Thursday, March 26, 2009
I love when I can capture the girls without them knowing I am there. On Sunday morning they hopped up on our window seat in the upstairs hallway. Elle opened the shutters completely so they could watch the rain sprinkling down outside. I heard her telling Gwen to look for birdies and to watch the rain trickle down the window. I think of Elle as being so big because I so frequently compare her to Gwen. But looking at these pictures I am reminded just how little she still is. Standing there in her jammies sucking her thumb. These are the little moments that melt me. While trying to get down Gwen just barely bumped her toe. Elle ran and got a band-aid for her and helped take care of her little sister. She is my little nurturer and loves to take on the role of mommy any chance she gets. Oh how I wish I could just freeze time with these little ones.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Miss Gwenners had her cast removed. She is loving the freedom she now has, especially in the bath tub. We got our Easter decorations out over the weekend. The girls were so excited! Gwen loves to walk around with her basket of paper mache eggs. She spent a good portion of this morning transfering them from the silver bowl to her felt easter basket and back. Good Times. I am enjoying being back into our daily routines. I am appreciative of the simple times I spend with my girls and Jon. What a blessing. I spent so much time along with so many others praying that this little one would be OK. Now that she is, I do not want to take it for granted. I want to continue to pray now in gratitude for the blessing that I still have her with me. The miracle that she is doing well and is here with us is not lost on me. We were given a precious gift. I still feel so much gratitude to all the many other families that prayed on our family's behalf. Again, thank you. I love being a mom. Gwen and Elle's mom. Nothing could bring me as much happiness as my two little blue eyed girls.
Friday, March 20, 2009
When I was 4 years old I remember my dad waking me up in the middle of the night. In the dark he snuck me downstairs and we had our own little date night. He popped a bag of popcorn and we watched the movie Lady and the Tramp all while the rest of my family slept. I am the 2nd of 5 children so to be singled out this way was a HUGE deal. I am sure little episodes like this happened with all five of us but to me I felt sooo special and so very important. This was a simple thing but as you can see, 30 years later I am still thinking about it. Well last night I woke up at 3:30am and could not get back to sleep. That night with my dad came to my mind and I had an idea...
I crept into Elle's room and in the dark I whispered her name. Her sleepy little eyes opened and I said, "Elle, it's mama. Do you want to go downstairs with me and have some cereal...just the two of us"? She sat right up and with a huge grin on her face she started shaking her head yes. The two of us went down into the kitchen and without turning on even one light, we got the milk and the cheerios out. She started out sitting right next to me but by mid-bowl my cute little Ellers was sitting in my lap. With just the moonlight shining in on us from outside our kitchen window we had our special time. I told her a few of my very favorite things that I loved about her and tried to express how much I love her. She is my little girl, forever. With no preschool on Fridays Elle was able to sleep in as late as she wanted. When she came downstairs this morning, I gave her a little wink with my eye. It was our little secret and I can't wait for another bowl of moonlit cheerios with my Elle.
Elle and Gwen spent the majority of this morning in their pajamas playing house. Elle was the mama and Gwen was the baby. Elle even had Gwen calling her mama. She is still little (just 4 years old) but she is our big girl. She LOVES to be the mommy and Gwen is happy to play along. Elle put a purse on her shoulder and sat Gwen in this dolly stroller and strolled her all around our downstairs. She even loaded Gwen up with a blanket, baby doll and a pretend box of pretzels from our play kitchen. They were apparently running errands. I love Gwen's oh-so-serious face.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Those sneaky leprechauns found the McGee house! We have been talking about this day for weeks. On our calendar that hangs in our kitchen, Elle colored today's date in green so that she could count the days until St. Patrick's Day. When the girls ran downstairs this morning they saw what those silly leprechauns had done. Green shamrock balloons were hanging on the girls' chairs and Silver and Gold chocolates were all over the floor. The leprechauns even tipped over our kitchen chairs and took all of the pillows off of the couch! The thing that made the girls giggle the most was that the leprechauns turned our milk green and when I made their scrambled eggs, those mysteriously turned green too! And let me tell you, Elle made sure that I dressed her in head to toe green for school. She did NOT want to risk getting pinched.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I love Sunday mornings. My Jon is home and we don't have to hurry and get out of our pajamas. This morning the girls were racing around our kitchen on these hot pink plasma cars. They call this game, "freeway". The kitchen island makes the perfect round-a-bout and they get going pretty fast. I need to video it because I love how they sound...laughing and racing all around. Elle does an amazing "skid-out" when she gets to the front door. If you come and visit us, she will be sure to show off this incredible skill. I love how Jon is cooking away in the background of the last photo. I poured cereal for the girls (that's my best breakfast trick) and then Jon came into the kitchen with a much better plan and pulled out bagels and eggs and made us all amazing breakfast sandwiches. He treats his girls well...all 3 of us :)
These little buckets are filled with sweet notes and toys that people have sent these two little girls during Gwen's recovery. I have often thought how thoughtful everyone was to remember Elle as well as Gwen. I explained to the girls that these buckets look like they are filled with toys but that they really are filled with love. People that love them thought to send them these sweet little gifts. Going through the love buckets is a favorite past-time around here. Thank you again for being soo incredibly generous and thoughtful. We love each of you.
