Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week in DC

I think I mentioned in my last post about just HOW exhausted we are. This last week, while every year is one of the most exhausting of the entire year, felt even more so. I don't know if it was adding the extra days to go traveling around and see the sites or what, but I'm absolutely wasted today.

However, we did have a BLAST in DC. I worked Monday-Thursday and then we decided to go see some of DC and Mount Vernon on Friday. And that was a LOT to pack into one day. And not to mention it was a COLD and WINDY day. It was definitely a mistake to not take the bus tour we had thought we would take. We thought we'd save the money and walk the sites (could use the fresh air and exercise anyway.)

So here are some pictures of our foot tour:

Because of the freezing temps, we ventured into the Old Post office to thaw out a bit and took a ride up to the bell tower. What better way to "see" all the sites in one take!

After our quick "tour" we headed back down and E decided it was time for some food. So we had a bottle and some play time in the candy store. Where we looked but didn't touch OR eat.

Why mommy! I just want one little bite!

Afterwards we decided to venture out again and saw the ducks in a pond near the White House and let E look at them. While there a concerned citizen suggested that we pick our child up because the ducks are nasty...we waited until they were out of site and promptly set her back down lol.

From there, we went to Mount Vernon. This was of particular interest to me, just because I love history and especially old buildings. So I was really looking forward to touring around and seeing what they had. I will admit I was a bit disappointed. I guess I expected more "prosperity" in the way that you and I think of prosperity. The fact is, the farm house as he had it was most likely the very symbol of prosperity when it was built and Washington inhabited it. But it was very small and just lacked a lot of the ornamentation that I had become accustomed to seeing in my travels around Europe. Still, I had a great time visiting it and the view was so peaceful and gorgeous.

E even got a ride on Daddy's shoulders. And she loved this! Giggled the whole way and outright laughed when Andrew would bounce her up there.

We finished the day with one of the best dinner's we've ever had. What the restaurant lacked in "high society" it made up for in pure joy. We've never enjoyed a dinner as much as we did this one. We didn't worry about what we were spending. We just ordered what we wanted, laughed, ate, talked. We were exhausted so we didn't end up venturing far from the hotel. And we even ended the night with letting E try the mechanical bull.

And we will end with a "family" portrait. It's the best we could get....and you can just SEE how exhausted we were. And this was the first night Andrew and E were in town lol!

What I've learned

In a year.

I've had many ideas of what this post will look like throughout the weeks. I've been thinking, and planning it since our 11 month "birthday."

But honestly, I don't know what to say. There are many "questions." Like, what does a year look like to a baby that is really 9.5 months old developmentally. And to be honest...I don't know.

I think if I've learned anything over these last few days's that I'm just going to take things as they come. Where is she developmentally? I don't know. And I don't care. She's happy. She's healthy. Yes she is still taking mainly formula. And from a bottle. She has no interest in a sippy. Or most solid foods. I'll ask the pediatrician on our year appointment when we should really push the solids and sippy and other one year old things but otherwise...she's happy and healthy.

As we were flying home from DC yesterday, I found myself becoming increasingly sentimental as I looked at her beautiful face as she slept peacefully on my shoulder. And I thought about how far we've come. When we got home and uploaded our DC pictures, we came across ones taken one year ago today...Halloween of 2009.

You don't really realize how far she's come...until you are reminded of where she was.

She is, and always will be, my rock star.

She wasn't supposed to be born when she was. She wasn't supposed to breathe at that time on her own. She wasn't supposed to eat when she did. She came home before she was supposed to be able to.

I could list so many things she wasn't supposed to do, that she did.

I love you baby girl. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you physically can't do something. You've already proven you can do way more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And we are back

The flashbacks that is.

I was wondering when they would return. I was rather surprised to have gotten through the last few weeks unscathed. Some minor flutters on the 9th but over all, it almost didn't seem like we were really approaching the year mark.

So I was rather surprised to be hit tonight with some rather strong flashbacks. And find it rather strange that I'm not seeing the days leading up to the 28th, but rather the night before I flew out to Arizona.

I see it vividly. Actually, I see that morning vividly. The cold cold temperatures. The wet roads from the rain we'd just had. The conversation with the shuttle driver. He grew up on the Kansas side and was in the Air Force. I remember the niggling pain I'd been having, but didn't worry about other than to note it was odd that it was in the morning instead of the night as it had been every night. I see the decent into Phoenix's airport and recall the odd sick feeling that I was suddenly struck with. And remember thinking that wasn't right. I remember waiting for my luggage and frustrated it was taking so long, knowing I had to get it and my rental car and head to the hospital. Never did it enter my mind that I wouldn't be leaving for three weeks. That I should have just taken a taxi. And avoided the 2 hour wait in line at the rental car.

