Saturday, January 28, 2006

Monday Memories: Anna's Kasai

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about Anna's Kasai Operation

Continued from Last week:

I didn't sleep very much that night. Jason got to the hospital early like he had promised. We waited all day for the results, hoping that we would know early. Still having hope of this all being a misunderstanding, or maybe something a little more simple and easy to fix. Neither of us wanted to leave the room for fear of missing the doctors, so we sat and waited and waited and waited some more. It wasn't until late afternoon when Dr. Alonso came to the room. I had just come back up from getting something to drink out of the vending machine in the cafeteria. They always come when your not there. Of course, they waited for me to come back before pulling us into the conference room. I remember following Dr. Alonso down the halls, feeling as though we were walking in slow motion. I know there were other liver team members who tagged along, but I only remember talking with Dr. Alonso. When we entered the room, the sun must have been setting, because it was blaring through the blinds. ( Gosh, I don't even remember this till now, writing is bringing back so many memories.) Sitting there, clenching my soda bottle tight, we heard the words Biliary Atresia, again. That was it, that's what it was. I don't know what she said after that. We were holding on to the hope of this being something else. It hit us, again, like a ton of bricks. Anna's Kasai was scheduled for Monday, November 12.

We went back Anna's room and I looked at her with fear. Fear for her. We were told that we would be able to go home for the weekend since it was only Friday, so that's what we did. Any time you are allowed to go home, you want to take it. Even if it's only for a day or so. Hospitals are no fun. Our neighbors were also leaving at about the same time, wishing us good luck with Anna, and we wished her the same for her daughter. The mother looked at us knowingly.

Our time at home that weekend was bitter sweet. Jason had to go to work Saturday, and we had to be admitted Sunday night for Anna's surgery early Monday morning. So, we only had one full day. We thought it would be best for Mary to remain with Jason's parents. I didn't know how to handle all of this, and we thought Mary would be worried. Kids can always sense when something is up. She was excited to be spending so much time with her grandparents anyway. Jason had to work Saturday while Anna and I spent some peaceful time together that day. I held her all day that day, took naps with her and got nothing done around the house. Jason's Aunt Mary made a surprise visit, she brought food ( feeding me made her feel like she was helping out, that's the Italian way ), and more information on BA for me she printed out from her computer (I didn't have a computer at the time). While I know she thought she was helping by cleaning my house, washing my dishes, bringing food and more crap for me to read, I just wanted her to leave. I was in no mood for company. Anna and I needed this time together, alone.

The next thing I remember was handing Anna over to the nurse on the morning of the surgery. We didn't even meet her surgeon before the surgery, so I felt like I was handing her to a stranger. Well, I guess really we were. I didn't know anything about anybody that would be in there with her and to think of them working on her for hours was very sad to me. I guess you feel like, it's me handing her over, putting her life in other hands, not knowing these people and if anything goes wrong I would feel like it was my fault. It's hard to let other people just hold your new born, you know? The surgery took 7 hours. It was nerve wracking in the surgical waiting room. Again, we didn't want to leave but they told us we wouldn't hear anything until half way through, so we decided to get breakfast. We ran into Dr. Alonso in the cafeteria. She asked if Anna had gone to surgery yet, and reassured us that it would be fine, and that Dr. Superina was the best. We were angry for not having met the surgeon before hand. Why wouldn't they talk to the parents first? It all happened so fast, just like that. Not even one week since the diagnoses. Anna was only 2 days shy of 8 weeks old. Now she is going through an operation, with a surgeon we haven't met. It's scary how fast your life can change.

