My dearest Calleigh pillar, I can hardly believe you are 5 years old today. As the baby of the family, its hard for mommy to adjust to the fact that you are absolutely, no doubt, a big girl now.
I can't imagine life without you in it. You are such a perfect fit in our family, a little of Bella's Sass, a lot of Caitlyn (what can I say you are clones), and your own unique twist of personality.
I love you THIS BIG Kokomo. One day when you are older, you are going to have to ask me about that. Because it comes from you.
10 years ago, a decade, Wow. Just wow. Give me a moment to wrap my head around this.
Ten years ago, I was blessed with a tiny, but perfect little human replica of my husband. The feminine version.
I remember it all clearly, even now, all these years later. After dealing with the PUPPPs and other not so fun things, I was happy and hopeful for my induction. It started well, I was feeling not a thing and life was good. And then.. YOWCH. I don't remember a lot about the labor itself. I remember the heart decels, and the nurse thinking she had turned breech, I remember yelling at my mom that I seriously wanted my epidural at that time thank you very much. And I remember that after hours of effort, I was whisked off to the OR for an emergency c/s (Thank goodness for that epidural, so I didn't have to be put under)
I don't remember the actual c-section. I don't remember them showing Caitlyn to me. I do remember finally being in the recovery room and my mom and everyone coming to tell me how beautiful my baby was. I remember viewing pictures on phones and cameras and all I wanted was to see and hold my baby. I remember the nurse coming in often over the next few hours telling me "You should be sleeping." "You need to rest" As if I was ever actually going to drift off before I held my baby, NO thanks nurse lady. No thanks.
I'll never forget meeting her for the first time, some 7ish hours after her birth. This little 5lb whimpering thing. She was perfect. I remember bringing her home finally and freaking out over everything. But hey -- your newborn ripping off her own umbilical cord stump is quite a feat, right?!
I didn't know then what life would bring for her or me. I didn't know the fear of Kidney diseases. I didn't know her organs could turn against her. In the years I've been blessed to be Caitlyn's mom, I've learned a lot. About life. About love. About pain. About strength. I never would have expected all these lessons and I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to grow myself as a mother as we both learned to adjust to things outside our comfort levels. (Catheterizing your own child for one)
I've fought for you all your life as I also have taught you to fight for yourself. I hope you are paying attentions to these lessons girly. You are over halfway there, you are only years away from being an established adult (not that you won't always be my baby).
My wish for you on this tenth birthday, is the same as always. I hope as you grow and learn everyday you remain the strong, brave, beautiful, kind loving girl you have been all your life. May the years bring you more grace, more understanding, the best of friends, the joy of sisters, and the life you absolutely deserve.
May you never forget your past, your struggles, but grow from them, retain your strength and determination. Use your story to share these things with others, you have had such a unique experience being who you are and how you were made. Lend that understanding to others.
Welcome to double digits baby girl, I cannot wait to see what the next decade brings. For you. For me. For US.
When I was pregnant with you, Isabella, I was SO happy to be having another daughter. A sister for my Caitlyn. I don't think you and your sisters realize just how absolutely lucky you are to have each other. All mommy had was stinky ol brothers.
The day you arrived, early, spontaneously, as if you had no intentions of sticking to the schedule you were supposed to, I should have learned. I should have known then that you were absoutly going to be the polar opposite of Caitlyn. Your personality has been clear from day one.
You, my dear, are absolutely goign to be famous (or infamous) if you set your mind to it. You are a dreamer, you have such a vivid imagination. I love how deep you feel, I love how sympathetic you are. I love your wild side, I love your sassy side, and I love that you can be DOWNRIGHT Girly then want to turn around and jump in a mud puddle in your Sunday best. I love that you don't let anyone hold you back. You are not afraid to stick up for yourself, but you are not a bully either.
I love that you get upset over the silliest things. I remember when you are R were not getting along at school and instead of being upset over the fact that R told you you could not play with him and his friends, you simply told me that you were mad because He didn't say PLEASE.
Don't lose your spirit. Don't lose your creativity. May they both ever grow as you do.
Love you sweetums. Love you so much.
Bella got to live a Dream last week. She was selected as Little Miss CMS and got to walk with the court for homecoming. She presented the Queen with her flowers.
Of course, this was an experience for Bella, who has always loved getting girly. She got to have her hair down, a pretty dress, new shoes. And hang out with the "Big kids" on the court.
I think they enjoyed watching her as much as she enjoyed watching them.
August 19th, marked the first day of school. Caity started 4th grade and is part of the Wolf pack. Bella started 1st grade and her tradition of getting the NEW teacher happened again. This time, though, her Teacher may be new to the district but she's not a first time teacher!
Which means I'm packing lunches again too.
