Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Birthday That Never Ends

Angelina is going to start thinking that every day comes with a present to open! Thanks to family and friends scattered across the world, for awhile there, a new cadeau was arriving almost daily!

This one came from the Etoy Allegrini Cousins. Actually, this is a mix of two - Charlotte aux Fraises (ie Strawberry Shortcake) and another cute skirt and top. I couldn't get her to wear the right combination though she insisted on putting it on immediately.

Merci Tonton Philippe, Taunte Sophie, Megane, Mael, and Gilles!

And here she is just having fun -

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More fun for the Party Girl

It's been a month of parties. Last week was Wiley's birthday party at one of the bouncy castle places. Oh wow. Angelina was in HEAVEN. She was insane. She kept running up the HUGE slides. She couldn't get up the ladders on her own, so other kids had to help her, then she'd fling herself down. She went up the biggest slides there. She had a constant smile on her face she was having so much fun. I neglected to bring my camera, so you have to take my word for it.

Yesterday was Lily's Little Mermaid birthday at a pool. Angelina's other favourite activity is being in water. So you can only imagine how happy she was. At first we went to the big pool. We held her, but she doesn't quite understand that she can't float yet. She kept pushing us away, trying to swim. Then we went over to the wading pool where she played with Felice. That was much easier!

The hard part was getting her out, but cake made her happy.

Next up was a going away party for Ann and Garth who are leaving us for Portland. Angelina of course had a wonderful time being the only kid there and hence, belle of the ball. She's going to really miss Ann and Garth, just like the rest of us!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Remain seated until Maman has turned off the seatbelt sign"

"Do NOT. I mean NOT take that seatbelt off!"

Heard by Maman and sometimes Papa when driving 70mph down the freeway....

We have two carseats which apparently aren't childproof. I asked folks about a car seat that a 2 year old could not unlatch, and they said ours must be faulty, because no 2 year old can unlatch a car seat. Wrong. They're both highly rated safety-wise in Europe (which has more stringent standards than the US).

They're great seats.

Except Angelina can unlatch them. I thought we'd finally gotten her to stop, although she's like an airline passenger when a plane lands, the wheels barely touch ground and the seatbelts pop off. With Angelina, I just barely come to a stop - car is still running but we're in front of the house - and off comes the belt. I could handle that, except that today she yet again took off the seatbelt in a massive rain storm while on the freeway...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A wet weekend

No, it didn't rain again. Angelina spent the weekend all wet. On Saturday we walked to Main Plaza, where they were doing a puppet show. Angelina loved it! She couldn't follow it, but she loved seeing the puppets and kept saying "Look Wiley!" (our neighbor Wiley was sitting next to her).

Then the fountains...Main Plaza has just been redone with lots of fountains, which just welcomes kids. Angelina had tons of fun with Wiley and Felice playing in the water (and ripping off all her clothes....I told Fredo just to say we're European).

Sunday was a work day for Maman, so she joined in for awhile -. Finally she can stop trying to use MY wheelbarrow now she has her own. Best 99 cents we've ever spent (Goodwill)!

Then it was pool time - you'd think she was ready for the beach!

After a break and a nap, Wiley and Felice came over and it was pool time again. It's so fun to watch them.

Wiley is basically like a big brother to Angelina - I think sometimes it's easier when it's not your real sister :) He's so great with her, and she does EVERYTHING he does! I wonder how long before that starts to drive him crazy?

That's her in the back, hiding with Wiley while Felice poses for us.

Monday, July 07, 2008

She's Definitely Swiss

Little Miss Chocolate!

I sometimes think my in-laws are testing my mothering abilities (just kidding Marcel!)

GranPapa Marcel very kindly sent Angelina a great boat for her birthday. As she loves water, and anything to put in water, she was very very excited to see it."Oh COOL!" she says. But it was heavy. It wasn't obvious to me there was something in it, or even that it opened, but it was to her. "Open! Open!" she said. So I picked it up and studied it and finally figured out how to open it. Inside? CHOCOLATE. Lots of it. She immediately grabs as much as she can and tries to hide it from me. I manage to get all but one piece away, which she shoves in her mouth.

She was happy enough while she ate it. Then it was gone and she wanted more. MORE MORE MORE!!!! Welcome Terrible Twos Tantrum. Maman had to be tough. No more chocolate, no matter how much she screamed. Of course Fredo isn't here so lucky me I get to deal with it. I managed to hide it, and eventually, after more screaming, she forgot about it. Or so I thought. She happily played for 20 mins, sweet as can be, only to try to sneak more chocolate again.....

She said "Merci GranPapa!"

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Birthday Girl!

Angelina gets what seems like a week of parties....

She first had presents with us in the morning.

Then a little party at daycare.
Then a cake and celebration with Maman and Papa in the evening.

July 4 a BBQ at Ann and Garth's, which wasn't in her honor but she manages to be the star anyway (and she did open one present there from Kurt and Cory).

Then on July 5 (which happens to be Grace in Dublin's birthday!) she had her very own big special party. She had So Much Fun. I don't think she realized everyone was there in her honor. The kids all played in the kiddie pool, and then the bigger ones in the Dunk Tank (thanks Rick & Angela). Angelina LOVED this thing. No she didn't sit and get dunked. She's too small to even go in, but she insisted and being her birthday party I gave in. We had to hold her to the side as she was trying to swim around....she thinks she's a fish!

We had a piñata (is that Oscar the Grouch or the Cookie Monster?) which was so big I just had to fill it with tons of candy. It was so heavy Fredo worried the branch would snap.

And of course, singing Happy Birthday. It was at this point when she realized she really was the Star. All the attention was on her, and she was just amazed. I can't fully express how incredible she looked when she realized everyone was singing for her. Her eyes lit up even more than usual and she was so happy!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Two years ago today, it was the best day of our lives, then the worst day, and then eventually the best day again.

I don't know if it's the same for other NICU parents, or for all parents. We both find ourselves overwhelmed with emotion on our child's birthday. Is it because we remember that day? So hopeful, then so terrifying? Or does everyone feel this?

It's amazing to us that she went from this:

To this:

It's difficult to think of that day. It started off with so much anticipation and promise, only to end with terrifying fear that we may lose her. But really, something inside us told us we wouldn't lose her. That she was tough, and would pull through. Thanks to a wonderful midwife, Holly, whose years of experience in delivering babies and with laboring moms told her Angelina was going to need some extra help, even though once we got to hospital, all signs were stable and normal. Thanks to a wonderful OB on call, Dr Bryant, who was patient and kind and proactive and not afraid to do what she thought best. Thanks to a wonderful neonatalogist, Dr. Hilliard, who told us "Don't even think of an ECMO when others mentioned it, and told me to just keep pumping milk, that it was the best thing for her once we could take her off the IV. Thanks to the wonderful lactation consultant who held my hand (and boob) to get the milk going. Thanks to a wonderful team at Christus who kept her alive in those first dark hours. Thanks to all our family and friends around the world, both real life and online, and the many many people whom we've never met but who prayed, wished us well, shared kind thoughts and supported us through those terrifying days.

Thanks to all, she is here today.

Celebrating her 2nd birthday.

Full of life and smiles and cheers and cries and screams and laughter. Angelina has all of that.

She already lives life fully.


Sometimes much to our dismay.

I wouldn't change anything for the world.

But I'd also never go back to July 3, 2006. Or rather, July 4th at about 2am. No. I don't want to relive that. Instead, we'll live each day, as Angelina teaches us to.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea.

eXTReMe Tracker