After we ate, we stayed in the waiting room the whole rest of the time, besides the occasional bathroom break and phone call to Jason's parents. We saw families come and go. We watched the Proud Family over and over again. It must have been a marathon. Neither of us had the attention span to read a magazine. We just sat, and waited. We never heard anything half way through, and I am not sure why we never asked. Maybe I thought we'd be bothering them? I don't know, but it was scary. Maybe they didn't want to tell us bad news, or maybe they forgot about us sitting and waiting? That's what I thought. I don't think it was until an hour before we got to see her, when we heard that it was over, and they were just finishing up and would be bringing her to recovery. They would call us in when they got her settled in. They warned us about what we would see when we walked in to see Anna, but they could never really prepare you for that. We could barley see her, there were tubes all over the place. They had braces on her arms so that she wouldn't pull on anything. She didn't look the same, she was swollen. It was heart wrenching to see your baby like that. Anna stayed in recovery for another half hour or so before we got a room. There were no rooms available on 6 west anymore, so we had to go to stay the 5th floor, and stayed there until we were released from the hospital. I was upset, but I think maybe I was getting fed up with the whole hospital experience. We had to demand that they call the surgeon to come talk with us. We had many questions, and were shocked that we had to hunt him down. I guess we had this crazy idea that the surgeon should talk to the family! Looking back now, we over reacted. Dr. Superina is a great, don't get me wrong. That whole hospital is great, it just so happens that the little things got to us more then because they all happened at once. Between the bad experience in ultrasound, the waiting, not being able to meet with the surgeon before the surgery, and no updates during. Then we couldn't even stay on the floor that we should be on. We were not happy. He came in and talked to us no too long after he was paged. Not very much was said. We would have to wait to see if it would be successful. Once again, we wanted answers right then. We had this crazy idea that he would have a prognoses for Anna right away. We were naive yes, but how were we to know.

Anna was in the hospital for 7 days following her Kasai. She did very well, and everyone was pleased with her progress. It was nice to be able to bring her home. Mary was happy to be home and able to go back to school. Jason went back to work. Anna was feeling good, and her jaundice was clearing up some. Things got back to "normal."

Next week: Anna's first bout of Cholangitis

Sorry for the photo Quality. Since I don't have a scanner, I have to take pictures of pictures.

A pictures of Anna taken soon after coming home after her Kasai

Mary, happy to have her baby sister back!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thursday Thirteen: 13 New Things Baby Sister Alexandria Can Do

Thirteen Things about Alexandria

1. Say Anna (the best thing in Anna's mind!)

2. Claps her hands

3. Shakes her head no

4. Crawls faster than I have ever seen a baby crawl

5. Cruises along the furniture

6. Stands on her own for about 10 seconds at a time

7. Sorts shapes ( Blue circle in blue circle shaped hole)


8. Knows how to make us laugh

9. Therefore, makes everybody laugh

10. Says Mama, Da Da, Papa, Ba Ba,

11. Blows kisses

IM000042 IM000043

12. Says gaygee (doggy) geegee (kitty)

13. Crawls fast enough to get to gaygee and geegee's food bowls, put the food in her mouth while dumping over water bowls, all before Mommy could get to her, and laughs about it!

Little stinker:


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Mama B
The Color Purple

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Thank you thank you Becca! After many days of trial and error, I was able to put some of my own music on this blog! I chose this song because it is one of Anna's favorite songs! I would sing this to her in the hospital, over and over again! She loved it, and still does. This version especially!

Let me know if you can hear it or not, maybe I am getting ahead of myself.

This version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", mixed with, "What A Wonderful World" is sung by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Moday Memories: The Biopsy

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about Anna's admittance and Biopsy

Continued from last week:
I don't remember what time we finally arrived at the hospital that day. We actually still had a bit of light though, I remember seeing the sun setting as we approached the Hospital. The whole day went by in slow motion. I felt like I was living in a nightmare. When we walked into the hospital, I had no idea where we were supposed to be. Did they tell us where to go? We didn't have her room number or anything. "Are you being admitted?" the front desk lady asked. No turning back now, she sent us to the admitting office to fill out some papers, take our insurance, and put some bracelets on Anna and gave Jason and I our parents passes. That was it, we were a patient"s parents at Children's Memorial Hospital. Up to 6 west we went with all of our papers now. I still remember them saying, "follow the train tracks to elevator A and your going to the 6th floor."

