Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Girl is Five Fingers!

Happy 5th Birthday, Clare! It is unbelievable how much your life can change in an instant, and ours surely did five years ago today at 8:52pm! You have brought us so much joy, happiness, and love these past five years. All our challenges, struggles, bad days, and rocky roads have been worth every second of having this sweet, often silly, person in our lives. We love you, Clare Bear!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dress-Up Diva

Clare loves to ham it up for the camera and has certain poses that she strikes. Auntie Erin gave her this beautiful dress for Christmas (with a matching baby doll dress), and Clare had fun prancing around in it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leprechaun Traps

Even though we don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day in our house, Jamie and Clare came home from school on Monday and Tuesday with ideas of setting "leprechaun traps" throughout the house. Jamie hoped that he would be able to catch a "real live leprechaun" (reporting that one of his classmates claimed he has a friend who caught one), and Clare sincerely hoped that, if they did not catch a leprechaun, they might at least catch some chocolate coins.

Jamie set about last night with his traps. His most elaborate trap involved placing a fake coin in the bottom of a tall cup. He then leaned a ladder against the cup and placed a sign on the outside that read: "Gold inside!" The sign would entice the leprechaun to climb the ladder, then he would fall into the cup attempting to reach the coin. Another piece of paper acted as a cover so the leprechaun could not escape. Genius! As Jamie set his traps, he worried in all seriousness that he "hoped the leprechauns knew English." I assured him that, to the best of my knowledge, leprechauns were typically Irish folk and did indeed know English.

Alas, that tricky leprechaun (or "Lucky the Crafty Leprechaun" as his mocking return note read) got the best of the kids. He not only took Jamie's coin, but was able to escape the trap and vanish again. He was kind enough, however, to leave some chocolate coins around the house, which did appease the leprechaun-hunters.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Old Friend Spring

Spring is coming. The birds tweet loudly in the morning, the temperatures are rising into the 50's some days, and there are shoots in my garden starting to break through the dirt and rocks. We've had some pleasant afternoons playing in our yard and street. Everyone is breathing in the fresh air, and I am hoping that winter is truly over and that the fresh breath of spring air will push the rest of the nasty germs away.

I am looking forward to spring, but there is always some illness that strikes our family at the end of March/beginning of April every year without fail. 2007 and 2008 both brought stomach bugs that hit everyone and landed Clare in the hospital for a couple days. In 2009, we were hit by a stomach virus again, but Clare thankfully avoided the hospital for that one. Instead, she was having numbness and tingling in her arm and her A-V fistula and aneurysm were diagnosed, which resulted in her summer surgery. 2010 is going down the same path unfortunately. Our house has once again been hit by some nasty stomach bug (why do we seem to avoid it all winter and then get hit right when the sunny days are beckoning us?). So far, Violet had it fairly easy, I had a severe case (with a few hours in the hospital for dehydration and severe abdominal pain - nothing that a little IV fluids, morphine, toradol, and zofran couldn't cure!), and now Simon has it (he's sleeping it off as I type). I am praying that Clare, Jamie, and Shawn escape unscathed, but I just don't think that's going to happen. Thankfully, it's a short stint (about 12 hours), but it's rough. I am praying that if Clare does come down with it, she can get over it quickly and without becoming dehydrated.

Tomorrow is Clare's six-month cardiology appointment. I have been so busy being sick and taking care of sick kids that the butterflies have not set in yet. I know they will be there at 8am (the time of her echo). I wonder what tomorrow will bring. The school nurse has been monitoring her blood pressure twice a week and her numbers have been slowly creeping up. Add that to the fact that at Clare's last appointment, the cardiologist talked about possibly doing a cath in the near future just to see what was going on. Her last lung scan was good, so a decision has been held off until tomorrow's appointment. I always count my blessings, and the fact that it has been 2 years, 7 months since Clare's last cath is a HUGE blessing. I never thought we would get to this point, but here we are! So those little butterflies tomorrow better be good spring butterflies!