Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What a Difference a Year Makes

I've hesitated even writing about this, because I wasn't sure even what to say, and yet feel that I have to acknowledge what was happening last year.......a year ago today was the worst day of my life.

A year ago today, my baby girl went in for surgery and the surgeon came out and told me he didn't know if my little girl would make it through the night. Since that night, I have never been the same. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about how my life could be so different right now. I know that sounds dramatic and maudlin, but it really is how I feel. I can not imagine how a parent with a child who has a terminal illness must feel. There is always a little piece of you that is afraid. Afraid that something horrible could happen to take your baby away from you. All this week I have been in a kind of funk because this is the year anniversary of all the ER and doctor visits, being admitted into the hospital, all the testing and finally, having Regan go through her first surgery and hearing such horrible news. It has been weighing heavily on my mind.

A year ago today, I was sitting in an ICU room with my baby and praying that she would make it through the night. I remember bawling and crying and trying to make sense of it all and just not comprehending how this could be happening. What helped me get through the night was a nurse, Debbie, who sat with me for 45 minutes and just talked to me. I can picture her to this day, sitting at the end of Regan's bed and listening to me try to talk through my tears and spending that time on her busy shift talking to me. My mom slept in a chair beside Regan's bed and we felt such fear and pain like we've never felt before. I prayed to God to help us get through the night and make it okay. God sent the most wonderful surgeon to us, the most wonderful set of nurses, the best pastor to help us through and I have the best, most supportive family in the world.

I was totally freaked out on Monday night when the strangest thing happened. I was in handbell practice at church and during practice Regan sits behind me in her stroller with a backpack of toys and things to keep her occupied. She started yelling and screaming and hands me a wadded up piece of paper. I open up the paper and my stomach did a flip when I read what it was. It was the copy of the hospital admittance form that I had sign to authorizing her to be admitted to the ER. This was the first ER visit that started the whole emotional ride. What freaked me out was that Monday night was exactly the one year anniversay of that visit. January 21st. Regan uses that backpack every single week and has never pulled out that paper. Why, on the year anniversary did she find that paper? I don't even remember putting that paper in the backpack, but I must have had it with me that night as we sat in the ER and I probably just shoved it in one of the pockets with all the confusion of the night. My mom told me to take it as a good sign, but it totally freaked me out inside.

Going through Regan's health scare and knowing how blessed I am that she is here with me changed me and now everytime I look at Regan I see such a miracle. I am just so blessed to have her here with me. I was sitting beside her today and she just looked up at me and her eyes were so beautiful. I am sure that for the next 21 days I will reflect on how much better this year is than the last. 21 days that last year were spent in a hospital, this year I am home with my baby and she is happy and healthy. She jumped up for the first time tonight. She has been trying to jump for several weeks now and always does that exaggerated lunge upward with a corresponding foot stomp. Today, her feet actually cleared the ground. Something so little, but it meant to much to me. Last year, I remember wondering if I would ever see her smile again and then this year, she is bopping up and down and growing, and learning new skills, and is so happy. I love her so much it hurts. Her new little thing is to call me "Beppy" and sometimes it is a clear "Becky". I'm sure it is because she hears Konnor call me Becky. She will scream "Beppy, Beppy, Becky....." over and over again and just laugh hysterically. She knows it is not quite right and she thinks she is so clever. And then tonight, I was shopping with my mom and Konnor and I got held up talking to a neighbor. She got inpatient that I wasn't with them and so she started screaming "Mommy, Mommy, Mooooommmmyyyy". When I acknowledged her she waved and laughed and had the most wonderful smile on her face. Hearing her call me mommy is a wonderful feeling, to be a mommy is wonderful. Being Regan's mommy is the best, most miraculous, amazing thing in the world.

Waiting for surgery, not aware of what is about to happen.

She looks so little.

What a difference a year makes, now she is happy, healthy, and a pip! This picture was taken today.

Regan often cracks herself up. She finds humor in the littlest things, it really is a gift! She found this pacifier today and knew she was being so funny walking around with it. She has never used a pacifier in her life and yet I had this one from the hospital when I was trying anything and everything to try to get her to comfort herself and sleep. It never was in her mouth for more than about 5 seconds. I had kept it for her to use with her baby dolls. I haven't seen it in months, but she drug it out of somewhere, today of all days. Can't you tell she knows she is being funny?!?!?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Year of the Rat

This coming Chinese New Year, which starts on February 7th, begins the Year of the Rat.

