Into the New Year

The miracle of Christmas may just be that we made it through December.  Between our big cardiology visit, Lily’s birthday, a giant ice storm that made our power go away, Christmas and New Years, I’m honestly just a little happy that we are into January and a fresh start at a fresh year.

Rocking her Stephanie Tanner style pigtails

Rocking her Stephanie Tanner style pigtails

Don’t take that last paragraph as complaining, because the truth is, I love December.  Everything about December and Christmas just make me happy and light hearted.  Each night, as I walked the dog around our neighbourhood, with more lights going up every single night and The Nutcracker Suite playing in my ear, I ended up coming home feeling happier and more joyous then when I had left.  I know that, “Christmas spirit”, sounds incredibly cliche, but I really do believe that it’s cliche for a reason – because you feel it, it’s true and all of the movies and television specials and commercials are trying to package it when you really can’t, it really does just dig a little hole inside of you.  At least it does for me.

Lily’s birthday was a great success.  As I had mentioned in a previous post, we are always overwhelmed with how generous our people are to Lily on her birthday and while we love all of the gifts she normally gets, we asked people this year to consider bringing a toy to donate instead.  In the end, I think we ended up with more gifts than if people had just been bringing something for Lily, and that’s why we are just so lucky with the people we know – they just go above and beyond every single time.   Sadly, Lily’s party this year seemed to coincide with the arrival of the great sickness of 2013 and our party numbers dwindled down to just a small handful by the day of.  And, as it always goes, this was the year that we had planned something thinking that the kids we know would all be old enough to really enjoy it.  We hired a company, Pawsitively Pets, to come in and run an animal birthday party show and with them they brought a small zoo’s worth of creatures to play with: we had a bunny, a ferret, a hedgehog, a corn snake, a tortoise, and Jess’s favourite – a sugar glider.  They actually bring about 10 animals and while you can request which ones you would like, what actually shows up that day is a surprise, which was nice.  It actually worked out very well in the end, as the circle slowly got bigger as the adults traded places with the kids and we all got to enjoy some hands-on play time.

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Getting some face time with a frilled dragon

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Lily is very into animals right now

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We may have had to physically remove the sugar glider from Jess’s arm – they had a bond

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I’m holding a snake. I’ll never do this again, but I faced my fear and am super proud of this moment (less proud of the uncaptured moment when it moved and I screamed)

Lily's 3 birthday meant a 3rd amazing cake our friend Theresa - my personal favourite birthday tradition

Lily’s 3 birthday meant a 3rd amazing cake our friend Theresa – my personal favourite birthday tradition

It turns out that neither Jess or myself are great at being prepared for a natural disaster.  The night before the ice storm, we took a couple of small precautions: we plugged Lily’s pump in early in case the power went out, we made sure our phones were charged, I found the flashlight (not the batteries – just the flashlight!), but we didn’t look at how much food we had in the house that didn’t require an oven or microwave, if we had any cash on us incase we couldn’t use an ATM, if the flashlight had batteries.  So, when we woke up the next morning and realized that we may be in for more than just a few hours, we started to get a little worried.  Luckily, our lovely friends, the Randall’s, took pity on us and opened their doors, for the second year in a row (last year our furnace died on boxing day!), and welcomed us into their home! We had a great night with them, watching movies and just relaxing, before decided to start our Christmas holiday’s a couple of days early.  Jess’ dad lives outside of Toronto and still had power.  Since we had planning on going there anyways on Christmas eve, I called my boss and moved some vacation days around and we just made our way there instead.  It meant a little more running around, getting our last minute shopping done somewhere else, but it also meant having a baby-sitter for Lily while we did that running around so it worked out wonderfully.  It was also just nice to spend a couple of extra days up there, enjoying the quiet and getting spoiled by Jess’ dad who took extra good care of us.  I was more than a little sad to pack up on Boxing Day to head for home – even if we did have power to greet us!

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Hanging out with Hef. I’m so glad we caught this moment, because this ended up being Hef’s last Christmas with us.