And so it feels like this trip is not so much just another show...but is instead an attempt to "repeat" last years. I'm even torn over what to wear tomorrow, because what I was planning on wearing was the same thing I wore when I flew to Arizona. Part of me shrugs it off. The other part of me says, wait, that's a little too much.

I don't know what the next week will bring. I just hope it goes by fast. As much as I'm looking forward to it, I'm dreading it. I'd much rather go to sleep tonight and wake up in November. I'd much rather forget what is coming up than attempt to remember. It's hard to celebrate what was one of the most terrifying events of your life. It's even harder to do when you are, again, away from home.

But I do know this. I'll survive. Because I have survived worse. I made it through last year didn't I?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

In memory

October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss day. I will be lighting a candle at 7 for all those who have lost a pregnancy or baby. In memory of my two little ones whom I never met, and Kennedie and Joshy, two beautiful angels who will always be remembered by their parents and friends. One was born sleeping and one only spent 6 short months with us here on earth.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunny day and play time!

Love seeing this little head popping up!

Our first "no" fit

We are not so happy about this new world we find ourselves entering into.

And to be honest, neither are mommy and daddy lol. But we know it's best for her in the long run.

What is this new world? The world of boundaries. And the world that no longer revolves around Elisa.

This has led to our first "no" fit. What do I mean by "no" fit? Well, Elisa decided that the dishwasher looked like a really good place to play while mommy and daddy were unloading it. Some of you may go, wait, what a GREAT teachable moment! She just wants to help with the chores! And to be honest, that was my first thought. But then, the thought of the sharp knives and left over soap residue on the door that she was gripping to keep standing as she reached for the silverware tray entered my mind. And I had images of her deciding the knives were a great new toy...and that side of the battle won.

So we told her no, picked her up, handed her one of her toys and went back to unloading the dishwasher.

This continued for probably 20 repeat patterns.

The first 10, we thought "wow what a fun game!" and would smile and giggle as mommy or daddy carried us back to our toys and would make a beeline right back to the dishwasher. Then we began to realize mommy and daddy were serious about this not playing with the dishwasher thing and so we would whine in frustration whenever she was moved back to her toys. The last 5 or so we got the all out screams and tears of frustration and "I just want to play with that." Finally, we realized mommmy and daddy were REALLY serious and we just were NOT going to get to play with that. So we thought we'd be clever. And crawled over to daddy and clung to his leg as he was standing next to the dishwasher. And reach over from that way. We really had a meltdown once we realized that mommy and daddy were onto our game. And the look she gives you as her little face crumples, tears stream from her little eyes, her little chin quivers and the bellows that can come from those small lungs all breaks your heart!

Good thing about babies is they have REALLY short memories. So less than a minute after the final attempt she was back to her cheery self.

Also, the sleep training is, well, going. We won't go down for naps this way. Just scream and scream and scream. But bed time, we maybe scream or whine for 10 minutes at the most before settling down for the night. So definitely progress from our beginning 45 minute scream fest.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The month of "firsts"

Yup, tis October. And we made it through our "first" anniversary. Today is our second "first" anniversary.

So, a year ago yesterday was the day, one year ago, that I was admitted to the hospital in active labor at 26 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Yesterday's anniversary could have been so different. Elisa could have been born on 10/9/09. And she might not have made it. Had she been born at that early date, her chances of survival would only have been 80%. But she wasn't. She was born 19 days later and with a 100% chance of survival.

Obviously we aren't really going to "celebrate" a lot of these "first" anniversary's, because honestly, we don't really want to "remember" them in the same way you do birthdays and anniversary's. So yesterday was low key. We did go out to dinner, thanks to a gathering at a friends and having some gift certificates. So Miss Elisa gained a new experience. That of dining at a "sit down" restaurant.

She's taking after her daddy in more than one way. She LOVED the warm bread that came with dinner. She was a little vulture snatching it off of daddy's fingers or out of his hand. At one point it seemed like she'd eaten half the loaf herself! She hadn't really, but it definitely felt like it. I kept waiting for it to be given back, but she kept it all!

And after dinner and the Mizzou watch party, we tried what I believe is called sleep training. After many difficult nights fighting to keep her sleeping, we've decided she needs to learn how to put herself to sleep. I'm told I'm a bit late on teaching her this, that we really should have done this around 6 months old. But I guess I was just enjoying my nightly cuddle sessions too much. So we just gave her a bottle, got her a little drowsy and put her down. She did better than I thought, after fighting with her the last few nights and having 45 minute cry it out sessions. She only whined for 5 min and then was out. For the night! And didn't wake up until 8 am. Heaven!

Today, our "second" anniversary is the day we met our soon to be host family. :) Which is a good anniversary as they really helped us out during our stay. I don't know what we would have done without them! We spent our day carving pumpkins and decorating for Halloween. I'm really looking forward to the holiday's this year. They will just hold even more meaning than they did last year, even though they aren't technically Elisa's "first." They feel like they are though.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010