Thursday, November 20, 2008
I just bought myself an old jar.
If I could, I would stick Eden in it and save her just like she is today. I would save those big blue eyes she got from her daddy that are so excited to see me in the morning. I would save that smile that takes up half her face when she's talking on the phone with someone she loves. I would save that little dance she does when she spins in a circle and sometimes kicks for extra emphasis. Most of all, I would save that feeling of pure joy I get when she talks to me. And. She. Is. Funny.
Instead, I am writing down the funny things she has said on little slips of paper and putting them in this jar so that I will never, ever forget this feeling. The first entries are as follows:
1. In the car, while being strapped in, she says to me, "Mommy, sure didn't forget something?"
2. In the car, while we are pulling down the driveway, she then says, "Mommy, do you know where going?"
3. Still in the car, after we've gotten down the road a little way, she asks, "Mommy, do you know how get there?"
Ah... I laughed and laughed and she had no idea why.
The next one is more of a story (it will go on a slightly larger piece of paper):
...We are in the living room, I am on the couch, Eden is playing on the floor and she starts to grunt. I ask, 'Eden, do you need to have a bowel movement (well, I really said 'poopie', but wasn't sure what was more appropriate for this blog)?" and she says no, of course. A couple of seconds later she starts to grunt a little more. I calmly ask again and she clearly says no. Then I ask, 'Eden, are you lying (now, in hindsight I would say 'fibbing' or something more kid friendly, but it definitely wouldn't make for such a good story)?" She stops playing and looks at me like I am the craziest person she knows, then says, "no mommy, Lions say roaaaaaaar, I said uuuuugh!"
(A few minutes later I convinced her to sit on the toilet, she promptly produced her first #2 in the pot.)
...Side note: Why didn't anyone ever warn me about taking a two year old into a public restroom? The commentary! Don't worry, I won't give you the specifics; but I will warn any new mother out there - believe me, this is the last place you want a play-by-play announcement of your actions....
These are the sort of things I don't want to forget.
Oh, and her phone conversations. I definitely will put a few of those beauties in the jar. How she says, "hold on a second", "can you hear me?" and "I'll have to call you back".
Unfortunately, my favorite thing she is doing right now can not be captured in a jar and I have yet to catch it on video (oh but I will) - the way she sings in the bath tub and shower. Let me rephrase that, the way she YELLS songs without inhibition. Is this some sort of innate human trait that we loose after we've been laughed at one too many times? If so, I'm going to keep my chuckles to myself because I want to hear this sound for many years to come.
Boy, do I love this girl!
at 8:07 AM
Monday, November 17, 2008
How does Eden spend her days?
As most of you have gathered, Eden is limited a bit. However, none of her limitations have to do with her heart or transplant recovery. She is completely capable of running to her heart's content (in the spiritual sense) and spending as long as she likes at high altitudes. They even say older kids can resume contact sports at 3 months! Yikes! Unfortunately, her limits are associated with getting sick and because she is immune compromised it is much more likely. The mechanism works kinda like this: her immune system is suppressed to keep her white bloods cells at bay. She does have some in order to fight infection, but rejection occurs when those white blood cells are revved up to fight a cold and then move on throughout the body and recognize a foreign heart. It is a tricky balance... when she does get sick (which is inevitable) the hope is that she can kick it with the immunity she has and leave the heart alone. Rejection will be an issue for the rest of her life. So, it all comes back to... "just don't get sick!"
There are no hard and fast rules (unfortunately) regarding her exposure. We try hard to keep her away from crowds and busy public places. She does not generally play at indoor kids play areas like at the mall or McDonald's. I hate shopping carts, but use them out of necessity - only after a very thorough wipe down. And, of course, we limit her exposure to sick people, especially kids. This has ruled out day care or preschool for awhile.
Now, you ask again... what does she do?
Fortunately, she gets to spend two days of the week with this little guy - Zander, with whom we share a wonderful nanny - Nicole.
The other 3 days of the week are spent with Chaco and I. As you can see from the pictures... she may be getting bored with us. I am a little concerned about a long winter ahead and keeping her stimulated, socialized, and germ-free. The poor child attaches onto other young children like glue (watch out for her in the super market, she may grab your kid by the ankles and never let go!). For what it's worth, the time I have with her could not be any more entertaining (for me).
decorating Chaco's cone
What do you do all day?
at 9:32 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Is Eden toilet-trained?
