Monday, May 30, 2011

Catching Up More ... Happy Memorial Day 2011!

Here are some more pictures of Lily flying her kite at the family church retreat.
She got the hang of it pretty fast - and she had a great time!

Imogene is sitting around the campfire here singing. And by singing I mean, singing. She was "following along" and swaying and singing. SO serious about it. Of course she just wanted to do what Maggie and Caroline were doing. 

I think this is the part where Lily says "I just remembered I don't like marshmallows." 

And here we are ... the wheel day parade!
Let me back up a little bit. 
Mommy and Daddy had the wonderful pleasure to sneak away for two days 
to celebrate our EIGHTH anniversary this weekend. Thanks so much to  Naney for coming and keeping the girls - who were apparently quite the pair all weekend. Lily was a great big sister, and Imogene only really got upset once - when it was time for her playdate with Lola and their cats to be over! We went up to a really nice Hyatt "resort" on the Chesapeake Bay. Complete with a wonderful pool with lounge chairs under an umbrella (thank goodness since I am NOT ready to get sun yet - or ever. I instantly burn. Instantly. We have many, many stories to prove that.) We had two great dinners, laughed at two really bad lounge singers, enjoyed seeing other peoples' kids playing and having fun, missed our's but not quite enough to give up the time to ourselves. 
ANYWAY, we returned home in time for lunch with the girls and to get ready for the Wheel Day Parade. Imogene and Naney met us there - it was really hot, Imogene needed a nap, and she hasn't been feeling so hot this weekend. In less than 30 minutes, Bill and I came up with "SuperPink" for Lily's entry into the parade. Had we not been late and grouped with the "Fashionably Late" crowd, for which there were no awards (read gold ribbon), I am SURE she would have won something. She looked cute. Which you can see below.

poor kid, we are SO behind in getting her a bike that is actually age-appropriate. She just never shows a ton of interest, she's never really gotten going on her tricycle, and we just don't have a great place to ride around our house. But she really, really needs a bike her size. We will work on that this summer...
especially because it looks like we're going to have a lot of time to kill. 
We had planned to take a trip to the pool today. But the 
Yep, closed. Indefinitely. Apparently there was some sort of electrical fire there last night.
Thank goodness no one was there and no one was hurt. But it took out part of the house that is used for the lifeguards and part of the men's bathroom. And the electricity, plumbing and hot water. 
Apparently it may only take 2-3 weeks to get it open, but I'm not holding my breath. Instead I'll be sweating a lot. It is HOT here ... upper 90's already!!! 
So we went to Home Depot, the grocery store, and the mall for the girls to play at the indoor area (which conveniently also houses Chickfila - mommy's no dummy.) 
It was an all-American Memorial Day alright!

And then we did this!

Lily watches this show (How many times have I started a sentence with that?) where they do a craft ...
she saw this - silly animal headbands - so we had a silly afternoon with doggie ears.
And then they played doggies for a while. Pretty cute. 
And at bedtime Imogene kept doing the little puppy "whine." 
She's a hoot that kid!

Bill wanted her to go upstairs with him today and she wouldn't at first. So he did his best crying act upstairs, and she kept saying "Daddy khy" "Daddy khy" ... "I coming Daddy. I comming. No sad Daddy, I coming. Give Daddy big kug. Big kug Daddy."
All the way up the stairs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Time Fun

Bubbles with lola

She loves walking around this tree on the playground at school. Here she is "singing" ... or loud talking or something ... but who knows what she is saying or who she thinks is listening!

Another favorite hangout on the playground.

She has started making 'friends' lately ... she is obviously in love with the friends that lily has, but she's really started playing with more kids on her own. She has seen Annie (in the middle) a 100 times, but this day she really 'took' to her - and now asks for her all the time! 

Yes, that is a TV in the grocery store cart. No I did not worry one minute about that - it was such an easy trip to the store - except the part where I felt like I was driving a Mini around the grocery store. They were in SHOCK. And VERY well behaved!

Heading to Will's Graduation from Preschool. She looks really grown-up.

One of the activities at the retreat this past weekend was kite flying. Lily absolutely loved running and flying her kite. She did a great job! I have better pictures on my other camera - this was on my phone! 

We're Okay!

So two of my dear friends and loyal blog readers checked in today to see if we were doing okay. It's been WAY too long since I posted. Honestly things have just been busy - good busy - but busy. We went on a great family retreat with church this past weekend, Lily had her last soccer game of the season, we are starting to get some warm days again ... we are all coming out of the winter / spring fog and ready for a fun summer.  And yes, I've been way busy with Stella & Dot. Which is great, but I need to make more time for the blog. I promise, promise I will.

A funny story. Reading books tonight and Lily says, "That penguin is just a regular mom." What kind of mom am I? "You are a jewelry selling mom!" Is that okay with you? "Yeah Mom - you can buy me stuff now." She went on to tell me that I was GREAT and she is really glad I'm her mom and she wouldn't want another mom. I think I must have looked panicked that she was harboring some ill-feelings toward S&D!
I know that someday she's going to see that being a "jewelry-selling mom" has been so much more than financial for all of us. I know one day she'll realize what a LIFE-CHANGING experience this is for me every single day.  It really has brought me out of what I thought would be a world full of nothing but what was going on for the girls. Which is FINE, really I know what a gift it is that I am home with them. But I have a CAREER again, and truly I never thought that was going to happen for a long while.

