Friday, July 29, 2011

The Last Launch

A few weeks ago my 2 neices were in town. My Mom had lots of fun things planned for them while they were visiting, and my kids were eager to hang out every chance we got. One of the days included a trip to the Stennis Space Museum. With the last shuttle launch scheduled for the following week, it seemed like a great opportunity to give the kids a peek at what all of it was really about. (Plus it's late July, and this is Louisiana, so I was all for any indoor/ air-conditioned activities!) Here are a few highlights from our day...

Preparing for Launch...All Systems Go.

We have Liftoff...

Houston we have a problem...Small child climbing on aircraft

Problem resolved...Continue mission.

See her boldy go where no toddler has gone before...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm Awesome

If you're seeing this as a note on FB click HERE.

So yep...She's awesome. And she's doing some pretty amazing things these days. Our annual meeting w/ her Early Steps team is this week, and we will be discussing our goals for the next 6 months and year. It's actually harder to set goals for a year from now, when she has learned so much in such a short period of time. This time last year, I had serious doubts that she would ever walk on her own...I was still waiting for her to crawl, and it was agonizing. Her first birthday came and went with no forward motion army crawling, no scooting, nothing. And here we are, one short year later, watching her walk around the house while the walker sits in my trunk. It's amazing. Absolutely amazing. And I hope I never get used to it...I hope every time I see her take steps I will continue to get goosebumps. I hope I will always recognize a miracle when I see one. I see one now...and she's awesome.



We are so excited to be having a yard sale to raise some money for Maddie's therapy costs, and I just want to say Thanks to everyone who has donated items! The sale will be July 23rd, in Slidell. If anyone else has anything they would like to donate, please let me know...and we will be happy to pick it up. Thanks again!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

California Dreamin'

I've been home for almost 2 weeks, and I still don't know if I have the words to adequately describe such an amazing trip. It was only 4 days, but if felt like forever. It was a first-time meeting, with longtime friends.
It was California...but if felt like home.

I left for Anaheim on Sunday, June 26th...our 12 year Anniversary, and the day after Maddie turned 2. Thankfully, she was finally getting over that stomach bug, and back to her sweet, happy self.

I was nervous the morning I left. So much anticipation over such a long period of time...I was going to the SBA National Conference in Disneyland. I knew I would be learning more about Spina Bifida than I'd ever allowed myself before...and that scared me a little. I'm a big fan of my bubble. It's a happy, comfy, little place, and I am quite content staying in it most of the time. Going to the conference meant I was leaving my bubble, and opening myself up to new information, and I would have to face the possibilities that may be in Maddie's future. This was both exciting and terrifying for me. I think for any parent, the future can be a scary thing. I'm not ready to think of Mason at 13, and what kind of crazy will come with that...So letting myself think of Maddie at 17...and beyond, was way overwhelming for me...and I'm still processing all of it.

The trip started with a very early flight out of New Orleans International. Great weather, and some decent gossip magazines made for a smooth, easy flight. We flew into San Fransisco, and then took a MUCH smaller plane into Anaheim. I went with my friend Brittnie..amazing Mama to one of our best buds, Breighton. Her brother lives in the Anaheim area, so we met up with him and his sweet family, for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.

That night was the opening reception. I was SO excited to see the other SB Mamas that I've "known" for the last two years. One by one, they started to appear...and it was the most incredible thing. It was like a family reunion... We knew each other. We knew each others kids. It's hard to explain the feeling, when you meet someone for the first time, and feel like you've known them forever. It's different from other friendships, because we are bonded to each other by this personal journey that we each found ourselves on. What makes us different, makes us the same. We've got the same hopes, and the same fears...The same things keep us up at night. It was so surreal to finally hug these incredible people, who have inspired me beyond words.

Monday morning started with an early breakfast, and the Plenary Session. The keynote speaker was Dr. Adzick from CHOP. He gave a presentation on the MOMS trial, outlining the specifics of the trial as it progressed, and the findings since it ended. It was fascinating. At lunch we all gathered together at the only place that could seat everyone in our group.

(even this picture didn't fit everyone!)

That evening, everyone in the Babycenter/Blogger/FB communities showed up for a meet-up at the Grand Californian Hotel. Our little group could have had it's own zipcode. What an amazing night!!

Afterwards, drinks and desserts!

Seeing everyone with their families in tow, really made me miss my crew. It had been an exhausting first day, with information overload, some jet lag...and I needed some hugs from my bugs. I called home from the lobby...and was so dissappointed to hear that Mason had 103 fever. Maddie had just started feeling better when I left, and now Mason was sick. I went to bed that night with a million thoughts running through my head.

The next day was an intense schedule of "Ask the Doctor" sessions, and a 3-hour session on Neurogenic Bladder. I learned so times, too much. But I asked the questions I had, and now I have a new perspective to bring to our doctors here. It's amazing when you can step back and look at this with fresh eyes, and the conference was just that.

That night we went to Disneyland. After 2 full days of SB overload, we REALLY needed that night to ourselves. It was SO much fun! We totally got to be kids....without our kids! Of course I missed them terribly while we were there...especially Mason, because I knew how much he'd love it. But there's something to be said for riding rides till your sick, and screaming till your throat hurts. We had a blast! I'll never forget that night.

Wednesday was our last day there. Brittnie and I had to leave the morning session early to catch our flight...Bummer because it was definitely one of the best of the conference. Leaving in the middle of a session meant no big goodbyes, no tearful hugs. We said our goodbyes before it began...and with a little wave, and a promise to keep in touch, we were on our way.

It was an amazing trip...but I was so happy to get home.

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