Monday, October 20, 2008

Hi, Miss Smarty Pants!

I must admit, I am very biased. I think my kids are beautiful, wonderful, smart little people. Liviana, of course is no exception. She is, by my mommy standards...a genius.

Little Miss has started waving and saying "Hi". It is the cutest thing ever. She says Mama and has many other jibber jabber sayings that I'm sure are quite profound and meaningful. I am so proud of my little sweet pea. I need to try to get her on video waving and saying "Hi". I will make that my new goal for the week.

I have always noticed how incredibly observant Liviana is. I wonder sometimes if her days laying in the isolette and crib at the hospital have made her skills of observation beyond those normally found in an infant. Maybe she learned how to maximize observation from because of being a passive observer in her previous environment. I realize how much she observes when I see her begin doing things she has watched Aria and Miles do. She sat for at least 10 minutes the other day trying her hardest to put Legos together. She was not just banging them on each other, she was turning them over, lining them up and trying to put them together. She also will put them, with success on the big Lego board, but has a harder time putting two blocks together.

Sunday, I heard her making her growling sounds and when I glanced at her, she had picked up the paw that goes with Miles tiger costume and was waving it around and growling at Miles. She has seen him with his costume on waving his hands, er paws, and growling and she was imitating him even though he had not had his costume on for several hours. So, stinking cute...and brilliant :).

She is pulling up everywhere and anywhere, beginning to cruise along furniture and this morning I caught her with one leg up on the bottom step trying her hardest to get the rest of the way up. She puts everything in her mouth and I will see her picking up something she shouldn't as it heads into her mouth I'll say, "Livianaaaa" and she will look at me, start chuckling and drop it. I wish everyone could see her adorable little face and smile.

Okay...enough of my bragging. I am just so proud of her. I am so struck each day by how "normal" she is. I never, at this time last year could have imagined more perfect, sweet, adorable, funny, precious, healthy little girl. We are so truly blessed.

She now has three teeth...the two on the bottom and one on top. She is still just exclusively breastfed. I have not started her on solids and she is doing great and growing well. I can tell she is getting taller. I think she is going to be a tall, skinny little girl, imagine that.

We have lots of snot going around the house right now. All of the kids have a lovely runny nose, a tell-tale sign that winter is approaching. Livi seems to have it the worst and I am hoping that she does not get pneumonia like the last time a little cold went around the house. She really did great last time so I'm optimistic we will get through this unscathed.

There is so much going on with Liviana's CDH pals. Carter made his appearance almost 2 weeks ago in Blue Devil/Tarheel land and is resting his lungs on ECMO and charming everyone with his rockstar hairstyle. Little Nayeli is expected to make her debut today or tomorrow and Sydney is not far behind. Little Ava Helmick reherniated and has had an extremely difficult time post-surgery. Please keep her mom Terri and Ava in your thoughts and prayers. I have added a link to their blog at the right. We also had lunch and an extended afternoon with Angle Elli's mom last week. It was wonderful to meet her and I can see what an amazing mother she is and how lucky Elli is to have her.

More to come soon.....


Friday, October 3, 2008

Changing of Seasons and Memories

Fall is in the air. Upon the first glimmer of fall about four weeks ago I found myself feeling very emotional. The change in the air, the sound of leaves, the smell of fall, all brought me straight back to this time of year last year. We are coming up on one year since we got Liviana's diagnosis (October 12) and I never would have thought it would have impacted me as it has.

It is amazing to me how something so simple as a season change can force so many emotions and memories to the surface. I could not escape it. I found myself right back in Wichita, first getting our CDH diagnosis, crying all the time, fearing for the life of our daughter at every minute of every day, not knowing where she would be cared for, not knowing how we were financially going to handle all of it, not knowing what the future held for our family that was to become 5. Would we still become 5 or remain 4 with only memories of Liviana? I remembered Rainbow House and our appointments in Omaha, trying to find a home, trying to stay positive for Miles and Aria despite my overwhelming fears and anxiety. I had a friend recently ask about Halloween and what the kids did last year. I had to stop and think for a minute before remembering that Halloween was spent in Rainbow House while we looked for a place to live.

It really took me several days to fight against the constant memory of last year. As the days have gone on and the season gets more and more evident I have been distracted from the negative emotions by Liviana's smile, her laugh, her keen observation of her environment, her crawling (that started this past Saturday) and her growing butterball belly. Liviana co-sleeps with us and I am replacing those memories from last year with the memory of her sweet little hand on my arm at night as she snuggles close. I am focused on this amazing little girl who has no idea the powerful impact her short life has had on us.

Next year at this time I may still be taken back to those challenging and emotional days, and that is fine. I know however that new memories will be created this year, of her crawling, her growing, her overwhelming desire to eat the grass outside when she is in the yard. I will never forget the challenging times but I am so amazingly grateful and blessed that we are able to create new memories that are so joyful each and every day.