Friday, January 30, 2009

"Remarkable"


I am on cloud nine right now.

Yesterday was AMAZING! We took Elisabeth to the ophthalmologist and he was flabbergasted! And mind you that he is a very serious, dignified, and respectable doctor....so it takes quite a bit to get him excited. But he could hardly believe that this was the same baby! He kept repeating that he was 'impressed' and even apologized for being so 'pessimistic' in the beginning.

OK, are you ready for the VERY exciting news??? It was announced that she is no longer cortically blind! She is now just considered to have delayed visual development! And it's just going to keep getting better from here!

Her right eye has visual acuity of 20/100!!!!!!
(that is equal to the vision of a 3 month old)

Her left eye wasn't quite as sharp....20/1600
(but that's OK...we can deal with only one eye working!)

I can't begin to tell you how thrilling it was to see everyone in such amazement over her progress. They were in awe....and so are we. Elisabeth is the greatest lesson in why we should never give up. She has proved the medical world wrong since she was 16 weeks in the womb. They said she wouldn't live...but she did. And then they said that she wouldn't see...but she can.

The sky's the limit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big Day Ahead

Yes, yes, it is going to be a big day. But before I get to that I have to show you this new frame that I bought. I am loving it {especially since it was on clearance for $4.99}. The hard part was picking out a photo to display in it. My daughters helped me choose, and they chose well:

My girls with their cousins, Christmas 2006

Now about our big day. Elisabeth has some important appointments scheduled. One is with her neurosurgeon. Well, that one is not so important...it's more just routine.

The other appointment is with her ophthalmologist. It's been 1 year since our last visit with him {click here to read that post}. While I am on the subject of that post, may I just say how grateful I am for this blog? Because through it I am able to keep an accurate account of all Sorenson happenings. It was wonderful to be able to re-visit the post I wrote a year ago and be reminded of exactly what was said and how I felt.

Anyways, back to today's appointment. I am curious to see what he'll have to say about Elisabeth's vision {or lack of}. Perhaps he'll be able to provide more insight on what he believes she is seeing and what we might expect to happen with her vision in the future.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

May I Recommend...

For Christmas last month my older sister and her family gave my girls this game:


We love this game. The artwork is precious, and the skill level is perfect for my girls. The best part....I enjoy it (which I can't necessarily say about Chutes and Ladders.)


Want a quick description?

"Beautifully illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell for eeBoo, the Picnic is a delicious game! Spin for your plate...dessert of course will have to wait! Ants are a cause of some concern; if they appear you'll loose a turn. Once your picnic meal's complete, you have won! Bon Appetit!"


Now my children and I are anxiously awaiting the Spring so that we can pack up our game and play it at the park....where a picnic belongs!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project Complete (Finally)

For a few years now we {Donald and I} have been meaning to hang up the children's violins next to mine in the music parlor. The hangers were purchased eons ago...but for some reason we never actually got around to hanging them....until now {thank you Donald}.

Don't they look sweet...all in a row?

Alexandra came home from school a day or so later and told me that they had read Goldilocks and the Three Bears in her class. And then she and I both decided that something about this picture reminded us of that story:


Don't you agree?

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Colorful 2009

Did you read my New Years post? In that post I resolved to live a more colorful 2009. It was the one resolution I made, and I haven't forgotten....not in the least. This weekend I even painted my toes orange; bright, bold, beautiful orange:

As the year moves on I will keep you posted on how I am enjoying more color in my life. In fact, I have something fun in the works...but I'll keep it a secret {for now}.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Chicken Noodle Soup Kind Of Day

I'm a bit
under the weather.

It's a good day to be sick because
Donald has the day off and there is no school
.

It's a bad day to be sick because
Donald has the day off and there is no school
.

You know what I mean?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clarification

I might have been a little unclear with my post this morning. You know, the part where I said that her 'body would grow but her mind would stay behind'?

She is in fact slowly progressing, and I didn't mean to say that she wasn't. What I meant was that her brain wouldn't grow at the same rate as her body.

I am so proud each and every day for the progress she makes and for how far she has come in the past few months.

"How Is She Doing?"


It's a question that I am asked frequently, and I never know quite how to answer. In some ways she is doing great. We are still marveling over the miracle that the end of last year brought; vision. Now, you must understand that it's nothing like normal vision. In fact, I am not exactly sure what she does see. But we do know that it's something. Her vision seems to be inconsistent, sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. And objects need to be quite close to her face for her to spot them. For example, if she was laying on the floor and I was sitting a few feet away, she wouldn't know I was there. But we are so grateful for the sight that she does enjoy and are hopeful that it will continue to improve.

