Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy 3 Year Heart Anniversary, My Little Diva!

It was this very day that Miss Ava's heart was partially mended, her very first Open Heart Surgery, at 7days young. The day she was given a chance to live thanks to technology and an amazing team of Surgeons, Doctors and Nurses at UCSF Children's. Almost like the first day of her *new* life. A new start I couldn't ever properly express my gratitude for. I just cannot believe three years have already passed. Over 2.5 of those years spent at home, we are blessed. So later this morning, when Ava wakes up and it's time for the bath, I will look at that long jagged line down her chest and remember her incredible journey. I will say a lil prayer, and thank my lucky stars that I was entrusted to be her mommy. Ava's such a strong little fighter. Thank you for being Mommy's inspiration, Ava. We love you so very much!

More photos from her birthday/anniversary shoot, you can click on any of the images to see them larger...

She's come a long way, baby! :)

Thanks to everyone who has been there to support us, offer love and kind words and prayers, we all appreciate and love every single one of you!

One last note, please keep Ava in your thoughts and prayers this coming Monday, she will be first case for another catheterizing at the UCD Cath Lab, where Dr. Van Gundy will be ballooning/stenting her left pulmonary artery. With any luck we will be home same day, but as always I am prepared for an overnight stay. If family and close friends would like to visit, please feel free, we will be on the 7th floor after the procedure. You can try to call or text me for further details, or just find us! :P I will try to keep everyone updated on how that goes via texting, phonecalls and twitter. But reception at UCD is super spotty and there is absolutely NO signal in the Cath Lab waiting room, so bear with me on the slow updates, no news will be good news. :)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cath, cath-cath-cath...(said to the tune of DUN, dun-dun-dun...)

These photos have nothing really to do with this update, I just thought they were cute and my mom likes seeing new photos. :P

So this thorn in my side Catheterization/stenting is going to (hopefully)happen this coming Monday, June 1st. The timing of it is terrible, for a list of reasons I don't really feel like going into. We have spent the entire first half of this year preparing for this single Cath. I am not really sure how much more MY heart can take. I just want it to happen, for her left pulmonary artery to be stented and to with any hope and prayer be done with the hospital worry game for a while. Please? I know my daughter LOOOOOVES to keep everyone on their toes and make the simplest of chore difficult, but enough is enough, Mama is begging of her baby girl.

As far as other updates, I am not very happy with how preschool enrollment is going. I don't feel very confident sending my daughter to the school she is scheduled to attend this fall or the plan they have for her, but I am still working on everything and trying to keep optimistic. They don't even want me sitting in, ever. :( Perhaps I should light some of that good forture insense my brother has for myself, eh?

That's pretty much all I have for updates right now. Just keep little Miss Diva Ava in your thoughts and prayers for a super successful Cath. Birthday Party, June 6th, hope to see you there family and friends!! :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three Years Old !!

Does this mean I can inform her that "terrible two" antics are a thing of the past?! Sure, good luck on that pipe dream being honored, mom. A mom can dream though... ;)

I can't believe three years have gone by. To think there was a time where all we could do was PRAY and HOPE and WISH that we would be able to see even one of Ava's Birthdays, it seems like such a foreign thought now days. But it very much was the reality of things. Not being promised another year, much less three incredibly healthy ones. "Healthy, how can you say healthy when your daughter still has an irregular heart that will always require repairs and monitoring?!" To know my daughter now, to see her, all you will see is a happy, thriving, engaging, precocious, loving and HEALTHY three year old girl. Sometimes shy, sometimes apprehensive, but hey who isn't now and then.

We were told to not expect much as far as development in Ava goes. That she would be severely delayed in almost everything, because "Almost all heart children are, especially those who spend as long as she did in the hospital." We were told she wouldn't ever be one of those smiling, happy babies. That she might fear everyone and everything. She wouldn't ever gain enough weight, eat by mouth, etc. You get the gist. Frankly, I get a kick out of boasting every chance I get to the people involved in saying such things that none of it could be further from the truth!! She has always been a very happy baby, loves everyone she meets, fears almost nothing(unfortunately for me, at times), and as far as cognitively, she isn't delayed in the slightest, sometimes topping charts in that area. Sure, she was in the lower range of "normal" for walking. But she still did it. The biggest hurdle for us has been speech, but even that has everything to do with muscle tone and nothing to do with a typical delay. So THERE, mean, cold, bitter men and women in white coats!

Ava is a blessing, one I am still not quite sure I deserved. She has brought so much to our family, that none of us could imagine life before her or without her. From day one Ava has been a force to be reckoned with. Showing her feistyness before she could even control movement in her fingers! Nothing there has changed, that's for sure! But her strong will and all around feisty side have been a big help for her overcoming these daunting hurdles thrown her way. So rather than curse whomever gave me a daughter more willful than myself and my husband combined, I THANK GOD for it.

Today that little girl that came home after three long and agonizing months in the hospital weighing under 8lbs and smiling for nobody is a happy, energetic, 31 pound THREE year old little diva. Happy Birthday Ava, we love you and are so very proud of you!!!

Above are a few photo previews of some gorgeous pictures my super talented cousin Tracie took last weekend of the Birthday Diva. I adore them and can't thank her enough for doing a perfectly beautiful job capturing my daughter on film. I will treasure these forever. Enjoy. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A New Update, Hooray!

Sorry I have been sort of lagging in the updates department.
Ava is doing great! The cath, as many of you already know by now, did not happen last Monday, as UCD was a little hectic in the PICU(her cardiologist likes to have a bed open for her, as a JUST in case). He really basically refused to do it without a bed guarantee, I don't blame him. And since this cath is not an "emergency" situation, he was comfortable in putting it off. So the new date is set for June 1st. Why do all of her surgeries and procedures happen at almost the exact same time of the year?? I will take it as a good sign though, I suppose. :) Little Miss Ava just needs to behave herself and allow this to end with just a stent.

So in other news. Speech therapy is going well. Very well. Ava has made tremendous progress and continues to amaze her therapists. Her PT and OT stopped coming out, which I guess means she graduated? That's how I am going to take it, at least. :)

This Tuesday we have a meeting with the School District in regards to getting everything in order for Ava's entry into PRESCHOOL!!! Yes, I am beyond excited. No not because I am going to get a few hours of peace, because let's face it, I will undoubtedly be spending most of those hours in class with her just as I tried to as much as I could while Gregory was in the younger grades. But rather because this is a BIG step for my little girl. And something she should be very proud of herself for. We have been working on numbers and alphabet, she basically recognizes the entire alphabet and numbers up to 10. Have I mentioned how proud I am of my little silent heart diva genius?! So that is exciting and I will update all on how that meeting goes sometime next week.

Birthday planning is in full blown crazy mode right now. I have the invites ready to go, just have to address them all and get them out. So expect those soon!! My cousin Tracie is a photographer and will be taking some shots of Miss Diva on the 16th to capture her third birthday, as well as her mended <3 anniversary. Hooray for cute pictures and brave, inspiring little three year old MONSTERS! ;)

Still not fully pottytrained, but making (slow, super slow) progress. We're getting there!!

That's about it I do believe. So now I will leave you with a few recent pics of Little Miss Ava Pants.

-Popping bubbles

-Ava being a monkey on the monkey bar at the park!

-Ava with her new friend, Tyler at Brother's ball game.

Have a Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mommies I know, especially my OWN mom! I love you mama!!