Friday, December 30, 2011

An Ode to 2011

2011.


Me, Jennifer, and Kristin, posing in front of the Roman ruins. What a rich year this has been!

Ciao!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gifts and Things

A Sampling of our
2011 Christmas Gifts


Donald:
Trip to Hawaii
Penny-Farthing Cuff Links
Mad Men: The Illustrated World

Lisa:
Cell Phone
Camera Lens
Cookware

Alexandra:
Guitar
Baseball Glove
A Smart Girls Guide to Style
Twist and Shout: Multiplication

Lorelai:
American Girls Doll - Kanani
The Little Island
Reading Light
Twist and Shout: Addition

Elisabeth:
Bink Link
My World: A Companion to Goodnight Moon
Silly Sounds Frog
New Helmet


Here's Alexandra out trying that new glove:













And look at this, I've finally joined [been recruited to] the 21st century:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

A Merry Little Review...




[Lorelai and Alexandra, warming by the fire on Christmas morning - 6:33 am]


[Blueberry muffins & oranges for breakfast. After that we got dressed into our Sunday best and went to church.]

And then after church...

[Elisabeth's gift to me - which Lorelai wrapped on her behalf.]


[Left: Donald opens his gift from Lorelai. Lorelai is famous for her wrapping jobs; this particular present had something like 10 layers of gift wrap on it - and a bunch of balloons! Right: Alexandra opens a gift for Elisabeth (the girls are always glad to step in and help their handicapped sister with this task :)]






[Santa left these toadstool seats for the girls.]


[Stocking stuffers.]








[Alexandra trying out her new guitar. She'll be starting lessons in January.]


[We opted for paper plates over the fine china this time around (makes clean up soooo much easier).]





And that's a wrap!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm Practicing the Hula...

This is the key on our
World Travel Map
:




You'll notice that the blue flag marks the next planned trip.

Now take a look at where we just put the blue flag...






What, you need a closer look? Well, okay...






That's right! 5 weeks from now Donald and I will be off exploring Hawaii!

[This very well may be the most epic Christmas gift I've ever given anyone...]

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Greeting

Friday, December 23, 2011

Elisabeth's New Feet!

Yesterday was such a happy and successful day!

We traveled to Spokane so that Elisabeth could get her casts off. It was absolutely amazing to see her feet in a normal position. I found myself just staring at them in awe the whole rest of the day.

Donald and I are so pleased with the quick results that we have seen from this surgery. We had talked about doing this for the past two years. In fact, we had met with the orthopedic surgeon about it twice before, but he never wanted to operate; he didn't think that she had the potential to stand and therefore didn't want to put her through it.

But this time around things were different. 7 days after her stem cell infusion last May she started showing the desire to put pressure on her legs, but because of the deformity in her feet she couldn't bear her own weight. We explained all of this to the surgeon - how we felt that she really did have the potential within her to stand (with extra support, of course). This time around he agreed to operate (it took quite a bit of convincing by Donald and I though.)

Now here we are, 4 weeks post-op, and she is already doing amazing things.

Miracles are abundant!


[There goes the first cast...]


[Ta da!! A brand new, perfectly-shaped foot!]


[We love having Alexandra and Lorelai be an active part of Elisabeth's 'team' - what a great learning experience this is for them.]


[Underneath the second cast we discovered quite a bit of dried blood; Alexandra got woozy and had to sit down.]


[...and number two is off - another perfectly-formed foot!]


[We went straight home and gave those legs/feet a bath. Now they're sparking.]


What a week, what a week!

First I was freed from my brace and then Elisabeth was freed from her casts. I would say we both got the best gifts ever!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Musical Gift from Us to You

Lisa's Home Show

~Christmas Edition~



Merry Christmas!!!

**And don't forget to stop by and see tomorrow's happy news!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Past



Elisabeth, 2009.

Those were her final days of crawling before seizures caused her to forget how.

Darn seizures.

Never fear though, we have big plans to [try] and get rid of them in 2012.






Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I did it!!!

12 weeks ago today I had an anterior lumbar interbody fusion. And for the past 12 weeks I diligently followed the rules; I wore my brace, I didn't bend over, and (this is the hard one) I didn't picked up Elisabeth. Did you get that? I didn't lift Elisabeth for 12 whole weeks! Do you have any idea how much self-control it takes to be the mother of a child with brain damage - a child who is helpless - a child that has no idea why their mother isn't picking them up - and not lift them? It was torturous I tell you, but I did it! (It was for the greater good Elisabeth, I promise).

So yesterday I went to Spokane for my 12 week post-op appt. I had my fingers crossed the whole way there that the x-ray of my spine would look splendid and that I would once again gain my independence.


"Your spine looks beautiful" was the news they gave me.

Hip hip hooray!!!

All restrictions have been lifted. I am free to be me again!

The first thing I did when I got home was go pick up that [4 year-old] baby of mine. It was the perfect gift. Merry Christmas to me.



{See ya back brace!!}

{Elisabeth was heavier than I remembered!!!}

{or perhaps I'm just weaker :) }

{I'm not done with good news for the week...there's more to come on Friday!!!}

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Miracle

Her new legs are working!!!



Oh, what a merry Christmas this is turning out to be!

More good news tomorrow...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wrapping

I've been busy wrapping, wrapping, wrapping.



But then again, it is December 16th, so that's what you'd expect.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I'm giving Donald the most epic gift of all time. I'll be sure to tell you all about it - sometime after the 25th...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

If you're lacking Christmas cheer, just come hang out with Elisabeth for the day...







...the Christmas Spirit runs strong in her (much like the force).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The 3rd Grade Holiday Concert

Alexandra was chosen to play Winter Wonderland on the violin at the 3rd grade Holiday Concert last night:






And of course I made her pose for a few shots afterwards...






What's that!? You want to see the video? Well, all right then. (Donald was trying to hold Lizzie and video at the same time, so sorry if it's shaky.) (And yes, that is me yelling 'bravo' at the end.)



Bravo!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Roses by the Dozen

Proof that
Nutcracker 2011

was a success:












Bouquets of flowers everywhere.


Congratulations Lorelai and Alexandra, you girls were fabulous!!

(Note to self: buy more vases before Nutcracker 2012.)

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