It didn't feel right that we were there. We went from being a happy carefree family with a perfect brand new edition, to this? This didn't happen to people like us. How are we going to deal with this, how much is this baby girl going to have to endure? We approached the nurses station with our papers, and then we were shown to our room. It was a double room towards the back of the unit, but it was just us at first. I was a little upset to think that we would have to share with another patient, this was hard enough to deal with, it would be nice to have some privacy. Well, at least for right now we were alone, I thought to myself. Alone my butt! There is no being alone in the hospital.

I can't remember how many different people we saw that day, and we had a lot of questions for them. We were told Anna was scheduled for an ultrasound first thing in the morning, then we would meet with Dr. Alonso who would do the biopsy. After things quieted down a bit, Jason left for his parents house, but promised to come back first thing in the morning. Thank goodness, Jason's parents only lived 15 to 20 minutes North of the hospital at the time. If he tried to go home and drive into the city in the morning, it would have taken at least an hour and a half, if not more. Traffic into the city in the morning is always horrible.

Jason got there the next morning before we headed down to ultrasound. The ultrasound took a while, it was very silent and uncomfortable in that room. I had been up all night and I remember wanting to crawl onto the bed with Anna and fall asleep. There was a bubbly fish lamp in there that Anna enjoyed watching. She was such a good girl!

Usually two ultrasound tech's perform an ultrasound. I remember the first one looking for Anna's gallbladder, and not being able to find one. In between tech's, I remember Jason saying that maybe that was the problem. We had no idea that with Biliary Atresia the child doesn't usually have a gallbladder. We were looking for a way out, any other explanation than Biliary Atresia, because from what we have heard about it so far, it did not sound like a pleasant disease. The next tech came in, but wasn't in for as long as the first guy. Then we were done. We had to wait for transport and they needed the room, so they kicked us out. There we were, waiting in a hallway. After waiting for a good thirty minutes (yes, just for someone to show us back to our room. Like we couldn't walk up there ourselves), Anna's IV machine started to beep. Not knowing what was going on, we got scared. We didn't know why it was beeping, and no one could explain why. We tried to get someone to help us, they blew us off. They seemed too busy to want to deal with us. Jason got upset, and so did I. We demanded someone come get us, or for them to let us walk upstairs by ourselves. What did they think we would do? Steal our sick child out of the hospital? I don't remember what we ended up happening. I do remember that all it was, was that the IV machine battery was low, and needed to be plugged back into the wall, but how the hell were we supposed to know that. It sounded scary to us, and nobody down there knew what to do about it.

When we got back to the floor, we meat with Dr. Alonso, who did the biopsy. They were able to do it right there at bedside, but Jason and I had to wait out in the hall. It was so quick, but the results wouldn't be in until the next day. More waiting, that is what being in the hospital was all about. I am patient, Jason is not. He hated sitting there waiting, so I told him to go on home and get some rest, "just make sure you come back early in the morning." I hated having talk to the doctors on my own. I always felt like I wouldn't understand what they said, but when it came time to relay the message to Jason I would forget. I wouldn't remember to write down questions. There was so much information to take in, we were so new to this it was very confusing. So, after we saw the docs for night rounds, Jason went back to his parents house. It was nice for Mary to be able to see him. I missed her so much already, but I needed to be there with Anna.

We got neighbors that night. As much as I thought I would hate having neighbors, is as glad as I was right then to have them. I got to talk to the mother about our situation, and our uncertainties, and she told me about themselves. It was a little girl, about two years old. I don't remember what she was in for, but she had been in recovery for a surgery on her kidneys, and was able to move to the floor that night. Poor sweetheart had a ruff night. Although she had a crib, she slept with her mommy on the pull out chair. You could tell these parents were used to being in the hospital stays. That was going to be me, I thought. Always in and out of the hospital, this place was to be our second home. More knots in my stomach. I prayed to God that the biopsy would show all was well and Anna would be sent home with a clean bill of health. God, please help her, I prayed, heal her, make her better.

Next week for Monday Memories: The results are in, and Anna's Kasai.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Jason's birthday, and just in time for it we got a nice huge snow fall! Jason loves the snow, I hate it. I went to Jewel last night and had to scrap off my car. It was snowing so hard that while only being in the store for 30 minutes, or less maybe, I had to scrap the snow off my car again! I am too lazy to get a really good picture outside, so I just took one out the doorway this morning.



