the morning, etc. etc.* Lily fussed her whole way through the arduous process of getting her dressed and then said, "Okay, I'm happy now. You can turn the TV back on."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Leaving the hair salon after her haircut today, Lily sees a lady with hair down past the middle of her back and says "Where is she going? I think maybe she is going to get her hair cut at Becky's because her hair is really, really long."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Second Home

Yep, I went to the pediatrician again today. This time for Lily's 4 year check-up. She was precious the whole time. Loved, loved, loved getting weighed and measured and having her blood pressure and pulse tested. Had a ball at the eye test. Chatted up a storm with Dr. B. Could not have been cuter. Her health is wonderful. She weighs 36 pounds (between 50-75%) and is 40 1/2 inches tall (75%). Such a long way from the 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 1/2 inches at birth! She got two shots and barely flinched. Dr. B and the nurse went on and on about how most kids bawl and she was so brave and so strong. So of course on the way home her arm "just hurts" and "it's worser than a boo-boo." She dragged this on all night. By making such a big deal out of how strong and brave she was, she must have thought she was missing out on a chance to be dramatic.

On Monday I took Imogene to see Dr. B for her weight check. We did a blood-workup (Stop me if this sounds familiar, it does to me, perhaps I'm repeating myself). The results were back today and everything was normal. No thyroid issues, no celiac disease, no basic metabolic red flags raised. And even better, she did not show a milk or soy allergy. That's not to say that she doesn't have dairy or soy sensitivity, but she's not allergic. So tonight she had a little bit of pizza with cheese on it, and a little bit of a cheese stick. She didn't seem to care one way or the other, but it was still fun. Of course Lily wouldn't eat the pizza, but the lack of variety in her diet is an issue for another time! So we don't know what is causing Imogene's slow weight gain, but we know what's not.

The one "dark" spot this week is what we learned at OT Wednesday. We've wondered a lot lately if Imogene doesn't have all the awareness she needs in her mouth and tongue. Amy the OT gave me some things to look for over the past week. What I noticed is that Imogene doesn't seem to notice how much she has in her mouth sometimes. She chokes way more than Lily ever did, and has always had a problem keeping liquids in her mouth. So we did a test on Wednesday and gave her a chew toy covered in lemon flavored spray. Basically Imogene did not notice at all that there was a sour flavor to the toy. So she has some oral desensitivity. There are things we can do to help her 'wake up' her mouth - rubbing her cheeks, giving her these special chew toys before she eats, giving her foods with lots of spice and texture. Amy didn't seem to be super concerned, but it's definitely an issue we'll be working on through OT.

Forgive me if the blog goes quiet for a few days. I have a house to turn into a castle for a certain 4 year-old's princess birthday party and I've done next to nothing to be ready for the 9 little girls coming over on Saturday afternoon. Wish me luck, and maybe send some fairy dust. Oh, and call my fairy godmother while you're at it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

OT and Miss Pam

Imogene had OT today. For constraint therapy (binding her left arm to force use of the right) we put her in a bathing suit from last summer (which of course on the peanut it fit, despite being a 3-6 month size). This was an idea of Amy's and it worked great. She tried hard to get the left arm out (even tried getting it out of the leg hole!) but didn't get too fussy, and tolerated the whole activity for about 15 minutes, which is wonderful. She did really well with the right and did the very best she could getting the hand open. She even took a puzzle piece with a really big knob out and put it back in. And if that wasn't enough of a great day, she finally bonded with dear Miss Pam. Miss Pam (Lily's teacher next year) is so devoted to all of us already, and tries hard each time she sees Imogene to create a relationship. Today her heart-work paid off! While we were at Garden Club, Imogene sat with her for at least 40 minutes (Pam maybe it was 45?) and even did her little head rest on the chest move. It was wonderful to see because I know how happy it made Miss Pam. And it was nice for me to get a little break and help Lily. And to see Imogene bond with others - sometimes I feel like Bill and I are the only people she lets hold her on a regular basis (except her grandmothers!)
More than one person today at school told me that Lily said "I'm going to be 5 soon." "

