Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Eggs

Seeing your kids have a blast on holidays is something that is hard to match. And this year Cora finally got into the excitement and had a great time.

We kept it pretty low key.  We started by making Eggs Benedict.  Cora really must be my daughter, because she ate every bite, proclaiming "nummy!" after most of them.  And for those that know about Cora's eating habits, eating every bite of anything is considered an accomplishment around here.

Then the fun began, as Cora ran around the front yard looking for Easter eggs. 

Seeing her get so excited to find each one, then hold them up to show us before running around for more was pretty amazing.  Especially because seeing her on her own two feet is still such an incredible thing to witness.

When she discovered that each egg actually held a piece of candy, she was pretty thrilled.  So she spent a few minutes eating every little chocolate egg she could find.

The rest of our day will be pretty low-key.  We'll be staying at home, and getting outside a little to take advantage of the snippets of sunshine that seem to be peeking through.  Happy Easter.

Friday, April 18, 2014


The other night I had a big realization.  It hit me as I was lying in the guest bed, trying to sleep (after  being lovingly kicked out of bed due to my marathon pregnancy-induced snoring sessions).  For the past couple months the days and weeks have been moving in slow motion.  Let me tell you, this pregnancy has been really rough on me, and having another two and a half months or so to go has been seeming like eternity.  But somehow that night, alone in bed, it dawned on me that I only had another couple months of being a mama to just Cora. 

Suddenly, the rest of this pregnancy felt like it would fly by in a flash, and I began to cry.  I mean, I really cried.  For probably an hour or so.  I felt like my heart was being pulled from my chest and that I was actually mourning a loss.  Of course I know that I am not going to be losing Cora when her little sister arrives, but somehow it felt that way right then.

For more than three years now, this little girl has been my entire life.  Everything I do revolves around her.  Most of the time it feels like everything I am revolves around her.  The life I lived before she was born seems so alien to me now.  My days and nights are of course different.  But even my thoughts, my conversations and my friends are different.  Everything in my life centers around the fact that I am Cora's mom, and that I spend my days and nights with this little girl.

And now I am realizing that that will all be changing.  I won't just be Cora's mom anymore.  I will have someone else there to share my focus, my energy, my thoughts, my attention and my love.

And somehow, the idea of sharing those things, despite how excited we are to welcome the new little one into our lives, felt like an enormous loss: a loss of the era of us as a twosome.

Little Sister, patiently waiting for her chance to get out.

As morning arrived, I found that much of my sadness had dissipated.  But my realization has pushed me to put things into perspective.  Even though this pregnancy isn't getting much easier, I am getting back the desire to soak up the rest of the moments that Cora and I get to share as a pair.  I am starting to release the guilt (and subsequent depression) I've been dealing with as I've become less mobile and have not been able to be as active and involved with Cora as I would like.  I am working on being more present in our moments together, and not allowing myself to be stuck in the self-pity I've been building.

I am trying to enjoy the last months we have before the baby arrives.  Even though the days still feel long and I feel like I will be pregnant forever, I know that it won't really last.  I know that very soon we will be a family of four, and I am looking forward to expanding our lives with our mysterious impending arrival.  But I am acknowledging all the same that growth is bittersweet.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Third Heart Day

Three years ago today, my baby got the chance to start her life.  At the crack of dawn, she was whisked away to a wonderful surgeon who used his skills to fix her faulty little heart.

In the 11-1/2 weeks leading up to that day, there was so much fear.  So much worry, so much stress.  So many decisions to make.  So many bittersweet moments of loving this tiny girl, all the while knowing that there was a chance that her life would be cut short.

I remember taking photos of her intact white chest, knowing that it'd be the last time I'd see it unmarred by the surgeon's marks.  I knew that it would be a scar that she would carry forever, if she were to make it out of this surgery. 

These days her scar is faint and white.  If you ask her about it, she'll gladly lift up her shirt to show you her scar.  It's funny, because I have always felt like I should have a matching scar myself.  I guess I do, although mine is invisible and more metaphorical.  That process definitely marked me with my own permanent scars.  But my scar is in my mind and in my memories.


Sometimes those days seem like just yesterday.  It only takes a second to bring back that feeling of fear, and to feel the tears start to fill my eyes.

But, you know what?  We aren't there anymore.  Today I watch my big girl run around her Grammie's house, dancing and singing and reading books.  She has no memory of those days of fear.  And they are fading more and more into the background of our life together.  We know how very much we have to look forward to with this wonderful little girl.

And so today, on the THIRD anniversary of Cora's open heart surgery, I am purely and simply grateful.  Grateful for all the moments we've shared together since that day.  Grateful for all the ways that she makes our lives better.  Grateful that there are so many people who love her like we do.

We love you, Cora.  Happy Heart Day!