It's too bad Jason has to work today, or he would probably take the girls out to play in this. That means I'll have to do it. Did I mention that I don't like snow? Later tonight we will celebrate Jason's birthday by going out to eat, then we will go to his parents house to eat cheesecake. Speaking of cheesecake, Mary had an eye doctor appointment yesterday. She has been complaining of blurring when she reads. We discovered that she is far sided, and she will need glasses for reading. Not a big deal except I will have to trust her to take them on and off all the time and not loose them. I told her we would buy a special case for her. She is happy to get glasses, as I was when I was young. I know that won't last, it comes to be a hassle. Maybe I should get Anna's vision checked as well. The whole side of my family, well most of them, wear glasses. Jason's mom and dad do, both have to wear bifocals. I wear glasses, Jason did, but hasn't since he lost his last pair. Ok got off the subject a little. So, what does this have to do with cheesecake? Anyway, since it took a while at the eye doctor I didn't bother to try to rush to get Mary back to school after lunch time, so I let her ditch the rest of the school day and we headed to Woodfeild mall to the cheesecake factory to get Jason a cheesecake for his birthday, his favorite! 45 dollars for a 10 inch fresh strawberry cheesecake! He's lucky we love him, Jason's parents and I split the bill. Mary and I went to lunch, and looked around in the mall for a little while. This place is huge, and I try to avoid going there too much because there is a lot of walking involved. I know, I sound lazy. You shouldn't go to the mall without money anyway, it just reminds me of what I want that I can't have!

My friend Jessie is also in town for a visit this weekend. She got in Thursday night and spent the night. We grew up down the street from each other, but didn't become friends until her sophomore year, and my freshman year in high school. Then, before Anna was born, she upped and moved to Seattle. It was sad, Mary was really attached to her. She comes and visits about once a year, it used to be more often but the longer she is gone, the less often she comes. We haven't taken any pictures with her yet, but we will get to that Sunday. We will meet up for lunch along with some other old highschool friends. McDonald's playland is were we are going for lunch, that way the kids can ply, and we can all catch up. I will try to remember to bring my camera along!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Monday Memories: Anna's diagnoses

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about The day Anna was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia

These are not happy memories, but very much part of our life. I think I will continue each week as I look back on my memories of Anna's days with this disease, as well as her transplant before and after. I have never written it down, so now is the time!

Anna's pediatrician called with Anna's blood test results. It was 7 o'clock in the evening on a Sunday night. I was very surprised to here from the doctor at this time of the night on a Sunday, because he told me to not expect a call until the mid afternoon on Monday. There was great concern in his voice. I remember him saying that Anna's bilirubin was still high (with this being the third blood test since she was born) At this point Anna was 7 weeks old. He wanted us to come in first thing in the morning so that he could give us a referral to a specialist. "There are a few options", he said. He gave us a few names, but highly recommended Dr. Whitington at Children's Memorial. On his referral paper I saw the words Biliary Atresia, and blocked bile ducts. I could still see the green lab order type paper. Holding it in my hand, clenching it very tight so that I didn't loose it for fear of going to Children's without it and them telling me to come back with a new order before the doctor would see me. I couldn't even pronounce the words Biliary Atresia. We got an apt. The very next day to see Dr. Whitington at Children's. Jason stressed the fact that he needed to get the day off of work to come with me, while I didn't think it would be necessary. How bad could it be? Some medicine to unblock her bile ducts and she would be fine! Jason was a lot more worried than I was. I always thought that he overreacted when Mary was sick or hurt, and this was what he was doing. I was glad to hear he was able to get the day off anyway, I don't like driving downtown by myself, I thought. We arranged for my neighbor to watch Mary that day since Jason's parents didn't live close to us at the time. As we drove down to the hospital I got to thinking a little more. This must be something that requires more than just medicine, or my pediatrician would have given it to me, right? I started feeling the knots in my stomach, I started to get nervous about what we would hear that day.

