Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Babydoll

Dearest Lily,

What a social butterfly you are these days! Always cooing and laughing and smiling at us. You are by far the most social baby we've had. You light up when anyone talks to you, and it feels like we are having a complete conversation when you coo back and forth with us.

You have this adorable thing you do with your eyes- you crinkle them up into little half moons whenever you smile:) And usually your eyes crinkle before your mouth actually smiles- it's like the preliminary to the actual gummy grin. I think you might have extra muscles in your eyelids or something- cuz sometimes you can crinkle your eyes without actually smiling..like you're thinking "I wanna let you know I'm happy, but I'm not actually going to invest in a full-blown grin at the moment."


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You love these little toys..Janet Foley and Kris Altringer each got you one. They're teddy bears with little blankies attached, and they are sooooo soft. You love to cuddle with them and squeeze them over and over. Or suck on the edges of the blanket.


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Your little legs are finally getting some chub to them...
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I am seriously head-over-heels in love with you, princess.

We have a million nick-names for you now. Lilybird. Lils (Jackson calls you this all the time). Lilybug. Lils-a-roosa (Kenzie made that one up). Lilygirl. Lil-lils. Babygirl.
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Everyone dotes on you 24-7. Nobody can stand to let you cry for more than ten seconds. I'm pretty sure you are the most spoiled baby known to mankind. But that's okay.

You're our Babydoll:)

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Loving you more every day,

Mama oxox

Little Thumb Sucker

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Daddy's Girl

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Dearest Lily,

Last Wednesday we took you to your follow-up echocardiogram with Dr. Rice. Remember her? She was Marcy from the Peanuts cartoon:) And she was still her doppleganger, replete with a big plastic hairclip positioned at a jaunty angle..slightly off-center...very much a living cartoon character- until she started talking. Once again I was reminded of what a brilliant physician she is. She rattled off information about the structures of the heart as if they were ingredients in a salad. She was kind and smiling and genuinely seemed happy to tell us that the results of your echocardiogram show a perfectly healthy heart !! No holes. No inflammation. No fluid surrounding it. All flaps have closed. No future echocardiograms- we are done!

I've never wanted to hug a stranger so badly!

Lily, when I think back to that very first "scary" ultrasound- and the doctor's words that he was "90 percent sure of what he was looking at"- an av canal defect..well, this is nothing short of a complete miracle. No open heart surgery, not even so much as a murmur to keep an eye on.

Thank you GOD for my baby's healthy heart!!

When I took you for your Prevnar shot on Friday, Sandy (your nurse) had already heard the report from Dr. Carr, who had talked to Dr. Rice. I think they were almost as excited as we were. Sandy asked if you were still Daddy's favorite...I told her unhesitatingly- yes:) I know he loves all his kids equally- but there is definitely a special bond you two share.

We took you with us on our romantic getaway after your shots. Daddy had reserved a bed and breakfast in the Columbia Gorge. I'd never been to that area, so I was amazed at how beautiful it was. Breathtakingly beautiful, winding roads cutting through mountains on both sides, as the Hood river snakes alongside the highway...This weekend was the "Blossom Festival" in the Hood River area, celebrating the arrival of spring, and everything was in full bloom. Cherry trees, magnolias, every type of fruit tree you could imagine was "blossoming".

According to Hood River's official website there are "over 15,000 acres of orchards exploding into bloom - carpeting the entire Valley in pearly white and pink blossoms."

You slept the whole drive there- I think your shots wore you out!!


When we arrived at the bed and breakfast, "Boba", the Lituanian hostess who met us at the foot of the stairs, took one look at you and said in a heavily accented, astonished tone, "I do not allow children!"

"She's joking!" Daddy laughed, and proceeded up Boba's steps past her, carseat in hand. A tiny sleeping angel happily snoring away in her Graco snug-ride surely could not be a threat to anyone, least of all buxom, blond, aging Lithuanian innkeepers.

But Boba raised her arched eyebrows, glared at me and said "I am not kidding! I do not allow anyone under 12! We have other guests!"

Daddy trotted happily upstairs, baby-in-tow, oblivious to Boba and her shock-filled eyes that were now boring holes into the back of his head.

"Sam! She is serious!" I said, smiling at Boba with my best "Isn't he cute when he doesn't pay attention" grin.

Daddy turned around half-way up the stairs ...to see Boba, ready to charge at him with a meat cleaver if neccesary, lest our Lily-bird awaken screaming and scare all the Blossom worshippers away to Motel 6's..