Whee! Both of the girls have decided they want to do Jr. Cheer this year, so we'll see how that goes.
It's summer time again. What does that mean? Well for most it means HOT, WATER, TRIP, FUN, NO SCHOOL. Surf, Sand, Sun, etc.
For us -- it means KIDNEYS!
Caity and I made our journey to Boston alone this year. Well not totally alone as we hooked up with B (who flew in from NYC) when we arrived. Nothing better than visiting with one of your best friends while going for your daughters check up. Right?!
We flew in on Wednesday June 26th. We left LR at 6 am and headed to Chicago where we had a layover and a slight delay. Caity didn't mind the delay at all because Hello Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for breakfast! (Okay, she had McDonalds too) From Chicago, we flew to Washington DC, where we had to leave our terminal and re go through security to enter our departing terminal. We made it as the plane started to board. Awesome! We arrived in Boston around 2:45 that afternoon and B met us at the subway stop at the airport terminal exit.
Wednesday night, we walked to our abode (an apartment we rented for the trip) and then we went grocery shopping. Other than that, we stayed in and chatted and cooked. Listened to some music and enjoyed a movie together.
Thursday morning was Caity's appointment. We had a renal u/s followed by her dr. appt. So early, we got up, fixed breakfast, and headed to the subway to get to the "hospital" side of town. A quick pit stop into starbucks (Hello Caffeine, we love you) and off to the waiting room. Fortunately we didn't have too long of a wait. The u/s went great, we had the same u/s tech as last year and she remembered Caity. She told us that her kidneys looked "Beautiful". This was awesome news. Off to the Dr. Another wait. paperwork of course. Lab work. And then Dr. Retik was there and he offered up the best news ever. All of her labs looked great. Her u/s was great. And we don't have to go back for 2 years! Also. He dropped her from 3 times a week to Once a month catheterization! We'll go from there to drop it out of her regimen totally! Our meds didn't change, but that's okay. I think after a year, we were good with the meds schedule!
NO MORE CATHETERS is our new goal!
This means we will not have another kidney followup until 2015. WOW! It seems so hard to imagine not having a yearly trip to Boston. But it means that our Renal future is bright!
The rest of Thursday was spent all over Boston, being tourists, shopping. We dropped off some leftover groceries at the hospitals family house (where we usually stay). We had to buy Jay some shoes, so that was #1 on our list. Caity wanted to go back to the Lindt Chocolate store (and who were we to argue with her). We had lunch at Panera, ate outside and just enjoyed the city. Of course, we had to visit the bookstore. We went by the Mother Church (Christian science) again and this time we stopped in and visited the mapparium -- which was SO cool! We didn't run through the water this time as it was raining and we were far from the apartment. Our final stop was at Crumbs cupcakery for a celebratory cake pop for Caity. Back at the apartment, we fixed some baked goods and heated up dinner. Then watched another movie and talked and packed.
Friday We headed to the aiport early for our midmorning flight. We left Boston on schedule and arrived at DC. Again with the re-pass through security. But Flight delayed. We finally board and....get stuck at take-off ground because of a storm in West Virginia. We stay on the tarmac for two hours before taxiing back to a gate. But they leave us on the plane because they are re-routing us and we should take off soon. 4.5 hours later, they cancel our flight and we finally deplane. Upon calling the airlines, the next available flight to LR isn't until Sunday morning. 40 hours later than it currently is. SO between Me, my mom, Jay and the help of an airline person, I finally grab a midnight flight to Memphis, where Jay drives to pick us up. Our flight was delayed and luckily because of the time zone difference, We arrive in Memphis shortly after Jay has. Then we stop off in a hotel for a few hours of sleep before finishing the drive home.
Met up with Mom and Perry at Walmart to exchange children. I think Calleigh and Bella were happy to see us.
I'll start with The little one! We met with Calleigh's URO here in AR and he gave her a clean bill of health! She is off daily abx and doing wonderfully! Now if only she'd potty train!
Her kidneys look great and her reflux is all but gone! This is a good sign.
Moving on to Caitlyn!
we got the call last week that her UA was finally Clear of Protein! First time in 4 years! She's off abx completely. Still on the Ditripan 3x daily and Cath 3x weekly. But everything looks great! We'll go back to Boston in June for a checkup with her Uro. If all is well he'll stop cath totally!!!!!!!
Caitlyn -- 9 years old. Trouble! Smart, sweet, and stronger than most kids her age. She has been through so much, and yet she's so HAPPY and easy going.
Isabella -- 6 years old. The middle child. Trouble - maker galore! This one gives me a run for my money on an hourly basis.
Calleigh -- The Baby. She's 4! She is definitely her own self (except when she has Cait mannerisms). She's tiny but fierce.