We were called into a room not too long after arriving. First we saw Brian, one of the liver nurse/practitioners. He was great to talk to, and adored Anna. He asked too many questions, a lot that I couldn't answer. He asked questions about the color of her urine, her sleeping habits, her mood...but when he asked about the color of her stool, if it had been light, that's when I knew that they had an idea about what was going on with her. Then a couple more people came in and asked just about the same questions we had already answered. I was getting annoyed at that point, why do we have to answer the same questions over and over again? How many people have to touch her, feel on her belly before an actual doctor came in to talk to us? Finally, after 2 nurses and an intern, Dr. Whitington came in. A pleasant smile on his face was very reassuring to me. I thought all was well, we got all worked up over nothing. Then, he dropped the bomb on us. He told us he was sure it was Biliary Atresia, that if we ran into him anywhere else he would have stopped us. He proceeded to tell us about this disease, and what would come to follow. He explained the Kasai procedure to us, and drew a diagram of what they would do in this surgery. He told us that this procedure doesn't always work, and that she would eventually need a liver transplant. Before any of this Anna was to be admitted to the hospital for a biopsy to confirm his suspicion. It didn't all click with me right away. When the doctor left the room I looked at Jason and saw the fear in his eyes, then we both cried. Brian walked into the room to let us know that our bed would take a couple of hours. We had the option to stay and wait for a bed, or to go home to gather some things, and come back later that day. He must have seen parents like us before because it didn't seem to faze him that we were upset. We told him we needed a minute to talk. He understood.

After he left Jason and I pulled ourselves together and talked about what we should do. We then remembered that Mary was with my neighbor, but couldn't stay there for a couple nights, or however long we would be at the hospital for. We needed to go home and gather some things for all of us, make some phone calls for Mary's school and Jason's work. We had to ask Jason's parents to watch Mary for us, and for, we didn't know how long. As we walked into the lobby on our way out of the hospital at Children's, Jason decided that he had better call work to let them know he wouldn't be there for the rest of today. As he was talking on the phone all terry eyed, I was sitting in the lobby, terry eyed, worried about every one looking at me. I have never liked people seeing me cry. Again, I thought, this place must see a lot of this. The car ride home was very silent, as we were in shock from what we had just had to take in. I sat in the back seat holding Anna's hand, as Jason drove. She was sleeping, and she seemed fine. Was she really as sick as the doctors think? She looked so peaceful, and beautiful.

As we came closer to home, I started to worry about what we were going to tell Mary. At the time she was only 4 years old. How do we explain this to a 4 year old when we didn't even understand it ourselves? How would she react? How would we tell her that her new baby sister and Mommy and Daddy would be torn away from her, but we didn't know for how long. That she wouldn't be able to go to school because she had to stay at her grandparents house. This was going to be hard. As we pulled up to the house Mary was playing outside with some neighbors. So pretty with her long thick hair, she looked so happy and we were about to chatter her perfect world. We brought her upstairs after a brief explanation of the situation to our neighbors. All we told her was that her baby sister was sick, and she had to go to the hospital for a little while. She was very grown up about the whole thing, I know she wasn't happy about having to miss school, but she loved to go visit her Gama and Papa! Of course, we didn't have to worry about my in-laws saying no to watching Mary, they were always ready and whiling, but we did have to explain the situation with them as well. They had a lot of questions that we couldn't answer because we didn't know the answers. Luckily, Brian gave us a some pamphlets to hand out and those came in handy. When we arrived at Jason's parents house with Mary and Anna, we couldn't stay long, we had to get Anna back to the hospital. We let Gama, who was the only on home at the time, read the pamphlet. Her face turned white, she cried, gave us hugs and kissed and held Anna for a little bit before we went on our way. Then, we were on our way.....

Here are a couple pictures of Anna before she was diagnosed:



To be continued, next week....Anna's admittance, and biopsy.
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Yes, I Am One Of Those Parents!

