Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Small Victory

For some time now, we have been teaching Holly to throw things away. At first, the trash can was a plaything and she couldn't keep her hands off of it. She put everything in it. We actually lost quite a few things of value before I caught on. (You know--shirts, blankets, toys, etc.) A few losses I am still lamenting today. She was also a pretty big trash can diver. I would catch her with empty yogurt and applesauce containers, trying to lick out the last bits of goodness. Pretty nasty.

Lately, Holly has got the hang of the whole "trash" thing. She generally knows what is trash and what isn't, and the diving has gone down significantly. She likes to help me sort out the recycling as well, and is quick to volunteer to throw something away.

Yesterday, she was eating a lollipop and watching TV. (A year ago, I would have sworn that would never happen in my house. But that is another story for another time.) Andrew reported that she finished her lollipop, hopped down off the couch, threw away the stick, and went back to finish watching her show. Just like that. No reminder needed.

It seems as though the whole "throw that away!" agenda has paid off. It certainly took awhile, but it seems as though we are making progress. Hooray! It is so encouraging when things like this happen. A small reminder that our efforts do pay off and that our kids are pretty great.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Laser Treatments

Today we traveled to Methodist Children's Hospital in San Antonio for our Holly to have a laser treatment done on her birthmark. Have I discussed her birthmark before? It's called a port wine stain. She's had it since birth (see a picture of it on tiny Holly here). Since you are all probably wondering, I was disappointed about it for about 10 seconds when she was born. Then I realized it doesn't matter because she's my baby and she's so beautiful! And it's just part of her. We don't really notice it. Anyway, it's pretty extensive, covering the upper left quadrant of her body, as well as her left arm and hand.

So...we had a referral to a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon here where we live. Fast forward almost a year and we are finally having the treatments done. We were in a ferocious battle with our insurance company, who didn't want to cover it for a variety of reasons. Long story short; it's NOT a cosmetic procedure. There are plenty of medical reasons to get it treated. And we're going to Methodist Children's so our insurance company will be happy.

I was a nervous wreck today because Holly needs to go under anesthesia for her laser treatments. All 10 of them. A big deal for me, who gets freaked out about every illness my children have (I work very hard to control my compulsiveness). She received a priesthood blessing last night, which I believe helped her a great deal. Andrew got to come with us, but since Josie is so little she wasn't allowed anywhere but the waiting room. So it was just Holly and I. I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was to put my own fears aside and put on a happy face for Holly. I knew how important it was that I remain calm and upbeat, and I am so happy that I held it together. Therefore, she held it together and did wonderfully.

The entire procedure (from when I left her when she was going to the playroom before the OR to when I got to go to her in recovery) probably took about 35 minutes. She was being so playful and talkative before her procedure, and afterward was just sweet and quiet.

She was pretty sleepy and didn't know what was going on at first. I felt kind of mean taking pictures of her, but I want everything documented. She handled the anesthesia perfectly. She just chilled out, ate a popsicle, and politely asked to leave. All the nurses loved her, and she seemed to like them a lot too.

Being in the hospital today around all the children and families gave me quite the lesson on gratitude. Holly was by far the most healthy child there; all the other children were obviously sick or injured. There was one family we went up to the floor with who had a baby who was 9 days old (!) and a 4-year-old who was having surgery. This little boy was so sick he couldn't walk. He obviously has had a hard little life filled with hospital visits and so much pain and sickness. I was horrified to think of what that family's life must be like. I also felt so grateful and so blessed to have two healthy children. Our biggest worry to date has been Holly's laser treatments. Big deal. They will be over soon and we can move on with our lives. Seeing that family and that little boy made me ashamed to be with my perfect, healthy children and thinking and feeling all the negative thoughts that I do sometimes. My life is by no means perfect, but it is easy in a lot of ways that their lives never will be.

This is how it looked after we got home. Terrible! She looks kind of like she has purple cheetah spots.

Don't worry, though. She felt just fine after she had a couple of square meals under her belt. It looks worse than it is so far; hopefully it will continue that way! We are under strict orders to rest for about 4 days and stay out of the sun for about 2 weeks until she's healed completely. Then we start the process all over again next month.

To make a long story short, we are exhausted and overwhelmed from all of the emotions of the day. I also feel so grateful for my husband and for my children and the life we have together. Holly was such a trooper today and I hope that all of her treatments will go this smoothly!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Little Feet

This past weekend and this week so far have been exhausting. Here are a few things we have dealt with in the past several days.

Holly pooping in the bathtub. This required major consolation, as she was totally freaked out. Andrew encouraged me to post the picture he took on here, but I refrained...

Garage sale. Three hours of sleep. Torture.

Another minor illness causing Holly to fall asleep on the couch a few times this weekend, something very unusual over here. Also caused a 4-hour nap to take place. Alert the media.

Cranky children who are causing me to lose my hair prematurely. Not a good look for me.

One baby who was wide awake last night from 9:00 to 11:00, again at 12:30, and again at 3:00. And at 6:30 this morning. It was one rough night. But we got to stare at those cute, skinny feet pictured above. She's so long and skinny. And wonderful.

Holly asking me to help her hold Josie's hand in the car yesterday afternoon. That was the best feeling and the best thing to watch.

Here's to a full night's sleep tonight and many more 4-hour naps!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Every day Holly asks to go outside and blow bubbles. She first discovered the wonders of bubble blowing in her Nursery class at church on Sundays, and now she asks for them every day. The weather has been beautiful lately, so we have made a little habit of going out in the backyard after her nap to play and to blow bubbles.

I kept trying to get Holly to look at the camera. "I'm busy, Mom. What is it?"

Then, when she discovered that I was trying to take her picture, she wanted to get closer and have a look at what I was doing. It's a challenge to get a decent picture of this girl.

Another order of business every day when we are outside is to water our plants: two flower-type ones that Andrew gave Holly and I for Valentine's Day; and the world's smallest garden: a handful of herbs and a "salad in a pot." Which, for those of you who don't know, is a fancy term for growing lettuce, carrots, and radishes in a 5 gallon bucket. Because I'm that kind of classy. And because, last time I tried to grow a garden, we dug up half the backyard and got all of two tomatoes for our labors. (Mostly Andrew's--I conveniently had to go on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy with Holly which freed me from all gardening duties.) Needless to say, gardening has become a taboo issue in our house.

Anyway, Josie just hangs out on the nice quilt her Aunt Julie made for her while Holly and I go about all these important things.

This girl loves to munch on her fingers. Like, totally. It keeps her preoccupied for a long, long time.

And this is just the cutest face I have ever seen. What a sweet baby she is!


The first picture is of Holly when she was 4 months old. The bottom picture is of Josie at four months, just a week or so ago. I know they don't look exactly alike, but the similarity is definitely there! And they both look thrilled to be in cloth diapers, don't you think?