Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ice Cream

This video shows just how excited E gets about having her ice cream.  Enjoy the cuteness!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mama's Day Out

No, Mama did not get a Spa Day or haircut or even visit the dentist for fun.  I don't think I'll be doing any of that until E turns 12.  I hope P doesn't mind clogged pores, Rapunzel hair, and rotten teeth.

I was invited by some global leaders of a huge pharmaceutical company to come and speak about thalassemia and my life and experiences with it.  They were excited by the fact that I could speak about it on so many levels:  as a patient, as a parent, and as a clinical researcher.  Unfortunately, the meeting was in New Jersey, not Miami but other than that it was an amazing experience that I am honored to have been a part of.

It was also E's first day without Mama.  Baba took the reins for a day and worked from home.  It started off a little rocky with a 5am wakeup.  E was pretty rattled by what was going on around her.  One minute she'd be happily helping me get my shoes, and the next she'd be crying, realizing why I was getting my shoes.  As the towncar zipped me away, little E was in the front window with the saddest face I've ever seen on her, crying big, big tears.  I was getting a little misty myself.

After that, things really turned around!  Besides saying Mama a reported 1,723 times, there were no more tears from little E.  She and Baba had a good day together.  When I came home, E greeted me at the door with the biggest smile, in the craziest, most mis-matched outfit I'd ever seen.  (P said, "I couldn't find anything to match the top so I figured if it wasn't going to match, it might as well REALLY not match."  Nice daddy logic.)  The house looked like a bomb hit it, but in P's defense, he was working from home so he could not clean up after every meal and snack like I do because he had to get back to work.  (Although, it wouldn't have killed him to pick up some of the larger items such as a half cheese stick melting into the floor since it was 80 degrees out.)  Other than that, everyone survived unscathed. 

Since then E has been particularly clingy to me--wanting to be fed by me while rubbing her back, to sit on my lap, to have me cradle her like a baby.  And as I cradled her, she looked up at me with her huge eyes and a look of peace, satisfaction, happiness, and calm was on her precious face.  She deserves a little extra Mama after a day without.

I think Mama's Day Out was good on so many levels.  Most importantly, E saw that Mama always comes back.  In addition, I got to do something important for patients with thalassemia, and personally fulfilling for myself, too.  And Baba got to see what a day alone with E is really like.  It's funny, one of the guys at the meeting jokingly said that, "No father should have to experience that."  I retorted, "Yes, every father absolutely should!"

Here are a few recent pics, including this week's transfusion which went very well.

Hanging out at Boston Common...

At Children's Hospital Boston for a transfusion...

Did we come here to get blood or a bagel?

"Nurse, help her with that remote please!"
Chillin' on the couch...

Is that Rita Hayworth, or Emmie?

Look at that precious face!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Emmie Go Bragh

I am not one of those people who consider themselves Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  When someone says, "But everyone is Irish on St. Paddy's Day!!" I'm like, "Um, no, really I'm not.  Even a little bit.  Still Italian, but thanks for trying."  Nonetheless, I absolutely love to celebrate any and every culture and ethnicity, especially through food.  For instance, we always celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and we celebrated Chinese New Year long before E came into our lives.

Since P is very Irish, I always like to make a big deal out of St. Patrick's Day with decorations and food.  In fact, I get way more excited about the day than he does of his namesake.  This year was even better because E was in on all of the festivities.  I made delicious whole wheat Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage (yes, blah, blah, I know "real" Irish people in Ireland do not eat this...but we are "fake" Irish people in the US so chill out).

Here are some photos of the fun!

* Before you call DSS, this is an unopened can of beer.

E's asleep...time for some Bailey' personal favorite part of St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Two Months!

Two months ago, half the world away, a scared little girl walked down the hall of the 22nd floor of the Marriott in Nanning, into our hotel room, into our lives, and became our daughter forever.

It wasn't a fairy tale beginning, and there have been plenty of rough times since, but it has been the BEST. THING. EVER.

I remember worrying in that hotel in Nanning whether our daughter would ever smile, ever give kisses, ever have feelings for us. 

The face of our little girl, two months later:

E is growing into a happy, smiling, loving, tender, compassionate, funny little girl.  She has some hysterical quirks, and we spend hours laughing at her expressions and silly ways.  She gives me kisses and hugs and even kissed Baba today!  We know that we still have a long way to go with our bonding with E, but in just two months, our family has grown in leaps and bounds.

I'm headed upstairs for one of E's favorite times of the day...when Mama lays down with her to go "Night Night."  We'll cuddle and canoodle, I'll sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" 30 times, and she'll gesture for me to rub her hands and feet.  Then, when it's time to go to sleep, I'll close my eyes and pretend to be asleep.  E will put one hand on my face.  With the other, she'll take my hand, hold it to her face, and kiss it over and over and over again.  I guess it's one of my favorite times of the day, too.

We love you, E!  Happy Two Month Anniversary!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snow and Sun

Thanks to the wacky New England weather we've been having, E was able to play in the snow and run around outside blowing bubbles in the same week!  She deserved some fun, though, after all of the chores she's been doing (see last post).

On Monday, Auntie Sue Sue picked up one of our old sleds from Nana and Grampy's house (wedged between the Barry Manilow records and Nana's old Smith-Corona typewriter).  Auntie and I took turns pulling around Queen Emmilene as she sat with her ankles crossed, lounging in the sled.  Then E thought it would be fun to ride with Mama, so poor Auntie had to drag around the two of us (no small feat). 

"Is this thing an antique?  Did Nana really save it for me for
30 years?"

"Hey Mama!  Jump in!  Auntie can drag around the two of us.
Don't worry...she'll do anything I ask her to do!"

Just a couple of days later, we were treated with gorgeous weather in the high 60s!  E literally spent hours outside running around and blowing bubbles.  The bubble season is just starting, and we are clearly going to have to buy stock in the bubble company.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chores, Chores and More Chores

Oh, did you think I was talking about the life of a Mom?  Tricked you!  I was talking about our Little Helper, E!  She absolutely loves to help us with pretty much anything from tying shoes to cleaning up.  Some of her favorite ways to help:
  • Fixing our coffee
  • Zipping up everyone's coats
  • Unlocking the car
  • Paying for things in the store
  • Putting away shoes and coats
  • Brushing our teeth for us
  • Putting on our socks
  • Cooking
As an added bonus, she loves to do chores.  It's a bit demeaning when she walks around our house with the dustpan repeatedly saying "Diggy" (read: Dirty), wrinkling up her nose, and cleaning up our supposed mess that is all over the floor, but she seems to enjoy it.

Please, no emails reprimanding me for putting my daughter to work.  She does all of this on her own...

Unloading groceries.  Don't worry, her head was only in
the bag for a second.
"I like these, right?"

Dustpanning.  This is when she keeps telling me that the
floors are "diggy."  I guess my housekeeping is slipping.
"Mama, it's exhausting keeping these floors clean!"

"Um, excuse me, Mama.  Are you going to
pitch in here, or what?"
"Baba, I think you missed a spot washing
this thing."