Last night we went to see "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" I just had to get out of the house, I felt cooped up and just had to get out and do something. At 7:30 in the evening mentioned the way I felt to Jason and asked him if maybe he felt the same. He said he did, but wondered what we would do at that time of the night, and we had already had dinner, so going out to eat was out of question. Ever since Narnia came out Mary has been dropping hints to go see it, so I brought that up. I think Jason is one of the only people that hasn't read the book. He didn't understand what all the fuss was about, but I promised him it would be good. The only thing that held us back was the next show time didn't start until 9:00, and we had no one to watch the baby. Jason's parents would have watched her in a second, but they were out at a company "Holiday party" (a little late, you think?) So....did I want to be one of those annoying parents that brought the fussy crying baby to the theater? After discussing it for a while, Jason and I decided that we should just go ahead and go. It's not like the girls had anything to do today, they could sleep in late after being up till midnight (long movie), and Alex is always so good wherever we go, I didn't think she would make too much noise and figured that it would be about bed time when we got to the theater and she would pass out soon after the movie started. It turned out to work out fine. We got there and Alex was oooing, and awwwing about everything. She thought it was pretty cool! We got our seats, then Jason Mary and Anna went to get goodies (note to self, offer to do that job next time) They came back with popcorn, pretzel bites, 2 large pops, and two boxes of candy! I wanted so bad to holler at Jason, but he is such a softey when it comes to what the girls want, and he doesn't mind eating it either! We were having such a good time, I didn't want to spoil anything. They came back just as the movie started, I guess the lines at the concession stand were long. Besides a couple of outbursts from Alex, she was good! She sat with us, ate popcorn, and even had a few sips of pop. One time she started chanting DaDa, but I think she just needed to hear her own voice. Since she was talking over the loud speakers, she was being loud. The people if front of me glared in our direction, but she stopped almost as soon as she started so they didn't get too mad. A little while later she started to get sleepy, but tried to fight it, she didn't want to miss a thing! It wasn't long after that when she finally drifted off to her own land of Narnia! That was probably only half an hour after the movie started, and she was out for the rest of the time. It was great! Mary and Anna even stayed awake for the whole thing! When we went to see "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", she fell asleep half way through. It was probably all the candy and pop this time around! Mary has always been good at staying up, even better than me! Narnia was a great movie, we all enjoyed it. The outing with all three of them was fun, and turned out ok! I might even do it again some day. I do know that the next time I go to the theatre and there is a fussy baby, or loud kid, I won't think twice. Sometimes you gotta just do it.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Anna's turn to be the big sister!

When I found out I was pregnant with Alexandria I was shocked, not only were we not planning another baby but I was on the pill! I thought maybe this would be our boy. Jason and I knew we would have another baby, but not this soon. I only wanted one more, and wanted it to be a boy so that I could be done having baby's and concentrate on the three. Well, we all know how that turned out. So, now I have three girls and a dream of having a boy some time in the future. Jason is an only child and this would be the last chance to carry on his name. As for me, I just want a boy! For right now there is no plan for another anytime soon, but that doesn't mean God has a different plan for us! Alexandria is the sweetest baby, and I wouldn't trade her in for anything in the world, not even a boy! She has THE cutest personality for a 9 month old. She already says HI, she also tries to say Anna but calls almost everyone else Da Da. When she sees something interesting she will say oohhh, or DA? (like, what the heck is that?). She has been crawling for two months now, but now that she has it down and she is a speed crawler. She pulls herself up on furniture and has been doing that for about a month and a half. She cruises along furniture, and has four teeth. She won't touch baby food anymore, except for the cereal and fruit. She is growing up too fast!

