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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Little Izzy Tornado

Moonpie may be her official nickname, but here recently, she is quite commonly (and lovingly) referred to as Little Izzy Tornado. If you could watch her blast into a fairly orderly room, you would understand why!!! She is SO busy and SO into everything. She has one speed and it is NOT slow! This morning I was getting some things out of the pantry and in 60 seconds flat she had found bubbles on a shelf (that I thought she couldn't reach), opened it and dumped them out. As I went to grab a towel (leaving the pantry door open like the oh-so-smart person that I am) she found a package of instant oatmeal, ripped it open, and dumped it on the floor!!! In 60 SECONDS FLAT! Oh, how she keeps us on our toes!!

But, oh, how she makes us smile. She has really learned the power of using words and is usually really good about letting us know what she wants. Now we still get the "uh, uh, uh" when she wants something. But a look from one of us and she will usually find a word to tell us what she wants. USUALLY... not always! :) Today in the car, we were just leaving the house. She loves music and one of the songs she loves is on a mix CD that I have. She started signing and saying, "more, more" from the backseat. I looked over my shoulder and asked her, "more what?" She started going "na na na na" which for her means the "na na" song. She loves (and so do I) the song "Sheltering Tree" by Newsong. So I put on the "na na" song and sure enough she was trying to sing along on the "na na" parts. She's starting to really enjoy playing with her babies and at one point today I looked over at her and she was bent over her baby just talking to her. Her favorite game is playing chase around the house with her daddy. She loves for him to scare her and she just laughs and laughs when he does. It is too funny to watch them running around the island that separates our kitchen and great room!! I love watching her grow and learn and interact more and more with the world around us. She really does keep us smiling and laughing.

Thanks for all the well-wishes for this new little one headed our way. We are eager to meet him/her (and won't know if it's a him/her till he/she arrives)! I confess to wanting to sleep ALL the time and dealing with the oh so fun morning sickness (though it's never just in the morning, is it?).... That's ok though, I know it means my body is doing what it should be (though I will be glad when I'm not feeling quite so icky. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lots of News from Our House

Well, the last week and a half has been eventful, complete with having to briefly evacuate our house due to a forest fire on our road (everything's fine), my car window being busted out and my purse and ipod (among other things, including my makeup!!) being stolen, and a deep freezer that all of a sudden no longer freezes!!! When it rains, it pours!! These are just minor annoyances though -- a bit of a pain, but nothing more.

Other news... I'm going back to teaching this fall. WOW!! Big changes coming our way, huh? I'll be teaching at a school close to home, we've found a sitter for Izzy who we feel good about (2 good friends' kids are also staying there), and we're soaking up every bit of this summer home together. :) Hopefully we'll all do well adjusting to a newer and MUCH busier schedule.

And we've saved the BIGGEST and BEST news for last!!!!! Izzy is going to be a BIG sister!!!!!! Yes, we're very much looking forward to welcoming a new baby in late January. The baby is due 5 days before Izzy turns 2 (which means, yes, the due date is 2 days after Catie's Heaven day -- we just cram it all into one week!!).

Well..... how's that for an update??? Lots of news for sure. Now, I'm off to take a nap!! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Catie Days

I call them Catie days... days when she's more present in my mind than on an average day... days when I miss her even more than on a normal day. The missing is never gone, but there are days it is much more present than others. Today was one of those days. Today was one of those days when my mind went back to the end of her life. I remember when it sunk it that things really might not end like we so desperately wanted. And for some reason, today my mind drifted back to that time and replayed it. I'm sure there is some psychological reason -- my brain processing such a traumatic time or something... but whatever the reason, today my mind went back to that morning. I remember trying to find a way to curl my 8 1/2 month pregnant body around her without messing up any of her many, many tubes and wires. And I remember crying and crying. When you are living it, it doesn't seem unimaginable, you're just trying to get through it... But I'm here to tell you that what families of kids with cancer and families of other critically ill kids have to deal with is all too often unimaginable. Those aren't the memories we dwell on here... we try to focus on the good ones. But there are times when you wish that people in the "normal" world knew what goes on in a children's hospital... that they knew what these kids and their families go through.

Earlier, I didn't like days like today, and sometimes I still don't... but sometimes they are somehow, strangely, a comfort. I don't know if somehow I feel closer to Catie or if it helps my heart to process a little more... but sometimes it's ok.

So it was already a Catie day and then I watched Army Wives. I'm a big fan and tonight was the season premier. I won't spoil it for anyone who might have Tivo'd it, but suffice it to say that it got the rest of my good cry for the day out. The ending hit so close to home... letting go... letting go... If you watched it I'm betting you got your cry in too.

Today was one of those days, and for today that was ok. I needed to feel close to her today. It seems like such a long, long time since we let her go.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Home from Atlanta

We just got home from spending a few days in Atlanta. The new Ronald McDonald House at Egleston (sister hospital of Scottish Rite) had it's grand opening this week. There were a couple of open rooms at the RMcD House that we always stayed at and we actually ended up staying there and catching up with old friends since no other families needed them. It was funny to see Izzy running through the kitchen and family rooms. She immediately took to Cari (the house manager) and within minutes they were chasing each other through the house just like Catie and Cari used to do.

This trip was meaningful for lots of reasons. A very special couple (I'm not listing their name here, b/c I didn't talk to them about writing this) donated a room to the new house in Catie's memory. We met them at a RMcD House Golf Tournament several years ago. Catie fell in love with them and I think she sat with them for most of dinner. These sweet folks introduced her to cherries that night and she kept them busy running to the drink table to get more!! It was too funny. This couple is so sweet. Their kindness and sweet packages for Catie (which almost always contained a jar of cherries) always made us smile!! It was nice to get to see them again this week. I don't think words could ever convey to them how much their very generous donation in Catie's memory means to our family. We will always, always be grateful.

The new house is absolutely beautiful!! There are 40 rooms and 10 transplant suites. Previously transplant patients (organ and bone marrow) have had to stay at hotels following transplant b/c of the need for isolation. They will now be able to stay at the RMcD House. This will be so much more convenient and better for families. I'm really thankful for this addition to the house.

Just a couple of pics from the week...

Izzy was fascinated with Ronald McDonald. I had to start avoiding him b/c if she saw him she wanted to stay with him.

Izzy with Cari -- her hair is just getting more and more blonde

Sign outside of the room donated in Catie's memory -- the rooms are gorgeous!!!

Oops, she spotted Ronald again!

Sweet friends at the grand opening -- nice one of me HAHA

Happy girl

Thanks for checking in!