Friday, May 29, 2009

Drew's Last Day of Preschool

Drew with his teachers, Miss Lori and Miss Brenda

Today was Drew's last day of preschool. After I dropped him off with little gifts of appreciation for his teachers I walked outside and promptly lost my composure. My baby is going to kindergarten! I can't believe it. Two years ago when he started at First Cov he was a very different little boy. Still a sweet, caring and gentle child, but just a little 3-year old. We knew he would be needing another heart surgery soon, but didn't know when. I was scared to send him into a classroom with a bunch of other kids and a bunch of other germs. As a matter of fact, he did end up in the hospital only three weeks after starting school. But his teachers and the director were so wonderful and encouraging to us. They remind me of some of the nurses we have had. It's their job to take care of our children, but they end up taking care of the whole family.

Maybe my tears were closer to the surface because I just visited some newborn babies recovering from heart surgery. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was in their shoes. That I couldn't even imagine what life would look like five years into the future, I could only focus on getting through one day at a time. And now, those five years have flown by! Sure there were weeks spent in the hospital, months spent making difficult decisions, many many hours in various therapies and doctor's appointments. But for the most part, we have a normal, happy life with two precious children. One of whom is going to kindergarten in the fall!

Drew's first day of preschool with Miss Talacey, September 2007

Be Grateful

Yesterday a friend and I went to visit some heart families that are currently in the hospital with their children.

First we went to UCSF to visit baby Rebekah. She is now two weeks old and just underwent her TOF repair. She is doing great and her parents are an amazing example of unshakable faith. While visiting with them, I ran into Max and Molly from Max's Miracles. Max was getting ready to go home after his heart cath. He is five, just like Drew, and has been through 8 heart surgeries in his short life. Yet, to look at him you'd never know. He was just cruising through the corridors in one of those Fisher Price cars.

Then we drove over to LPCH. Little Lucas had just undergone his BT-shunt the day before at five weeks old. He gave his parents quite the scare the night before, but was recovering well during our visit. I also got to check in with Victoria, sweet baby Moriah's mommy while I was there. This family has been in the hospital for 7 months now. They embody endurance, perserverance, and grace despite their extremely stressful circumstances.

It was an amazing day, spent with amazing people. People who are stronger than they even believe themselves to be. As we were heading for home my prayer was that God would help me to remember to be grateful for everything I have. That He would keep these families in my mind as I go about my very ordinary life and remember to lift them up in prayer, and treasure every moment spent with my family.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another Heart Anniversary

One year ago today, Drew was having his third open-heart surgery. This picture is what we saw after waiting 12 hours for him to come back from the OR.

I woke up early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Maybe my body remembers that a year ago I was up at this time. We were already at Stanford waiting in the PACU. Drew was dressed in his hospital gown, hungry, but waiting patiently. I was scared and anxious but trying not to show it.

It's funny, because I don't remember this day as one of the worst of my life, which is how I remember the day of his diagnosis. In fact, until today I wasn't even sad. I just couldn't believe how quickly the time had gone by, that it's already been a whole year. In some ways it seems like surgery wasn't that long ago, the wounds are still so fresh. But in other ways, it does seem like a lifetime ago. Look what Drew is doing today! He has so much more energy, he's gotten taller, he's been healthier (no hospitalizations for a whole year!), he's playing t-ball and soccer and going to kindergarten next year. This year has been one of incredible progress.

But this morning, as I sit alone in the quiet of my house, and think back to that day, it makes me cry. It was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. I hope I never have to do it again. But the reality of life with a heart kid is that you never know...Drew may need another surgery in the future, and if he does, I'll be right there with him doing it all over again.

This is Drew one year later-strong and happy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's hot!

It's finally cooled off! The high today was only 86, but the past three days have been at or over 100 degrees! Which is why it was not good timing for our A/C to break! And our car to break. And the creature that lives in our walls to wake us up every night. I guess it's never really good timing to have a creature living in your walls. Anyway, we've got various people coming to take care of each of these problems, so we're good.

Here's some pictures from the past few days:

Ava had pictures for dance on Saturday morning. How cute is she?

Right after Ava's pictures, Drew had a t-ball game in the 100 degree heat. And he was playing catcher.

We tried to keep cool by swimming at the gym and in our little dinosaur pool in the backyard

Monday afternoon Ava had dance class and Drew wanted to come with me. Look at him hanging out with all the little ballerinas...he's no fool!

