Wednesday, November 25, 2009

gratitude: day 25

today i am grateful for leah.hopefully everyone already knows this.

i'm grateful she has made me love someone in a way i never knew was possible.

i'm grateful she has helped me be more patient. more understanding. more nurturing.

i'm grateful she has helped me to slow down {sometimes} and enjoy smaller things in life. to see things as i'm sure i used to see them, and then somehow forgot. to relax and play. to not always worry about messes...and even have fun with them.

i'm grateful she's my little helper. she goes almost everywhere with me. she does almost everything with me.

i'm grateful for her laugh. her smile. her curls. her eyes. her chubby cheeks. her roly-poly legs. her six-pack abs. her ticklish tummy. her bum cheeks. her sense of humor. her love of books. her curiosity. her teasing. her wobbly run.

i'm grateful she was strong enough and brave enough before she even came here to sign up for all of her challenges. and i'm grateful she trusted me enough to take care of her while she is here.

i'm grateful she has helped me remember to fall on my knees to pray each morning and each night...and usually many times in between.

i'm grateful for the ups...and downs...even though i much prefer the ups.

i'm grateful she forgets when i make a mistake. or when i'm not as nice or as patient as i should be.

i'm grateful for her hugs and kisses. and i'm grateful she said, "ma ma" today, even if she wasn't saying it to me. i needed that.

i'm grateful for leah.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

magnetic resonance imaging

dear little leah,

yesterday was a first for all of us. on tuesday, you had your first {and hopefully your last} mri. because you're only two and not many two year olds can sit completely and perfectly still for an hour, the doctors and nurses had to put you under general anesthesia.

that's a scary thing.

but you did an amazing job.

first of all, three cheers for making it through the morning before all this mri business even started. i'm not sure whose idea it was to make a two year old get an mri at 2:00pm, but i'm pretty sure they never consulted anyone with a toddler first. we were under strict instructions to feed you only clear liquids {plain jell-o was also permitted} until 11am and then stop feeding you completely. have they met you? you follow in my footsteps: you love to eat. it was painful for me to not feed you for that long. i decided to not eat as well just so i could feel your pain. you're welcome.
because the mri was at 2pm, we had to be at the hospital at 12:30. do you see a problem here? 12:30. naptime. yah. you don't do well without sleep. that has been proven in the last two months. you were fine when we walked into the hospital. they gave us all stickers to wear. but you quickly lost it after that.doesn't daddy look amused in this picture?

after we got you dressed in your cute little gown {remind me again how i forgot to take it home with us}, your friend kathy joined us. kathy is in our ward and she's also the lds chaplain at stanford hospital. she loves you. and you love her. she calmed you down in three seconds flat. it was incredible!

after you were calm, a really nice nurse came in and explained everything to us. we walked to another room where they got some of your health history and then gave you some versed orally. that means through your mouth. sorry, no big words here. the nurse said versed either makes you sleepy or silly. i guessed you'd choose silly. i guessed wrong. you were one sleepy leah!after you were sleepy enough, daddy carried you to another room where they gave you this "watermelon gas" to put you completely out. that's when i lost it.

i tried to cry quietly. the nurse called me out on it. and then it was all over. she asked if i wanted to kiss you and then say goodbye. um, yes, but not to the latter. it was so strange to see you so still on that bed with a mask on your face. i knew you were sleeping...but not because you were tired. i was scared. even though i knew you'd be okay. i was scared.

good thing you were brave.

daddy and i went to the cafeteria while you endured who knows what. at least you won't remember it right?

about 45 minutes later, they called us back to see you. you were OUT. out i tell ya! i think two months of no sleeping finally caught up with you. when we finally aroused you enough to partake of our popsicles and apple juice, we got you dressed and brought you home. you kept pulling the funniest faces. included this one with your lips:
you sleepily sat on the couch with daddy watching some movies. and then you fell alseep.

daddy and i were amazed with how brave you were. you went under beautifully and came out beautifully.

