Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving thanks for 24 hours of normal

Eden's heart condition inflicted our entire family. Not only was Eden subject to the rare diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and a heart transplant, but I became the rare mother of this type of child; Brian, the rare father, and so on. I have mentioned this struggle before in a former post about medical orphans here.

In the last year or so, we've found a few places where we are not so different. The Children's Hospital Heart Institute has provided nurses and doctors who are familiar with our medical issues, as well as a few of the families we've met there that have also walked down the transplant road.

Another HUGE place of comfort, for me, has been in the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation's (CCF) list serve. For the last two years, I have read, written, celebrated and cried with families all over the country/world who struggle with Eden's same (or former) heart condition. Not all of these families need or choose a heart transplant, nor do they have the same cause for the condition, but many of our stories are the same. I have never felt such a family of support like this one, especially amongst relative strangers.

Through this list serve I have befriended the Altieri family. Jackson is their three year old son (just weeks younger than Eden) who had dilated cardiomyopathy before he was transplanted in Boston at 18 months old (about a year before Eden). His mother, Nicole, has been a wonderful resource and shoulder to cry on. We are friends on Facebook, share emails and phone calls, but not until we were in the northeast this October did we get to meet in person. Eden and I had the pleasure to meet and spend the night with their family.

This year, I am thankful for an amazing group of supportive family and friends, for Eden's continued health and progress, for a healthy and very active baby in my womb... and I am especially thankful for a family just like our own, who spent 24 hours with us and helped Eden and I feel normal - syringes, anti-bacterials, medicine schedules, fears, tears, hopes, constant picture taking and all.

Thank you, Nicole... you don't even know how much.

New Haircut Smiles

Nothing looks better than an adorable, freshly cut bob on this cute face.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Miss Independence

This is what I found in my kitchen the other morning...

And this is what I image was going on in her head:

Wake up - check
Go potty - check
Take off pajamas - check
Make self breakfast - check
Now what am I forgetting?

Then I hear:

"Mommy, I'm cold."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday Funday

After a weather bound weekend at home, I finally had to kick these three characters out of the house. I knew they'd find a way to have fun.

Later, I hear Eden and Brian talking in the other room. Eden asks, "Why do I have to go to school tomorrow?" and Brian replies, "because it's Monday. You go to school, I go to work,..." Eden interrupts, "...and Mommy goes shopping!"

How many times do I have to explain that gestation is a full-time job? They just don't understand. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

This week's quotes from The Big Girl

5. "Mommy, what do you do all day while I'm at school? I know you just go back home."

4. "Ashlyn is my new BFF."

3. "Mommy, I NEED to go to Starbucks!"

2. "I love you more than the color blue." (I'm thinking that's a lot, but not as much as the color pink.)

1. She put on her butterfly wings backwards - on her chest - and said, "this is how butterflies wear their boobs".

Really, she did.

All but the last were stated while driving home from school. What is she learning there?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Camden, Maine in Autumn


.: Visiting my dearest childhood friend, Amanda, and feeling a part of myself become whole again in her presence.

.: Watching our kids play as though they've known each other forever.

.: Soaking in the beauty of their surroundings. If you've never been to Maine, you've gotta check it out.

.: Spending four consecutive days and nights with my husband (a rarity last month), including a date night ( that NEVER happens).

.: Enjoying ourselves so much that I forgot to get out my camera... except for the afternoon we took this hike. Amanda's kids call this Santa's house, so we wrote letters of our Christmas wishes and left them under the door.

The best part... all Eden asked for was a baby brother/sister. (I included the word "healthy", for my wish.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Selling honey to the bees

Eden came up with the idea of being a Monarch Butterfly all on her own. We have no idea where it came from... and in fact, we tried to encourage other costumes - I personally thought she would be a cute cowgirl. But there was no budging her. After searching many stores for the right combination of orange and black colored wings and antennae, I finally asked, "Eden, why do you want to be a Monarch butterfly?" to which she clearly replied, "because I want to sell honey to the bees".

Of course.
... huh?

After about three blocks of trick-or-treating with her friends Sydney and Conner, she actually told me that she was ready to go home because she thought she had enough candy. What!? What 3 year old says that?!

Here she is enjoying what was probably her favorite part of the night... passing out candy.

Oh, and as promised, here's how we dressed up little Two. I couldn't help the temptation.