Now, about those Infantile Spasms. They are still occurring. Not as severe as they were several months ago, but none the less, they are happening. Just last night I saw her go through a cluster of them. At this point we are a bit puzzled as to what brought them back. When we checked her levels they were in fact extremely high...so it wasn't that she was in need of a dose increase. And then there was a thought that perhaps a virus had weakened her system and allowed the spasms to occur. But that was a few weeks back and they haven't stopped yet. So it is still a mystery {that I am determined to solve}.

Elisabeth will be turning 16 months old on Saturday. Do you realize that she should be a toddler now?? {It's just that she doesn't toddle}. I can remember looking at her as a newborn and she seemed so normal. It was hard to imagine that she was going to grow up different. We had her picture taken a few nights ago {above} and it was the first time that she looked older to me. I can tell that she is leaving babyhood. I also noticed a vacant look on her face, and I realized that this is how it will be. While all the other children her age start progressing and discovering and running and climbing and eating and laughing and reading books and watching TV and playing games, Elisabeth will just be. Her body will grow but her mind will stay behind. And I've known since before she was born that it would be this way, but she is just now at the stage where I can really see it.

So that's why when people ask "how is she doing?", I don't know quite what to say. For she is 'doing' nothing that a 16 month old child should do. But she does bring me joy beyond measure. She is catching glimpses of the world. She is learning to put her lips together and go 'mmmmmammmmma' very slowly {at which point my heart melts}. She is still my miracle. She is mine.

Elisabeth at 1 week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The End Of An Era

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that my store will be closing it's doors this Sunday, the 25th of January. Let me make it clear that we are not going out of business, but lost our lease to Coach. If you are in the market for a new handbag, this is good news. If you are me, this is very sad news.

I have struggled to find the words for this post. You see, this store was more than a job to me, it was a second home. I spent nearly a decade calling it my own. When I think of a decade and what that means, it seems so small in comparison to the world and its history. But then I think of me, and my history, and it seems huge. One third of my life. My entire adulthood. This is rightfully a great loss.

I will associate my time there with some of the greatest milestones of my life; my marriage to Donald, becoming a mother {3 times over}, and the purchase of our first home {and then another}. Hallmark was there through it all. And maybe it was sentiment, but I couldn't ever let it go. Even when life got busy, and it made sense not to be there anymore, I had to be. It was a part of me. It was familiar, and I love familiar.

But now I move on and let this piece of me go. I'll tuck those cherished memories away in a special corner of my heart.....oh dear, now I am feeling emotional, and I am not an emotional person {I always claim that at least}. But I am beginning to think that I am emotional. Something about the last few years has softened me....made me a little more vulnerable to feelings. And I feel this, this farewell.

Farewell to my coworkers who are among my dearest friends. Friends who helped teach me, support me, laugh with me, and cry with me. Friends who will be friends for a lifetime {I guess it's really not a farewell then}. Farewell to customers who I knew by name. Customers who would bring goodies at Christmas and vegetables from their gardens in the summer. Customers who would shower my girls with beautiful gifts all the year through. Farewell to a manager who understood that I am a busy bee and accommodated my schedule to every last detail. Farewell to the scrumptious smells, to the beautiful merchandise, to my box in the backroom where I stashed away all the goodies that I wanted to buy at some future point. Farewell to it all.

This is employee number 1786, signing off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bow Down to Her Highness

Lorelai has been going crazy with paper, scissors, and tape lately. There is no limit to what that girl can create. A few days ago I found Elisabeth wearing this royal crown:


It immediately made me think of 'Max' in Where the Wild Things Are.



So fitting, seeing that Elisabeth is the little queen who rules our kingdom
{as well she should be!}.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Just Chillin' With My Girls

"The time you enjoy
wasting
is not wasted time."
~Bertrand Russell

My children are home from school today and
here is how we will waste away the hours:

~baking cookies~

~watching Popeye~

~reading books~

~and more fun of sorts~


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Afternoon

Lost in Ramona the Brave.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Of Dogs And Dishes

Yesterday, while Alexandra was off at school and Lizzy was asleep upstairs, Lorelai and I played her favorite game: dog and owner. And of course, she was the dog and I was the owner. And a very good owner at that, who provided one dog bowl filled with AlphaBits and another spilling over with fresh, cool water.


And then she insisted that we put on aprons. Which we did. But she was still my dog {of course}.


And while in my apron {with sweatpants and slippers} I decided to call my look Housewife Chic.


