Sunday, August 31, 2008

Barbecue at the park

Yesterday we went to the park with some of our friends and had a BBQ. The weather was so nice. It was probably around 95F which felt amazing after weeks of having temperatures over 105F. We even had a game of volleyball going (well I didn't play but had a nice time watching). Here are a couple pictures.





Anais also enjoyed herself...she slept most of the time.

Here is a picture of Jeff and I...notice my new hair, I am not a blond anymore!
The kids had so much fun playing in the sand...needless to say they all got a bath that night!
Jeff and Anais




Sunday, August 24, 2008

My perfect family

When I was told that Anais had dwarfism, I was about 34 weeks pregnant. I remember feeling like I had lost a dream. I felt like I would never had that "perfect family" I had always wanted. I had an image of the family I was supposed to have and having a child with dwarfism just did not fit with the picture.

For some reason, this week-end I had a moment of clarity. We went to the movies with Sam and Anais to see Space Chimps ( Sam loved it by the way). As we were watching the movie I looked at Jeff, Sam and Anais. Anais was so content in her little car seat...she was so good! For the first time, I felt like this was it...this IS my perfect family. I have the absolute best husband in the entire world...really I do! We have been together for 12 years and we love each other more and more every day. I really feel like we were made for each other. Sam is the brightest little girl and she is just so full of life...she inspires me everyday. She is so smart and funny! I am NEVER bored with her...she's my little princess and I love her more than life itself.

And then,we have Anais... just thinking about her brings so much joy. She is not even 3 months old and has taught me more than anyone in my entire life. She has taught me to be accepting of others no matter what they look like and that is something so important. I now see the beauty of PEOPLE...just people, for who they are. There is so much beauty in this world, so many beautiful people that we sometime don't even take the time to look at. I used to say "why did this happen to us?" and now I am starting to see that this did not "happen" to us. We had a child, OUR child and she is perfect in her own way, she's MY daughter and that makes her perfect to me.

For those of you who know me, you know I am not a religious person at all and I don't believe that there is a reason behind all this. All I know is that sometimes life brings you surprises, joys, obstacles and challenges and we as human beings have to make a choice on how to take them. I choose to celebrate my daughters for who they are. They are the children I had with Jeff and that makes them perfect to me.

Maybe out there someone is reading this because they are pregnant and were told that their baby would be "different". I want to tell them that it's OK...things will turn out just fine and even though you don't see it now, you WILL find a tremendous inner strength and you WILL be happy. You will love your child in a way you can't even imagine. I used to think that there was no way I coud ever be happy again...I could not have been more wrong! Anais has made me a better person and a better mom and I thank her for that.

On a lighter note, here are some pictures of the last couple days.



Sam last Friday right before school...isn't she so cute in her uniform?

The four of us hanging out in Sam's room




Yesterday, right before going to the movies to see Space Chimps.




Jeff and Sam walking to the mail box. Sam LOVES getting the mail with Jeff, it's like a special treat for her.


Sam, Anais and I had some fun taking pictures.






We went to the pool today. Sam had a blast in the water with Jeff and Anais enjoyed herself too: she ate and then took a nap.









Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pre-K here I come!

Yesterday was Sam's first day at Pre-K, she was so excited!! She is now officially a big kid according to her! This is her third year at her school, we love it there. She has a lot of really good friends and everyone there (teachers, staff, parents) is so nice. She had a really good first day and did not want to leave when I went to pick her up at 3:00.

On a different note, I also experienced kids commenting on Anais' condition for the first time. It was unexpected and I honestly didn't really know how to respond...it took me by surprise.One kid commented on how big her head is and I said "you're right, her head is big" and that was the end of it. Another kid said she looked scary....Ok, that was hard for me to hear and my heart stopped. I know I need to toughen up and come up with come back lines but I was speechless. It was just heartbreaking. I know kids will be kids and they don't do it to be mean so I just need to learn how to respond.



Anyway, here are some pictures of yesterday:










Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sam being silly at Kylee's birthday party

Yesterday we went to Kylee's birthday party. Kylee is one of Sam's best friends from school. Sam starts pre-K tomorrow so it was really good for her to see her school friends again, she was so excited! They had all kinds of fun: they played in giant bouncy houses and had pizza and cake.

Here is a little video of Sam acting silly with her friends Fallon and Michaela. Before you watch the video, make sure you mute the music at the bottom of the page

video

Sunday, August 10, 2008

laid back week-end

Jeff had to go out of town this week-end so the girls and I tried to keep busy. On friday night, my girlfriends came over to hang out and we decided to move all my furniture around and give my house a fresh new look. It turned out pretty good but I now need to buy a new dining table since ours is so old and one of the chairs broke a couple months ago.

On Saturday I was SO tired...we stayed home all day long and the three of us stayed in our pajamas, I love having days like that once in a while.

Today (sunday) a friend of mine,who also lives in my neighborhood, came over for lunch with her daughter Casey. Sam and Casey are really good friends and love to play together. We also went shopping and the kids had a good time. I bought some cute flowers and a vase at Pier 1 for Sam's bedroom and she was so excited about that!
That's pretty much it for this week-end...


My living-room after re-arranging the furniture...obviously I need to take down the wall decoration behind the TV.

the girls hanging out in their pajamas on Saturday...the Cinderella doll HAD to be in the picture according to Sam. Anyone who knows Sam knows I'm not kidding! LOL
Sam and Casey playing in Sam's room

Sam and Casey shopping for flowers at Pier 1

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This is hard...

So I don't even know where to start...


We did the sleep study and the MRI which both went pretty well. Anais was a trooper through it all. We won't have the results from the sleep study for about 2 weeks. The MRI itself went pretty well, she did really good with her anesthesia. Jeff and I were pretty nervous about it but we knew that she was being taken care of by a really great medical team.

Anyway, fast forward to when we get the MRI results...


The neurosurgeon said that her foramen magnum (the opening to her spinal cord which is located at the base of the skull) was too small. As some of you already know, it is very common for people with achondroplasia to have a small foramen magnum in the first place. However, he said that hers was smaller than expected and that she should get surgery to open it up...sounds scary, I know! He said that the risks of not doing anything would be greater than the risks involved with the surgery. The main risk associated with such a small foramen magnum is sleep apnea which could potentially be fatal. So this is not something we want to mess with! It is such a major surgery though, and she is so tiny! I feel horrible putting her through this but we have no other choice...We have to be strong for her. When I look at her, love is all I see. She looks at me with her big eyes and I just see how much joy and love she has in her. I must trust that she will be strong and be ok...she HAS to be ok.


The surgeon wants to do the surgery when she's 3 months old which would be in September. I talked to his nurse today and the surgery is scheduled for Wednesday September 10th, which happens to be my birthday...not really how I wanted to spend my birthday! The surgery will take place at Primary's children's Hospital in Salt Lake City and will be performed by Dr Walker, a pediatric neurosurgeon. Please keep us in your thoughts.

Now...here are some pictures of our 2 weeks in Salt Lake


The kids found a little garden snake in my mother in law's backyard and loved it!




I tried to take a picture of Sam and I but she would not stop making silly faces...this is the best I got! LOL





Little Anais being mellow





After a whole day of playing, this is how Sam fell asleep...you can imagine how tired she must have been!




Anais' sleep study



Anais in her hospital gown right before getting her general anesthesia for her MRI



and then waking up from her anesthesia



We got home yesterday and I think today they both enjoyed being home. Anais was happy to sleep in her crib again and Sam was excited to wear her princess dress again!