Elle taught Gwen the art of telling secrets. It is THEIR little thing they do together and they will NOT tell me what they are saying. Gwen's sounds mostly like breathy jibber-jabber but Elle is really confiding in Gwen. It is pretty cute. I love watching these two sisters interact. Priceless. I hope they will continue to confide in eachother for the rest of their lives. That's what sisters are for.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We showed up at the hospital this morning at 5:45 a.m. Gwen was prepped and ready for surgery on her elbow. We ended up having to wait 2 hours while the hospital tried to locate cherry flavoring for her medicine. What?! Since she couldn't have any liquids we couldn't mix it in with juice (my brilliant idea). Needless to say she was lucky she had her daddy there to entertain her. Jon is amazing at laytex glove balloons, a hidden talent of his. They took her off to the operating room and returned an hour or so later. Turns out, they did not need to operate. They took her bright pink cast off and used a machine to manipulate her elbow around and realized that her joint was in place just fine. This is the second time she has avoided this surgery. Hooray! They re-casted her and sent her on her way. When Jon and I were called back to the recovery room, there she was all bundled up in warm blankets sipping apple juice with a nurse. When she saw us she said, "mommy, dadda"! Those words never get old. She then wanted her daddy to hold her (Gwen is a daddy's girl through and through. True love I tell you). And despite making the doctor write a special note on her surgery papers (for real) to remember the pink fiberglass, this morning they could not find pink. Obviously not a pediatric hospital; no cherry syrup flavoring and only neutral cast colors...so white it is. We are now home and miss gwenners is watching The Tigger Movie on TV snuggled in on the couch. Another happy day.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Can't get this little saying out of my head lately. My good friend Stacey bought this print to hang in her home and I think it is perfection. I have spent the last week in doctors offices. Mainly in doctors waiting rooms with a two year old who hasn't had a nap. This cute little poster has come to my mind often. I can't wait for situations to be perfect and think, "then I will be happy". One of the many things lately that makes me happy is how well my baby Gwen is doing. We saw the burn team yesterday for her road rash and she is healing so well we don't have to go back! They even presented her with a diploma (seriously). We meet with the trauma team for her lung x-ray on Tuesday. She seems to be breathing easily and in no discomfort. Gwenners loves her bright pink cast and has not fussed for even one minute over it. After her orthopaedic appointment on Wednesday we were told she needed surgery on her elbow. Tomorrow morning is the big event. Her dislocation was pretty severe and the doctor wants to make certain that her joint is perfectly in place. He was unable to tell from the x-ray that was taken on her last visit.