and today you were a dream! so much that daddy thinks you should get an mri every day. not really. he's just kidding. but you ran around like a crazy person all morning - like you were glad we actually let you run around or something. and you ate like a starving monster - like we had starved you the day before or something.

we don't have the results yet, but hopefully they come back with one beautiful looking brain. it makes sense: a beautiful brain for a beautiful girl, right? right.

i love you, you know.

thanks for being brave.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

sweet baby girl

My sweet baby girl,

Tonight you had a rough night. I put you to bed a little before 8:00 p.m., and you screamed in your crib. This wasn’t any trivial scream – it was blood curdling. I felt so bad. I went and picked you up. Your little body was trembling. With each scream you completely tensed. You scraped and clawed at whatever was around (mostly my face, arms, and one not-so-lucky missing tract of skin on the back of my neck). I’m sure you were in some kind of pain. I hate when you’re in pain. It almost doesn’t seem fair that someone as sweet and perfect as you should have to suffer pain. But I guess we all have different things we need to learn in this life don’t we? Here are a couple things I’ve learned (you’ve taught me) so far:

1. Without you, I could never have imagined what it feels like to be completely head-over-heels for someone so small.

2. You’re in the process of teaching me patience – you’re a pretty tough teacher. But like many tough teachers, I’m expecting to learn far more than can be expected otherwise.

3. You’ve allowed me the chance to let my emotions flow. I don’t cry often, but thinking of you often brings tears to my eyes.

4. Your hugs melt me. They are the sweetest things on earth. Oh how I love when I squat down and throw my arms open and then watch as you stop in your tracks, turn toward me, and run as fast as your little legs will carry you until you collapse in my arms.

5. You will always fit in my arms…always.

6. You’ve taught me what is important. When I found out about your diagnosis, the whole world faded away.

I love you little darlin’ – and always will!


Monday, November 9, 2009

hey stephen...

dear little leah,

have i ever told you that you like taylor swift? you do. a lot.

you like her so much that her fearless cd has been in your cd player in your room for months now. and it's all you ever listen to. and you listen to it a lot. all-day-long a lot.

i will officially say you are obsessed. obsessed.

first thing in the morning when you get out of bed, the play button is pushed. then pause. then play. then pause. then play. then forward. then forward. then reverse. then stop. then play. then pause. then play. then repeat. then, after i realize we've listened to the same track for 34 minutes, i un-press repeat and the pattern continues.

actually, there is no pattern. you just likes to push buttons. and you like taylor swift, so it's a great combination.

today, you decided to scream bloody murder and shed crocodile tears before your nap. for an hour. we sat for awhile {aprox. 50 minutes} while i held you down {so you wouldn't mutilate yourself...or me for that matter}, you started to calm down after these 50 or so minutes. we were listening to "hey stephen." the next track came on and you got a bit agitated. so i turned it back to "hey stephen." and then i did it again. and again. and again. probably 14 times. you slowly started to close your eyes {then open them...then close them again} until you were out. really out. as in pick-up-your-arm-and-drop-it-like-a-wet-noodle out. and then i successfully transfered you to your crib. and then turned off the cd player.

i have to admit: although i don't love your crying, i love that i was able to help you fall asleep in my arms. that doesn't happen very often. it never has. you've always been kind of an independent gal when it comes to sleeping. the past few months have changed that. but today i welcomed the opportunity to cuddle.

your tears made me so sad today. so sad, leah. i hate to see you in pain. i'm not sure what causes it. and i'm not sure how to help you feel better. but i'll keep trying.

i'm glad i could help you today.

and i'm glad taylor was there to help too. and stephen.

i love you.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

dear little leah, the first...

{photo credit: julia wade}

today i made you a blog. well, really, it's a blog for all my letters to you. i write you a lot of letters. that's just the way my mind works. sometimes i write them down, sometimes i don't. and i'm always sad when i haven't written them down. so, this is a blog to solve that problem. i have some old letters that i'm going to post first and then i'll add new ones. hopefully you like it. i sure like you.

love, mommy