And while we're on the subject of being a housewife and all the chores that that entails, I've decided that one of my favorite sights to behold is a cupboard stocked full of clean plates and bowls {it never lasts long!}

The end.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finally


After 1 1/2 years since starting it, I have finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! It was a very slow read due to the fact that I am an extremely gifted sleeper. Each night I would crawl into bed and open my book, but within one or two pages I was out cold.

Now I have begun book 6. I am going to try to pick up the pace and get it read before the movie comes out. Think I can do it?



By the way...Donald and I watched the movie after I finished reading the book. I was amazed to discover that Lorelai and Hermione have very similar faces. Something about the bone structure. I felt like I was looking Lorelai 10 years from now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Fashion Show


"I never realized the world looked so pink....
but then again, I'm new to this vision thing."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Training


After a 6 week hiatus from running {due to extremely low temperatures}, the time {and temperature} came to get back to work.

I have committed to running in the Salt Lake City Half Marathon on April 18th. So for the next 13 weeks I will be putting myself through a grueling training schedule.

As was to be expected, last nights jog was not easy, or fun. While running, my thoughts wandered quite a bit. At one point I asked myself 'why am I doing this'? And fortunately, since I was alone with my thoughts, I was able to provide an answer.

On January 2nd I wrote that I have everything that I have ever wanted. This is true. But achieving my childhood goals does not mean that I stop making new ones. Life is meant to be lived and experienced. Happiness is found through self-discipline and hard work. There is so much that I can still learn and achieve. So while I am sure that the next 3 months will be near torturous, I can't help but think of all that I will gain through the experience; endurance, strength, and self-control {to name a few}. And that is why I am doing this.

"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.
It teaches us to push beyond
where we thought we could go.
It helps us to find out what we are made of.
This is what we do.
This is what it's all about."
~ PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Fashion Show

One of my birthday gifts from my mom this year were these gloves.
Warm, cozy, and colorful:

But the best part is that they are multifunctional. The mitten folds back and buttons into place, exposing the fingers:


My first thought...I could play violin with these on!:


And then I imagined myself playing on a street corner in London, violin case open, collecting small donations from passersby who enjoy my music:


Did I mention that there is a matching hat?:


And a view of the other side,
because this hat is a little unexpected...and I love it:




Friday, January 9, 2009

They're Back

After 52 glorious spasms-free days, I am saddened to report that the streak is broken. Yesterday morning I was cuddling with Elisabeth when I saw her eyes slightly roll back and her body slightly lunge forward. So subtle that nobody else would have even noticed it. But my heart sank. I knew.

Infantile Spasms came and went throughout the day, each time getting progressively stronger. As a mother it is painful to watch. Having witnessed first hand the devastating damage that they do to the brain, it caused slight panic to think that it might be starting up again. Like slipping back into nightmare that I was eager to forget.

In the {almost} 8 weeks that she spent spasm-free we saw many miracles as Elisabeth's brain began to heal and function. She started to vocalize, move, play, interact, and most importantly...see. These past few months have brought pure joy as we witnessed our once deteriorating child start to progress.

So yesterday, when I saw those horrid spasms making their return, I did what any mother would do...I got into combat mode. I alerted her pediatrician and neurologist. I requested that her levels be checked immediately. There is no time to waste. We have to figure this out. I just started to get my baby back....and I refuse to let her go. I refuse.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Funny, funny

As it turns out...the glass man who was anonymously pictured in the post below has been identified! It's my friend Mandy's father. How random is that!

So now I have a question for Mandy's father:

Did you get the inside scoop?
Why the window smashing?
Did the boyfriend lock her out?

Do tell...

(on a different note: please click here to read about a fascinating social experiment conducted by the Washington Post)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Not To Do...

This is my kitchen sink. Things appear normal; breakfast bowls are waiting to be washed, plants are basking in the morning sun, and the children are probably somewhere nearby getting into mischief. What's not normal is beyond the window...


It all happened a few days ago when I was sitting in the recliner feeding Elisabeth. I started hearing suspicious sounds coming from the side of our house followed by the shattering of glass. I immediately blamed it on the dogs....they are always getting into trouble. "What was it this time?" I wondered.

So I got up and peeked out the window. To my surprise, the dogs were in fact innocent! Not so innocent however, was our next door neighbor. She was standing next to a smashed window {on her house} and holding a 2x4. Weird. So I watched {secretly, of course}. She began pulling chunks of glass out until she was able to reach in, unlock the window, slide it open, and crawl on through.

Hmmmmm....apparently she was locked out.

There had to be an easier way. Like, possibly coming and asking to use my phone? Maybe calling a locksmith? I probably would have treated her to a cup of hot chocolate while she waited. But no, smashing the window was her choice {obviously}.

Less than an hour later a glass repair man showed up. The window was replaced and evidence was eliminated. Which left me wondering....