Reluctantly, I have begun celebrating the Year of the Rat......literally.

I'll have to back track a little bit: My pet rat, Martha, passed away in November. I was sad, but had decided that I didn't need any more animals in the house. I have been outnumbered and it is alot to keep up with. My brother had different ideas. I have always said, don't get someone else a pet for a gift because they are the ones that have to take care of it for life. Well, my brother obviously doesn't go by that little rule and he was just pleased as punch when he gave me a rat for Christmas. Martha was a great pet and never bit and was just really nice. She also was missing half of her tail. Jason found this new rat had a missing tail and thought I would be thrilled to have her as a pet. Not so thrilled, am I. I was even less thrilled when I woke up last Friday morning a little over a week ago and found the above situtation. I am now the dubious owner of one pet rat and her eight, yes eight!!!! babies. She was pregnant! I could absolutely not believe it. What in the world am I going to do with nine rats?!?!? Then, as a topper, the new rat can't count and when she moves the nest about three times a day she keeps forgetting to put one of the babies in the nest. So, then I'm worried it is going to die and although I don't need the babies, I can't sit back and watch it die from cold and hunger. I do a little research and realize that the mothers don't generally reject the babies if you touch them and so now I have to do a head count a couple of times a day to make sure all of them are in the nest. If anyone would like a pet rat (as a pet, not to feed to a snake or something) please feel free to contact me! I know of a couple of little girls out there who might love to have a new pet!!!

The only thing I can say is that they are kind of growing on me and it is amazing to watch them grow. They literally change overnight. The first night they had no ears and then the next morning they had ears coming out! I am starting to enjoy them and I hold them everyday to get them used to humans and they are the funniest little things! Remind me that I am saying this as I am cleaning up after nine rats in the coming years. I also told my brother that my gift back to him was that I promised my nephew he could have one (or more) rats as a there!

Also on Friday morning, I get a phone call from Trafalgar Elementary that Konnor had fallen during track club and is pretty banged up. I go to school and this is what I find:

Yep, after a trip to the doctor, it was determined he had a broken nose. He was sniffing alot and so they were worried he might be dripping CSF fluid from his brain. He did learn the very important lesson, "Do not stop in the middle of the track when there are a hundred running kids behind you". I then had to spend my weekend at a miserable conference and when I go home Regan and I both managed to get really, really sick for most of the week with first some flu like stuff and then a stomach cootie. On Saturday, she slept off and on until 3 pm, which actually helped me because I was having a difficult time being upright! Then as the topper, Marmaduke got some kind of stomach bug and let me just tell you, having a sick Great Dane is not a pretty sight!

What else is the Year of the Rat going to bring?!?! I guess I'm lucky it wasn't the Year of the Dog or I might have ten Great Danes running around the house!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Birthday Girl!!!!

As hard as it is for me to little girl is two years old today! It seems like just yesterday she was my 11 month old little baby. I'll have to post later about what a week it has been! Today, the poor birthday girl didn't have a great beginning to her big day. We had her two year old check-up and she has been sick with a respiratory thing for a few days. So, she's been hopped up on Albuterol and we've both been sick as dogs. Well, at the doctor's today, she tested positive for strep. She was pretty miserable by this morning so I"m glad we went. She also got a HepA shot for her birthday. That Dr. MacKoul really needs to work on the gift giving, she doesn't quite give the gifts that little girls love! Anyway, after a little Amoxicillin, my little girl had a much better evening! We ate Chinese and sung to her until her hears were ringing!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Fashion Plate Part Deux

Regan's boot obsession continues. I got her dressed for gymnastics and told her to get her shoes on. ....this is what she pulled out of the drawer. She then got them on and zipped up all by herself, so what could I say? And yes, Regan obviously does not go out and buy these shoes on her own.....I just never thought they'd see the light of day while being paired with a leotard!Did I ever mention Regan can and will eat her weight in cantaloupe?!?!?
Huh?!?! The party animal after the party is over~
She props these pillows up all by herself to settle in to watch tv.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The End of Winter Break

My little poser with her "if I smile will you put the camera away?" smile.

Feeding the ducks with Ms. Amanda
Worn out
Konnor got his haircut and is starting to develop very definite opinions about how it should look. He wanted it to "stick straight up and be pokey". Wish us luck, if he is this into hair at 6 how is it going to be when he is 16?!?!