And here's a little video of the kids splashing around outside:

Thanks for checking in on us...Have a good week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ava's Well Check

Today Ava had her well check. And yep, she's still tiny! She is now 27.5 pounds, which is the 17th percentile and 38 inches tall, which is the 66th percentile. So, she's still growing, just on her own curve. It shouldn't surprise anyone that she's doing things HER way.

Anyway, she did great at her appointment. She was a little leery about going to the doctor (I don't WAAAANNNNAAA go to the doctor!), but Drew came with us and showed her everything she'd have to do. I think it was good for both of them. Drew could see that not every trip to the doctor is for him to be poked and prodded and also feel good about showing Ava the ropes. And Ava did better since Drew was there to help.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I guess I'm a little late with my mother's day wishes, but I do hope everyone had a lovely day!

I had a great day with my little family.

First, my amazing husband made me a delicious breakfast and brought me my coffee...but that's pretty much every day. I told you he was amazing!

Then I got to snuggle with my kids and open the presents they made for me at preschool. Drew made me a beautiful vase with jewels on it, and Ava made me a wreath with a picture of her inside of it. And Dan ordered me a new sewing machine! It's on it's way as we speak. He also got me a massage and pedicure, which I can't wait to use!

We all went to church, where we heard a great message about how Mary chose to be a servant of God. After church we went to a Thai place for lunch, went miniature golfing, and then went swimming at the gym. It really was a great day spent with the people I love most!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ballerina Party

Yesterday was Ava's ballerina birthday party. It went really well and we had a lot of fun! She invited girls from her preschool class and her Sunday school class and we ended up with 10 little ballerinas. We had a Barbie ballerina movie on as they arrived and they also had some ballerina coloring pages to color. After everyone got here we had them put on their tutus and tiaras and Miss Morgan (Ava's dance teacher) gave a little ballet lesson. The girls were so cute! Most of them were really into it, but there were a couple who preferred to just watch.

After the lesson they had lunch. I made four kinds of tea sandwiches: peanut butter and jelly, cucumber and cream cheese, nutella and banana, and ham, swiss cheese & apple. We also had fruit and chips. They were all so well behaved at the table! After lunch we had cake and ice cream, then moved into the living room to open presents. Ava got lots of nice gifts and was very excited to open her presents!

Each little girl got to take a balloon, a ballerina cookie and her tutu and tiara home with her. Once the party was over Ava took a 3 hour nap and I was exhausted! I never had a girly birthday party before. It was so much fun to decorate the house with pink and sparkles and see all the frilly outfits. Having a girl is so much fun!

Keilani, Bailey, Ava and Drew coloring some ballerinas

Miss Morgan showing the girls some stretches

Bailey, Molly, Sierra, Keilani, Ava, Aisha and Isabelle

Mommy and Ava

Ava blowing out her candles

Opening some presents

Ava with her Nina Ballerina present

The ballerina cake

The cookie favors

The sandwiches

The tutus and tiaras

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ava is 3!

Yesterday was my baby girl's birthday. She is three-years-old! I can hardly believe it! Where did the time go? It wasn't that long ago that I was just figuring out life with two kids (it only took me about six months). Now she's sleeping in a big girl bed, wearing underwear, taking dance, learning to write, talking non-stop and filling our lives with joy. I love the passion she has for life, although sometimes she can be quite passionate about things like not eating her breakfast or purposefully irritating her brother. She is the sweetest girl, the first to comfort a sad friend or share what she has with Drew. Last night when she was opening presents, she let him open the purple ones for her, because that's his favorite color!

Yesterday we celebrated with a pancake breakfast (a birthday tradition at our house) and a trip to Incredible John's for lunch. I've heard Incredible John's is like Chuck E. Cheese, but cleaner and a little more expensive. Of course I've never brought my kids to either place before now, I was convinced they were too germy! But the food is good and it was practically empty on a Thursday for lunch. The kids had fun picking what pizza to eat from the buffet then playing lots of games and Ava even went on the mini roller coaster. Last night was Drew's spring sing at school (pictures to follow) so we had a late dinner and then Ava opened her presents. We got her a puppy that you have to take care of and she loves it, she even slept with him last night.

Today she is bringing cupcakes into her class and then she has a big ballerina party on Saturday. Should be fun, if I can get everything ready in time.

Not over-reacting!

Just in case anyone did think I was over-reacting by taking Drew in to see the doctor last week...

The little boy that died from the flu in Texas had an auto-immune disease and a heart defect. Does that sound like anyone we know?

I think that explains why I act like this!

**By the way, he still hasn't fully recovered from his cold. Ava and I got it from him and are already better. He is still coughing at night and sounds congested. It just takes him longer to get over things like this. :(