And now we’re here, into the 2014, a year that will hopefully bring some changes to our family….at the very least, a finished basement to be ready for any family additions that would like to come our way.  While both Jess and I are ready to give ourselves over to Children’s Aid and ask them to build our family, this time of just the 3 of us is also incredibly wonderful and we try not to loose sight of that.  Lily has truly blossomed in the last few months – she’s interacting with us, and with her toys, in ways that we haven’t seen before and her baby noises are quickly becoming a thing of the past as she sits and has very in-depth conversations with her new Hug Me Elmo (thanks Grandpa!).  For the first time, when you put her next to her cousins, she looks like a little girl and not the youngest baby of the bunch.  We can only hope that 2014 just keeps rocking out the milestones the way that 2013 did!

So much beauty that caused so much devestation

So much beauty that caused so much devestation

A Great December

Guys, it’s a good thing that it’s almost the new year, because I totally need to make a resolution that I’m going to update you all a lot more often.  Lately I’ve just been so busy that by the time I can sit down and write a post so many things have happened and I’m scared I’m going to forget something.

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First – it was my birthday and now I’m 2! That meant it was totally time to party.  The mom’s planned a fun afternoon for me and my friends – there was a slide and a ball pit, cars to drive, lots of food and then cake! Can I tell you that I’m seriously digging cake.  My Theresa made the most delicious cake ever (because that’s what she does) and it was so good that I actually tried to eat the plate!

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I got to see so many cool people – my birthday twin and my BFF (Daniele & Shanelle) came, even though they’re so much older and they brought their friends Sarah and Cameron, who were so much fun, and they even let Rachel and Tammy come along too.  I got to spend a lot of time with my friend Caleigh too, who is the same age as me but knows how to run and walk.  Even still, she slows down so that we can play together – she’s awesome! Mostly, it was just the best birthday ever! I can’t wait until next year.

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It was more than just my birthday party that was super cool, it was also my birthday present from the mom’s…they bought me a puppy! It’s a boy puppy and he’s black and fluffy and the mom’s say he’s going to be really big (which is better for me because then he’s kind of like a pony!).  There was some debate about his name because Mama C was telling Mommy not to be ridiculous, but I think that in the end Mommy won because we’re all calling him Sprinkles now.  Mama C looks a little embarrassed when she has to call him when we’re out for walks but Mommy just laughs and laughs so I think it’s okay.  Sprinkles and I haven’t spent too much time together yet, because he’s a little bouncy and bite-y still (the mom’s say that’s because he’s teething like I am), but sometimes he just sits nicely and lets me pet him (and by pet him I actually mean pull on his fur or try and stick my fingers up his nose).  The cat doesn’t really like him, but she’s outnumbered so too bad for her!

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I had my latest check-up with my cardiologist at Sick Kids last week.  I had to be sedated so that they could do an ECHO and look and see how my heart is doing.  The mom’s were super happy because even while I was on the medication that makes me sleepy, my oxygen sats stayed as high as 96%, which is pretty incredible.  And it turns out that it’s because I am incredible! Dr. Dipchand says that my hearts looks amazing! She confirmed that there is no blood flow at all coming from my left lung, but I’m handling it really well and there are no signs that my pulmonary pressures are high.  All of this means that I don’t have to go back and see Dr. Dipchand for ONE WHOLE YEAR! She and the mom’s talked some more about some down the road, long term stuff, but for now, unless I start showing signs that something is going funny, then she said there is no point in coming in to take another picture to show us the same thing.   It may have been the best birthday/christmas gift ever!!

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Speaking of Christmas – I just wanted to tell you all that I hope you have a very very very merry time with all of your family or friends or friends who are family.  I know that I’m very very lucky to have incredible people in my life who make the holiday’s so happy and amazing and I just hope that you do too! Plus, I met this Santa guy and he seems to know what’s going on….so maybe talk to him too and he’ll sort you out…

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Quick Catch Up

After I’ve been sick, the mom’s get really happier when I start to feel better.  Not just because I’m feeling better and they don’t like to see me sick and hurting, but mostly because I jump from zero to 60 in a matter of hours.  I go from being clingy and cranky to kicking my feet, rocking all around and smiling from ear to ear before they even know what’s going on.