Sadly, winter break came to an end. It was soooooo hard to go back to work today. I could so easily be a stay at home mom, but considering my income is the only income, I don't guess that will happen any time soon! We had the best time. Our last hoorah was going to the Naples Zoo with a teacher friend of mine and her daughter and her friend and her friend's two children. It was a lot of fun and we had a great time. I can't post most of my pictures because it shows their faces (I didn't ask permission) but, trust me, they are cute kids!!!

Unfortunately, Regan is having a hard time adjusting to going back to 'cool' and 'Vivi' (Ms. Vivian). She was glad to go back, but is obviously feeling very clingy to me tonight. It took me 1.5 hours to get her to bed and it was a down right screaming hissy fit for that entire time. She just kept climbing out of bed and I would repeatedly put her back in. She is getting very creative with her diversionary tactics and I am ashamed to admit it but I fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book: About 30 minutes into our screamfest, she started grabbing her bottom and yelling "potty, mommy, pwee, potty, mommy, pwee". (Pwee traslates to please in Yunnie talk). So, gullible me, ran her to the bathroom just to have her enjoy some time on the seat and knowing she just fooled her mommy. I am very proud to say that the next time she tried that particular tactic, I held my ground and did not fall for her tricks;) Our schedule was absolutely out the window this vacation and more times than not I was laying down with her to get her to nap at my mom's house or just going to bed with her because we were so late getting to bed. Well........she is not too happy with having to go to bed without me laying beside her. Now it is time for me to go to bed and the opposite of Regan, I actually start my kicking and screaming when it it time to get out of bed!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas, the Miami Zoo, and Lost Cameras

We celebrated Christmas this year on the 31st. Regan and Konnor really lucked out because I had that many more days to shop! And shop clearances I did! Regan did really well and really got into wrapping and then opening gifts. She got lots of doll things for her babies, a scooter from Santa, a bike, and a deuce coup. I didn't take a lot of pictures, I was just enjoying the moment. My aunt, uncle, and cousin left on the 1st, my grandparents left on the 2nd.

Yesterday, my mom, Konnor, Yunnie and I went to the Miami zoo. That was one of the things I really wanted to do over vacation. On the way, I pulled a stupid Floridian trick and decided as we got onto Alligator Alley that I had to use the restroom. I know better than to do that! It made the ride seem a little bit longer;)

I was a little disappointed in the zoo itself. We hadn't been in several years, but it wasn't as nice as I remember. One of the scariest moments came towards the end of the day when we thought we had lost my mom's brand new camcorder. The bag also had her car keys inside! We had been sitting and watching the elephants and we got up and walked away. About ten minutes later, we realized we didn't have the camera. Sheer panic. Not only did we think we had lost a brand new camcorder, but with the car keys inside, it was our only way home! Thank God, we went back to the bench and by some miracle the bag was still sitting there. Whew!

What I did love was that we got to see some really interesting animal behavior that I have never seen before and I love visiting zoos (except the Guangzhou Zoo in China, that was just kind of depressing). I think the animals were feeling frisky because it was cold, cold, cold (for Florida) ! We woke up to ice in the grass and it was tremendously windy. We all got wind burned. The camels ran around chasing each other and biting each other's tales. The Bengal tigers ran around playing. The Siamangs spent a long time howling, and calling each other. The gibbons spent time screaming at the top of their lungs. And the gorillas were crawling all over each other. One of my highlights was being able to feed the giraffes. I love giraffes. Regan loved the petting zoo and probably could have stayed there all day sitting by her pig. I grew up in the country and we had every animal ever imagined: steers, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, pheasant, goats, and even a skunk. I wish I could give her those same experiences I had, but I think Cape Coral code enforcement might not like that!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My Fashion Plate

Regan cracks me up! She is such a clothes horse and has very definite opinions about her clothes, especially pajamas and shoes. Anyway, I told her to get dressed and get her shoes on and this is what she came up with!!!! I had no expectations that she would actually get herself dressed, but she trotted over to her shoe drawer, got her boots on, grab one of my purses, her tiara in a bag, a package of peanute butter crackers, and a candy cane and she was ready to go!!!!

Starting her day.

Okay, I'm ready to hit the road!!!

Oops, wait a minute, I've got somewhere else to go!

Not exactly "play wear", but she is working it!