Before Alexandria was born, I was worried. Anna has been the center of everyone's attention for almost four year at that time, I thought she was going to be jealous of the new baby because she wouldn't be the center of the universe anymore. 9 months have gone by since Alex was born and not one sign of jealousy from Anna. I have to say that I am still shocked. Anna loves her baby sister. It reminds me so much of how Mary was towards Anna when Anna was born. Now that Alex is getting older, Anna is able to do more with her. If Anna has to take a bath, she wants Alex in there with her. When it is Alexandria's turn, Anna has to be in there with her no matter what. Anna taught Alex how to splash, and I mean splash big. The bathroom floor is always really wet after their bath. I took some pictures of them in the tub together the other day. Anna and Alex remind me so much of how Mary and Anna were. There are some things that Anna can't do, like change a diaper, spoon feed baby food and carry her around like Mary does. That really frustrates Anna. She wants to be able to do what Mary does. I have also noticed that some things Anna does, or says to Alex are the same things Mary did with Anna. Mary is passing down her good big sister skills for Anna to use with Alex. Alexandria is a very lucky baby, she has both of her big sisters to show her love and attention. She could never be board. I love the way she looks at them, with such love in her eyes, and envy. It warms my heart. I pray that they will be close as they grow older. Out of the five sister that I have, I am only close to two of them. It's sad really, but I guess if I think about it there is a 25 year gap between the oldest sister and the youngest sister, not to mention the five boys scattered around in the mix of us, with me the third from the youngest. When I was born my two oldest sisters were not living in my parents house anymore. So what's my point, I guess I kind of went off the subject, but I just hope that they are always this close:
Alexandria and Anna having a blast splashing in the tub!

Mary feeding Alexandria her morning cereal.

Just hanging out!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Talk

Well, things are back to normal after the Holidays. Mary and Anna both went back to yesterday. In the past Mary couldn't wait to start school no matter if it was after Summer, after Christmas break, or even just the weekend. I knew that would change sooner or later, but my fingers were crossed for later. It's not like I had to drag her out of bed or anything, but the excitement was gone. Anna, on the other hand, was very happy to go back to school. Since she only goes two days a week, it's like a treat for her, like how it was for Mary. Preschool is like that, it's fun and you get snack time, and play time, and everything is a game, even when it's learning. Kindergarten is pretty much the same only you go everyday for a half day and everyone is your friend. First grade was the coolest for Mary, she was no longer in the youngest class, you stay at school for the whole day, and what is cooler then getting to eat your lunch in school? This year Mary realizes the work that she has to do could be challenging, eating in the lunch room really isn't that cool when you have to rush, and friends start forming groups that may or may not include you. Mary came home yesterday in an awful mood, giving me attitude, yelling at Anna for looking at her, and just not acting lik my Mary. I knew something was up. When I told her that she better shape up, and there was no reason for the way she was treating her sister and I, she fessed up. I guess a group of her "friends" were talking about her behind her back, and wouldn't play with her at recess because she was weird and stupid. I asked Mary if she heard the girls saying these things, and she said no, another friend of hers told her that she heard them talking about Mary and relayed it back to Mary. I was at a lose for words, I didn't know what to say to my crying eight year old daughter, who's heart was broken into pieces. So, the best I could do was hug her and told her that everything will turn out ok. I told her that it happens when your young, one minute you are friends, the next your not, and then the next you are again. I told her that when she goes to school tomorrow she should talk to her so called friends and ask them about what her other friend said they said, and that it could all be one big misunderstanding because these things happen. Turns out, they are the best of friends today. I didn't' want to butt in too much, so I didn't ask details. She did say she questioned them and "it WAS a misunderstanding, just like you said Mommy!" We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Talk #2, my and Anna's drive to preschool. Out of the blue Anna asked me if she was going to die. I told her that everybody dies someday, but that she wouldn't until she was old. (what was I supposed to say, that it could happen any day to anyone?) Then she asked: "so Gama will die soon?" Oh my, now what was I supposed to say to that? I told her: "no, Gama still has a lot of life in her, but yes, someday Gama will die." Then she said something that broke my heart, "when I was a baby I almost died." Not a question this time, a fact. "Yes Anna, you could have died, but you didn't and now your very healthy and have a long life ahead of you." Anna: "I didn't die because I got a new liver that wasn't yucky, and you gave it to me?" Now, with tears in my eyes: "That's right Anna."

"Thank you Mommy"

No, thank you Anna, for the sweetest thank you I have ever heard. When Anna had just had her transplant, I remember trying to imagine this day. It's not like I needed a thank you, but I can't tell you how good it made me feel.