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Through the Years

Here's a little "through the years" with Lily. She's 4 today and look how much she's grown and changed! We're having a very nice day. Daddy took Lily to school and stayed for a few minutes for Lily to show him her 'stuff' in her classroom. Mommy and Imogene went with Lily and her class to their weekly music class (too cute) and then had birthday snack with her class. It's Book Week at school, so I read Lily's new book to the class, "Angelina and the Princess."
She's about an hour old here.

Her First Birthday!

A walking (and Talking!) Two Year-Old.

This is last year, on her third birthday. We had a big snowfall on her birthday which was a Monday. By Saturday the kids were all playing outside at her party!

This morning - she's 4!

Monday, March 1, 2010

One more funny Lily story

They played with cornmeal in the sensory table at school today. Lily kept talking about how she had some in her eye (a boy got it in her eye and "he even didn't say sorry!"). I was trying to distract her and ask her what it felt like when she played with it at the table. "It was soft in my hand but doesn't feel soft in my eye!" She said she just had to have a Band-Aid. We washed her eyes and I gave her the Band-Aid and poof! without even putting it on her eye she was fine. So dramatic.

"When I come into your room tomorrow will I be barely 4 or really 4?"

Dreams

Lily walked into our room this morning and the first words out of her mouth were "When is the castle coming?" Umm... I thought maybe she meant the castle cake I talked her out of having to make for her birthday party. But then I remembered yesterday a friend was talking about the castle she got at Disney World. Lily really doesn't know what Disney World is, but understands it has something to do with the princesses, despite the fact that she's never actually watched a princess movie (she saw the latest in the theater but so far hasn't connected that with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.) Yesterday during story time at church several kids started talking about Disney World (poor storyteller. This one boy never stops talking and he gets all the other kids completely off topic. But she was quick and said that going to see Jesus would have been even bigger than going to Disney.) So Lily's starting to wonder what this place is. So she must have dreamed about the castle. She said she'd be okay going to Disney when she was 5 or 6. Phew. I'm so not ready for Disney.

Today while singing "You are my sunshine" to Imogene for her nap, I realized that I can have a full internal monologue while singing it. I've been singing that song since my brother Ryan was a baby, and then to Lily and now I must sing it 30 times a day with Imogene. It is so ingrained into my head that I don't have to use any brain power to sing it. Instead I think about all the things I'm going to do if Imogene ever goes to sleep, or how I might blog about it.

The Power of the Internet

Last week my friend Karin told me about a dress for the girls that was on-line. Not only was it adorable, but $10 of the $25 cost of the dress went to the family of Layla Grace. Layla Grace is a 2 year-old in Texas that is dying of cancer. The dress is available here http://www.pickyourpocket.com/ (it's the "Layla" dress) and the family's website is here http://www.laylagrace.org/ I know we all come across so many stories lately of such heartbreak, but this one has really gotten to me, and I've thought all weekend about what the parents and sisters of little Layla are going through, watching their child die. Here is an article that really explains best what I've felt. I know people argue that the Internet is taking away from the personal contact we use to have with each other. But I think that there is so much about blogs and twitter and facebook and caring bridge sites that is good for our relationships these days. For me, this blog is such an outlet. Writing has always been enjoyable to me, and I've really enjoyed writing about my favorite thing - being Lily and Imogene's mom! (and your wife of course, Bill). Through other friends' blogs I have been able to stay connected despite many, many miles. Facebook has re-connected me with people I'm so happy to still call friend. And with sites like laylagrace.org, and the caring bridge sites, I feel like I can pray and hope and weep with people that I may not know, but could use the prayers nonetheless. I know I'm sappy and sentimental, but I'm not so sure that's such a bad thing.