I had been feeling really sick over the Christmas break.  I had a cold that just didn’t want to go away.  I was coughing and stuffy and feverish and I just didn’t want to be put down at all.  It didn’t matter who was holding me (which was kind of nice for the mom’s because at least they could pass me off when they had to do things), but I was only happy when I was snuggled into someone’s chest.  The mom’s were sick too and we just kept making each other miserable, especially at nights when we were staying at Grandpa’s – we were all sharing one bedroom and so when the mom’s would cough, I would wake up and cry and then I would only sleep if they were holding me, so then they ended up staying up all night with me, which made it harder for them to get better.  It was a very bad cycle.  But then we finally got home and after another couple days of good rest (and just in time for Mama C to go back to work), I started to feel better all around.

It wasn’t really so bad, except for the night that we finally got to have our Christmas dinner with Gramma and Pa, and Auntie CC, Uncle Rico, Thor and my almost-here cousin.  I was miserable that night, even though I got some very cool presents, including the biggest Slinky I have ever seen!!  While I couldn’t really appreciate it that night, now I love it so so much!

Beyond actually being sick, I’m doing really well.  I really think that my vision is getting better in leaps and bounds.  Lately I’ve been looking up more and making a lot more eye contact.  I love rolling over and seeing the mom’s in the morning and smiling when I see their faces.  Sometimes I still need to be encouraged to look up and see what’s happening around me, but we can definitely see an improvement and so we’re all pretty happy!  I didn’t gain a lot of weight between December and January, so we need to work a little bit harder on making me grow faster, but hopefully before we know it, I’ll be breaking 20 pounds.  As long as I get there before my soon-to-be-here cousin, then I’ll be happy with how I’m doing.

Sticky mess and saying Thanks

This week Mama C had to google, “How to get vaseline out of my child’s hair?”  You would be surprised how many hits came up! You see, I have a little case of cradle cap that keeps rearing it’s ugly head.  A few weeks ago, Mommy tried using olive oil, but didn’t wash it out very well and Mama C didn’t notice until she and I were at Sick Kids for an appointment and she took off my hat.  She was not impressed.

So this week, when we noticed that it was getting a little worse, google told Mama C to try using vaseline for 10 minutes and then washing it out.  Well, we washed it out 3 times that night and then Mommy tried to wash it out ANOTHER 3 times in the morning and I still looked like Danny Zuko from Grease.  But this time, the joke was on Mommy because she had to take me to our music class looking all gross.  In the end, google finally helped and we ended up using olive oil again, letting it soak for 10 minutes and then washing it all out with dish soap! It worked, and after washing with regular shampoo as well, my hair is actually softer then ever!

Luckily that was the most traumatic part of my week.  In fact,  other than the vaseline fiasco, this week has been pretty fun.  On Sunday a bunch of my favourite people all got together and we trekked downtown to watch the Santa Claus parade.  Now, I don’t know a whole lot about this Santa Claus character yet.  Last year I was in the hospital over Christmas, so it was just me and the nurses, but from what Mama C has been telling me this Santa Claus guy is kind of a big deal.  She keeps talking about Christmas like it’s this magical time of year and there are lights and happiness and presents! I can totally get behind this.  However, it seems that I was a little too excited about seeing Santa Claus for the first time and I tuckered myself out and slept through the whole parade instead.  Ooops.  Maybe I’ll do better next year.

Then, on Monday I had to go and get something called my RSV vaccine.  RSV is an infection that most people get and it doesn’t cause any problems because it’s like a cold, but in babies who are born early and kids with heart issues like me, it can lead to lung infections which causes far more serious problems.  So, to make sure I don’t get this I have to get a needle once a month until March.  The good news though is that the doctor who is giving me the needle is actually the same doctor who saved my life in July! On Monday I got to see her for the first time since July and she was soo happy to see me! The mom’s brought her flowers and a card to say thanks, even though they found it was a little hard to find the right words to say thank you.  She thought that I looked fantastic and that my pigtails were adorable.  She said, and I quote, “this is the best ending to a code blue ever!”  I was happy to see her and I know it meant a lot to the mom’s to get to see her too.

I’ll leave you with one more picture for today.  The mom’s are starting to feed me some solid food, which is a little tricky because of my big tongue.  It takes me a while to get into the rhythm and the first time they tried, it made a really really big mess.  But I loved it and now I fully understand what they mean by food coma!