Imogene is just plugging along. Her speech is really taking off, although she's having a hard time with certain consonants and switching a lot of sounds. But she talks all day - and people understand her a lot more than I thought they would! She seems a lot younger than Lily did just before she turned 2 1/2 ...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Here are some pictures from Mother's Day. It was a really great day, and in a couple of weeks I probably won't even remember how much I wanted to leave lunch because Lily was being such a complete and total pain! Bill always makes me feel special, but he makes it a big deal to do so on Mother's Day every year. I'm a lucky mom and wife.

It is so hard to take a picture with Imogene because she wants to do exactly what Lily is doing. 

But this one turned out amazing I think! It's one of my favorites ever. 

Lily's new thing is to pose with her head all "posy" on her shoulder.

So of course who runs up next and says "me, me, me" " my tuhn" She's such a mess. 

With Daddy feeding the ducks. Our Mother's Day tradition. 

Very excited about throwing pieces of bread off the edge of the railing. And not nerve-wracking at all for their parents. 

Pretty cool sky. 

We had some time on our hands, so we FINALLY took Lily to get up close with her favorite thing in D.C. The Washington Monument. Of course it was worth of the head-pose.

When she saw this picture she said, "oh that's me saying OH MY GOSH because I can't believe I'm finally getting to see the monument my very own self."

The sky started getting a little ominous. 
We were in the car about 2 minutes before it started pouring down rain. 

Lily is trying to stand as tall as the monument. And Imogene is still holding the bread for the ducks. She would NOT give up that we would feed them again. And we did! This time a new group of ducks - a mom, dad, and six baby ducklings! There is nothing cuter than baby ducks. or Imogene screaming "ucks. Baby ucks. Beahd for baby ucks."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Imogene Times 3

Here she is on the pony!

Some recent beautiful shots that Tracie took of her recently.
Congrats to Tracie, who has started her own photography biz!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Mother's Day Letter

My friend from college who has an autistic son, posted this today on Facebook. It made me cry. In a good way, but it made me cry. I truly believe that we were picked as Imogene's parents, because God knew we could do it! It also hit home because I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I'm looking forward to the day I can understand it when Imogene says, "I love you." (By the way -she rode a pony at the school bazaar today. Our friends took a picture - can't wait to see it!)

The Special Mother by Erma Bombeck
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit. This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth Selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
 "Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew." "Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia." "Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."
Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a handicapped child." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy." "Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel." "But does she have the patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she'll handle it."
"I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of it's own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?" God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life Because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air. God smiles.
"A mirror will suffice."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Still Streaking

Another day down without chocolate. As I just told my friend Tiffany, who is joining me without chocolate - and Alexis who is also joining! - this is NOT easy. I had no idea how much chocolate I ate every day. If there was some way to figure out if I was addicted - you'd probably find that I was in fact addicted.

We've had a pretty uneventful week ... I wish I was on twitter because Lily and Imogene do the funniest things day-to-day. I can just never remember them when I sit down to write on the blog.
Imogene has started wearing the kinesiotape on her arm and shoulder now. She's starting to lose a little bit of her external rotation in her shoulder. We'd really like to see her do more supinating and pronating of her arm.

Lily had "Mother's Day" at school yesterday. It was a lovely tea party, and I got to eat off of a plate that Lily drew for me! (I will get a picture up soon.) Of course I couldn't help but notice that all but three of the kids drew actual pictures of flowers and rainbows and people, and Lily just scribbled. It's fine - she wrote Mommy and Lily really well considering how she was writing in the beginning of the year. It was just the tiniest bit sad for me. I don't plan on her being an artist or anything - and I love her to pieces, but I know that part of why she doesn't do that stuff is because she just can't get the pen to work the right way! And that makes me sad for her. But anyway. It was a sweet morning and Lily was really proud of all of it, which made me so happy and proud for her.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New streakers

Thanks to Grunny - who is exercising longer each day, Charlie who is forgoing his morning talk radio show, and Maggie who is giving up gum - for joining us in the streak for stroke!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 1

Imogene hasn't napped much for me in over a month. She did yesterday and Friday and then not so much today. That made my giving up chocolate pretty hard. But it made me realize that a lot of times I open the cabinet and eat chocolate even when I don't want to! I've been so frustrated by the nap thing.
Here's why - she is still needing a nap and still really tired. She fell asleep sitting in my lap at 6 pm.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Streak for Stroke

May is Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month. (I believe it is all stroke awareness month - not actually sure.)  The Children's Hemiplegia & Stroke Awareness group is encouraging people to "streak for stroke" - meaning do something every day to be more positive in your life ... a streak. I missed the first two days, but I'm giving up chocolate. If you know me, you may know that this is going to be HARD. Especially if you know how much chocolate I have in my pantry right now. I absolutely cannot turn down chocolate, I eat it all the time. And it's been actually bothering me how often I go to the pantry for a snack, and get something sweet. So I'm giving it up. It's not going to be fun, and maybe some people think it's not that hard.  But trust me, this is going to be hard. But then I think of how hard it is for Imogene to do the simplest things that we take for granted every day, like hold a yogurt cup - big challenge this morning. Yogurt EVERYWHERE. How hard it was for her to walk through a straight line of plastic rings at therapy this morning. How hard it is to do something simple like walk up the stairs without a railing to hold onto, with her left hand. So I'm giving up my absolute favorite food group.

Bill is going to write Imogene a little note every day before he leaves for work or before he goes to bed.
(his sounds much nicer than mine doesn't it?). But Imogene loves chocolate SOOO much, that one day she'll appreciate what I did in her honor. :)

Want to streak with us? Join us! It can be anything - exercise every day, write every day, give up a bad habit, call an old friend every day, pick a flower from your garden every day ... whatever you can do that would make a little change in your life.

And be sure to let me know what you are doing!