Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hope. And blueberries. --UPDATED

Hope is one of the most powerful, uplifting feelings. This week, we are buoyed by hope, and are going to ride that high and assume we're not going to have to stop. Sometimes I am frustrated by what we do know about the physical differences in Addy's brain, and the possibility that it is making me see everything through tinted glasses. We are quick to jump to being concerned, to wonder if a something is related to the vascular anomalies. But I'm getting better at not letting the "I wonder"s creep into my mind. And this week, we celebrated a major milestone that's going to have me riding high for the foreseeable future. My baby is a toddler. My baby is walking. Staggering around the house while she giggles and claps; it's as if she knows it's been an agonizing wait for us. And it's exactly how everyone reassured us it would happen - once it clicks, it clicks, and all of a sudden she's walking everywhere. Monday, she was a crawler. Today, my girl is walking around the whole house.

We went blueberry picking this week. It a bit hotter than we expected, and it was hard work.

UPDATE-- We're excited to go again once Chloe is home - I know she'll be a good, dedicated picker, and she calls Addy her "little blueberry (nose)" because her nose is the exact same color as a blueberry. Chloe is wonderful at reminding me to embrace what makes Addy uniquely her, instead of worrying about it. And one of our virtual friends, who also has a daughter with complex vascular malformations and lives in Maine wrote to me about the "strength of the blueberry." In Maine, they are overrun with blueberries, and many up there spend a lot of time trying to get rid of them - mowing, burning, stamping - yet every year, they return. Her message had me reflecting on our own inner blueberries, and how special it is that I can see my own daughter's strength - literally, as plain as the nose on her face.

But having a bounty of fresh blueberries to create delicious treats with? Totally worth all the hard work.

We did Livvy's 11 month photo shoot this week too.

And, finally, I have to quickly share that I was contacted by a family who has a daughter with SP. Did you forget what that is? OK, click here. Although they don't live locally, they travel up to Boston to be seen by the same team that follows Addy, and we are hoping to spend some time with them when they come up next month. I'm ecstatic.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The birthday surprise was everything a surprise is cracked up to be. And more.
Addy and I left Wednesday morning (only 45 minutes behind schedule!) to drive down to NJ. Because of school, Pete had to stay behind. The actual plans for where we would meet who and when were still up in the air, since so much depends on traffic. I did hit a bit of traffic, so instead of meeting Julie (and Chloe) at her house, we went directly to the salon where Julie was getting a trim, and I had snagged the appointment after hers. We walked in as Julie was paying for her cut, and I walked over to Chloe and said "Hi. I'm going to need a babysitter while I get my hair cut." It took Chloe a couple of seconds to look up and have surprise spread across her face. Addy immediately lunged into her arms, and they shared a long, 30 second hug. Addy never lifted her head from Chloe's shoulder, and Chloe's eyes welled up a bit. And I thought, "this is what being a mother is." Watching my girls hold each other, rocking and smiling. Erasing the past few weeks of separation with a hug. I didn't have my camera to capture the moment, but it's not one I'm going to forget for a while.
Chloe turned eleven this week. Eleven.
 Birthday Brunch - Coolata and Donuts.

Chloe spent the first half of her birthday with my sister Jessica, crafting games for the evening's party (Jess had to work in the evening, so she reserved the morning with Chloe). Then Chloe and I went with Julie and Kati for a birthday pedicure.
Birthday toes. Any guesses on Chloe's favorite color?

Chloe requested Kip's homemade Fettucini Alfredo for dinner, and ice cream cake. Dinner (and dessert) did not disappoint!
 Birthday rules: no one can eat their cake until the birthday person has taken their first bite. Enjoy your power for one day.

One of the best parts of visiting New Jersey - the constant supply of baby animals to play with. In the winter, it was horses, and this time was puppies.

 I decided the picture on the left looks like an add. Probably for clothing. Maybe Abercrombie and Fitch Kids?

Dog Whisperer? Eat your heart out, Cesar Milan.

Another awesome part of NJ? The "grandchildren's sink." It's the sink my mom had put in when they remodeled the kitchen, so that the grandchildren would have their own, size appropriate place to wash hands. Each visit, Addy gets closer and closer to being able to reach.
This time, we also worked on mastering the trash can.

Then it was time to head back north. Chloe stayed behind in NJ; summer time means endless horseback riding, interrupted only by oppressive 100-degree heat waves. 

We missed this guy.

It's blueberry picking season. We're ready.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Yep, you got it. A whole blog post on pigtails.

I put them in Addy's hair for the first time today. And my heart melted. So I snapped off enough photos for a blog post.

I went down to the basement to dig up some pigtailed throwbacks.

Chloe, 11 months
Chloe, 2 years
Me and my sisters, 1991. (I'm on the far right)

Addy and I are heading off in the morning to surprise the birthday girl by being in NJ (shhhhhhhhhh!). I'll have lots of pictures to post when we get back!