Do you think she ever told her boyfriend {owner of home}
about the morning excitement??

I doubt it.





The Long Lost Milkman

A few days ago I fed my children a breakfast of toast and pears. It was a fine meal, except for the fact that what they really wanted was a nice bowl of crunchy cereal. But I could not accommodate such a request because we were out of milk!

So I got to thinking about the good old days, and how people used to have fresh dairy products delivered to their doorstep by the milkman. It was a vision straight out of the 1950's.


"Do they still exist?" I asked myself.

I opened up the yellow pages in hopes of finding a modern day dairy delivery service. But alas, it wasn't to be found. At least not in my little corner of the world. Oh well, it was a pleasant thought.

My Lesson Learned:
I'd better not allow our milk supply to deplete because
toast and pears isn't going to fly around here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On My Birthday...

We awoke to a blanket of fresh snow.
So I bundled the children and sent them outside where...

...they had a good old-fashioned snowball fight...

...and made snowmen.

When they came in I realized how
nice it would be to have a mud room.

And then I
plopped
them in the warm tub to defrost.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Don't Tell....


I realized yesterday afternoon that my drivers license expired on my birthday.

Oops.

The Driver Licensing Office is closed today.

The Sorenson family has
places to be and people to see,
so....

I'll drive safe...while keeping my fingers crossed {of course}.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Birthday Thoughts


As of 6:20 this morning I have officially been alive for 29 years. Really? Is that all? I feel like I have been around forever. Of course, my existence is all that I know, so logically it would seem like forever.

In honor of the occasion I reflected back to last years birthday post. I had written a short essay on simplicity and how it is the key to my happy life. So what now? What else can I say about my understanding of life and of living? Contentment. Complete satisfaction in every aspect of life. I can honestly say that I have everything that I ever wanted.

As a child I dreamt of being a wife and mother. I thought of my future children and how I would dress them in matching clothes and carefully comb their hair so that they looked well kept and loved. I imagined tucking them into bed at night and enjoying quiet evenings with my husband. I pictured my home and how I would have neatly made beds and a parlor filled with instruments. I envisioned sitting at my piano in the mornings, playing familiar old tunes while sunlight flooded the room. Ahh...the life it would be...

Those were my dreams....and those are my realities. I have fulfilled everything I set out to do in life, and now...now I enjoy. I sit back and soak it all in. The husband, the children, the home...it's all mine and it makes me so happy that I could burst! Life has been good to me, especially the past year and a half. There are no words to explain how Elisabeth has changed me. She is perfect, absolutely perfect. And she makes me want to be a better person...a little kinder and a little wiser. The responsibility of having a child like her has forced me to grow and learn in many ways. Obviously, I know more about the human brain than I ever would have known if it weren't for her. But more importantly, she has helped me step out of my comfort zone. A once shy and uncertain me has figured out that you have to be assertive and aggressive in life. The world is waiting for you...you just have to go get it.

So now I work towards my thirtieth year with the hope that I can continue to grow, continue to learn, and more importantly, continue to find contentment in the life in which I live. A happy life, a good life, a simple life. 29 years so far.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Out With The Old...In With The New


With the new year approaching I realized it was time to start shopping for my 2009 datebook. Most women get giddy about things like clothes and shoes shopping. Not me, I love things like datebooks. Silly, I know, but that's me.

So I went to the local B&N and picked out a lovely brown leather calendar book. It was so me. My taste has always gravitated towards neutral colors...they are simple and practical. I made my way to the check out counter...and then I saw it. A lovely turquoise blue datebook. I couldn't deny that it was saying, "pick me, pick me". I thought it through in a quick moment and decided that this year I would add a bit more color to my life, starting with the calendar.


Now, me and my datebook are very close. It keeps track of a million gazillion things for me. Things like ballet classes, violin lessons, doctors appointments, rehearsals, concerts, therapy appts, etc. Whew, there's a lot going on this little family and my datebook is the all-knowing one.

Last year I chose poorly when I made my annual pick. The book was small, which was great for not taking up too much space in my purse, but not so great when it came to writing down the million gazillion appointments. So this year I was wiser:


Check out all that lovely space to jot things down, compared to last years cramped quarters:


And we have added a bit of luxury to the mix. I am loving the gold edged paper:


To top it all off, it has maps. I totally have a thing for maps and globes {but that's a whole other post}. This will be perfect for all the times that I need to look up where Azerbaijan is. You know, because that happens all the time...


The year is off to a great start. Later I'll sit down and figure out all the things I am going to do to make this year even better than last. It could be hard...2008 was a pretty darn good year.

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