Oooooo, how I wish I could say yes! Alas, I cannot. I am probably the worst potty-trainer ever because I don't care as much as I should. Well, that's not exactly true, but we've had a few other issues that have taken precedence lately. There is no rush to be trained for looming preschool and she seems to do well as long as I constantly remind her. But I guess she is not technically "toilet-trained" if her parents are the ones who provide the opportunity. As Amanda said to me recently, "congratulations, you are now potty-trained." And she is right. I would venture to say that Eden is pretty darn close... well, sorta close.
However, if you offer an incentive... Eden is willing to negotiate. Maybe. Edible incentives were never very enticing - toys only slightly better - and then she discovered BUBBLE GUM! This kid will do just about anything for bubble gum. Today, she was working so hard, I was worried she might loose a kidney in the pot!
Now I am in the market for one of these:
at 10:42 AM
Monday, November 10, 2008
We started Thursday night with dinner out (what a treat!). We went to a little Peruvian restaurant with the Bogans, rose our glasses to Eden, and sat back as our children ran free in the empty restaurant. The Peruvian food was for us and seeing Colton was all Eden's pleasure. I was kicking myself for forgetting my camera as they fed each other! Watch out Zander, there is an even younger boy moving in.
Friday we had a family dinner at home. My brother, Lance, was in town and so he, Aaron, Leslie, and Zach joined us. I went a little overboard with insisting on either red or heart shaped food. On the menu were red stuffed bell peppers, almond rice pilaf, baked apples, and chocolate chip red velvet cake. Oh, and don't forget the red wine. Yummy, heart filled, and festive!
At what age do you have to stop kissing your cousin?
Thank you, Eden, for making your parents smile this weekend... and everyday.
at 7:56 AM
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Today marks Eden's 3 month anniversary post-transplant, otherwise known as her 3 month heart birthday! It brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it... monumental. There is no denying that it has been a tough road, but I can only feel gratitude and love today.
Gratitude to our donor family, which we hope to know one day and whom I can't help but realize are also marking an anniversary today. May they be able to accept our appreciation, hear Eden's story and feel some sense of positive connection to their loss. They gave us a gift even greater than a heart; they gave us more time.
Three months is a celebration , more than one or two and even probably four because Eden is officially free to travel. She will decrease from twice a week appointments to just one and for some transplant kids it is a milestone that allows a move back home (if they live out of town) or a return to school. Eden has been restricted from travel - outside an hour of the hospital - for 8 months (not including our hiatus to the ranch a couple of weeks ago!). Yes, I know she is just two years old and not quite the seasoned jet setter, but for two parents who met in Bolivia this freedom is significant... monumental.
In the mean time, however, I must admit that I have fallen in love. I have fallen in love with my neighbors and the kids on our block. I have fallen in love with my house and it's outlet for creativity. I have fallen in love with running, baking, writing, and the coffee shop at the end of our street. But most of all, I have fallen in love with our family and friends a million times over. You who came to our side at the hospital, who cooked and cleaned for six weeks, who have called, written, sent packages, donated, prayed, and never let us forget that we aren't alone.
Tonight we will celebrate. To the donor family, to the gifts of our surroundings, to all of you, to Eden's great will, and to more time... cheers.
at 12:33 PM
Monday, November 3, 2008
Eden wore her monkey costume all day Friday... I mean all day, 6:30am to 10:00pm - including her nap. So she obviously got pretty warm and would periodically take off the top, revealing her "Obama Rocks" shirt underneath. She quickly learned what it said and practiced throughout the day... Obama Rocks, O B A M A, and intermittenly would throw in a Trick-or-Treat!
Well, that evening while trick-or-treating she got pretty shy. We would walk up to a house and she would just freeze. Occationally, we would hear a whispered trick-or-treat. At one of the last houses, during the stare off between she and our neighbor, I said, "Eden, you know what to say, you've been saying it all day." So she looked at me, looked at the nice lady and said "OBAMA Rocks!"
We all had a good laugh!
at 8:44 AM