I continue to be overwhelmed with the amount of love our family has received and continues to receive. I am surrounded by amazing friends and family. I have never felt so blessed and so grateful for the people in my life. Elle and Gwen each have a little bucket of toys. Toys that friends and loved ones have dropped by or mailed to us. How fun is that?! I teach the 12 year old girls at church and they gave Elle a "heart attack". While she was at preschool they decorated her room with hearts.... cut out construction paper hearts all over her walls and bed. The hearts had little love notes on them about how brave she was. She even had pink and purple balloons in her room. She came home and I told her to run upstairs and get something in her room. I heard her scream with glee when she got up there. She said, "mama, I just DO NOT KNOW why people are so nice to me. I mean I just can't believe how nice people are to me". Pretty cute. We have had dinner dropped off at our home every night this week. Every night. Elle has gone to friends homes while I am at the doctors' visits with Gwen and even my silly preschool carpool duties have been taken on by these same dear friends. I want to cry just thinking about how appreciative I am not for just the sweet and thoughtful gifts but mainly for the love and support. And so many prayers...so many people united in prayer for our sweet two year old. I feel so humbled. That is the only word that comes to my mind. I want to be better. I have amazing people all around me that I want to emulate. This has truly been a learning experience in so many ways. Countless ways. I am one blessed and HAPPY mama.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Yesterday Gwen and I headed back up to the hospital to get x-rays and a hard cast put on her arm. She chose pink of course... a girl after my own heart. She is doing amazingly well. The netting you see on her arm and chest is because of her roadrash. Jon and I clean it each day (she is not happy about that), put medicated jelly on it mixed with antibacterial powder and then vaseline coated gauze strips. The netting holds everything in place. Her broken ribs have not been as big of an issue as we anticipated. I think most of the healing was done as she slept in the hospital (another blessing). We have an appointment next week as well with the trauma team to check on her lungs. A follow-up to make sure all is well. We are all so happy to be back in our home together. I haven't gone anywhere (besides the hospital) this past week and I couldn't be happier about it. Just so nice to be home with my girls.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Pregnancy gives me insomnia. At 3:30 am I woke up and just laid in bed thinking about how much our little family has been through over the past 2 weeks. I got out of bed and had to go and check on my girls. I crawled into bed with my sweet sleeping Elle. There she was all cozy in her bed having sweet dreams and sucking her thumb without a care in the world. I just snuggled right up to her. There is something so sweet and innocent about a sleeping child. Especially when that child is your own. Nothing can compare. I kissed her rosy little cheeks and then moved on to my sweet sleeping Gwen. Couldn't crawl into her crib but believe me, if I wasn't 6 feet tall and 5 months pregnant, I would have. I just leaned over and kissed her little forehead and watched her little chest go up and down with each breath. What a blessing it is to see that after seeing her just one week ago attached to so many machines that had to do it for her. This morning Elle and I had a quiet minute together. The accident came up and she started to talk about it. She said, "mama, when Gwen was hit by the car and you were on the ground holding her, I said a prayer that my baby sister wouldn't die. And mama, I felt inside of me that she would be OK." My eyes welled-up. She had never told me that sweet little incident. These little ones are much more in-tune with spiritual things. They are so innocent and so pure. I was again reminded that miracles do happen and that our family was the recipient of one. I want to be thankful and forever mindful of how blessed we are. We have eachother.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
We're home. I can't tell you how nice it was to walk into our house with my little Gwen and put her in her own crib. I was able to rock her to sleep in the rocking chair in her room. Jon and I talked last night about how grateful we are...for everything. Our perspective on life has shifted. My friend Karsen sent me a quote from an essay she had been reading. It truly has touched me. I can't stop going over it in my mind. It reads...
"We sleepwalk through most of our lives...and...every once in a while something happens...outside of ourselves that forces us to pay attention in a new way, or something happens inside of us that enables us to pay attention in a new way. And we suddently realize that the world is so much richer, and more magnificent, and more wonderful than we had felt for a long time. Not to sentimentalize but I think children live much more consciously in a state of awareness of the miraculousness of existence." Scott Russell Sanders
This experience has touched our whole family. It has made us better as individuals. It has made me want to be better. A better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better mother, a better wife. Interesting how the hardest periods of our lives end up being the experiences that enable us to be or atleast be on the road to becoming the kind of person that we want to be. This experience has done that for me. As hard as it was, I have learned so much and now have a new heightened awareness of how truly blessed we are.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
My little Gwen has been going through some pretty severe withdrawals from coming off of so many drugs. She was sedated for 6 days so it just takes time to free her body of the drugs' effects. She was calm but stayed awake for over 40 hours and her little body could not stop shaking. This morning she is doing much better and is smiling. We are trying to get her to eat on her own. Her ribs and broken arm and elbow are not seeming to bother her too much at this point. The burn team still comes in each day to clean her roadrash and it is healing nicely. We are hopeful that we can take her home with us in the next few days. I held her on my chest like this for hours on end yesterday. There is nothing more peaceful than your baby in your arms. Gwen just needs time now to heal. We all do.