"She's serious," I repeated, smiling at Daddy with my best "I'm going to kill you if you don't 'get' that this woman does not have a funny bone in her body!" smile.

Finally Daddy looked at Boba- hands placed firmly on generous hips- and got it.

"She's only 3 months old," he said, flashing his award-winning wheeler-dealer-of-the-year grin.

Not gonna cut it.

Boba announced that she would take us upstairs to her sitting room, and help us call around- but she could not make exceptions, she had other guests to think of.

Who knew that one little Lily-bird could cause such a scandal?

Daddy placed several phone calls, and true to his wheeler-dealer reputation, landed us a 2 bedroom suite right on the river, breakfast, fireplace, and jacuzzi included.. for the same price as the bed and breakfast. And babies were accepted!

A wonderfully relaxing, beautiful vacation followed..yummy meals using only 1/2 of my saved up flex-points for the week (all praise and adoration for weight watchers, and to Danielle for mentoring me in their ways:)) ...a fun morning spent sleeping in and waking up to Daddy and you flirting and cooing with each other..you worship your Daddy!

And here is the proof...
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I know this little mini-vacation was intended to be a romantic get-away for your Daddy and me...but something tells me he was just as excited about a little love-fest with his Lilygirl. At home he has to share you with everyone, but whenever he gets this chance, you are all his.

Whether it was morning time snuggles, or front-packing you all over the downtown area while we window shopped and slurped ice cream cones..


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...or just chillin' with you in his arms while he stood on the patio and watched the Hood river drift by...
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No matter what we're doing, you and Daddy are inseparable. And I don't mind playing second fiddle...if it's true that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach..then it's equally true, a way to a woman's heart is through her kids. My love for your Daddy has skyrocketed to new heights since having you. His complete infatuation and over-the-top adoration of you makes me so glad to be his soul-mate for 23 years.

And we're gonna grow old together, loving you:)
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Love always,

Mama oxox

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday

Dearest Lily,

We just got home after a week of conference- I was so excited to show you off. Everyone thought you were so tiny and beautiful and perfect. So many mixed emotions for me..seeing other babies younger than you, who are twice your size makes me more aware of how little you are. I know you're healthy, and that is what matters. It's just a little difficult wondering what your future holds.

I still have moments of fearing a little bit. I just want so much for you to be able to "relate" to us. I don't want you to ever feel unloved, or made fun of. I don't want you to ever be aware of any disabilities you might have. I just want you to be happy and feel safe and totally loved.

The other side of that, is that something in me also cringes when people say certain things, hoping to encourage me about your future.. like "they (people with Downs) are always happy." I mean, of course I want you to be happy all the time. But I think that's one of the "myths" about Down syndrome- because according to every piece of literature I've read about what to expect, you will have every range of emotions a "normal" person does. Having Downs doesn't make you a happy-go-lucky zombie.. you'll feel frustration, anger, etc. too. Reading that helps me more than hearing the myth repeated that people with Downs are just "simple" and "always content". Maybe because part of what gives us depth as humans is our range of emotions and moods. It's what makes each person unique- temperament, personality, character...I don't want you to be without those things.

So guess what I do? When I start thinking about those things, and contemplating your future, and wondering who is really "right"- I take a good look at perfect, delectable little you.

My little Lily, you have very distinct little moods already! You are loud and feisty when you're not not being held or fed when you want to be. You are grumpy when your diaper is wet. You are serious and pensive when you're staring into our eyes and searching our faces, examining every detail as if you were about to take a test on what we look like. You are happy and cooing in the mornings when you first wake up. You love your bath, and love snuggling...you hate being totally swaddled, and you always want your arms free so you can curl a fist under your cheek or suck your fingers. You can't sleep alone- you fuss and squirm in your co-sleeper until we give in and pull you into bed with us. You love to sleep on our chests, especially Daddy's.

What a perfect little Lily you are. And I'm learning to just enjoy you, and who you are right now-instead of wondering who you will be some day. One day at a time, we're gonna make it sweetie.

I'll close now, cuz it's time for your last feeding before bed. Just tonight I was remembering back to when you were born, when I was wondering if you'd ever be able to breastfeed. And here you are tonight, nursing like a little pro.

Thank You, God, for my little princess who amazes me daily. She is, next to salvation, the best gift You have given us.

I love you, Lily.

Always yours,

Mama oxoxo