Thursday, December 27, 2007

Olivia

Olivia Ann Irons
Born: December 18, 2007
Weight: 5 lbs. 14 oz. Length: 19 1/2" long
Proud Parents: Lori & Sean
Proud Siblings: JaeLyn, Zack, Kylar, Tayler, and Jaia
We Love You Baby Girl!

Merry Christmas...

We made it through Christmas without Ava being sick this year!!! And what a wonderful Christmas it was spending it with her and her actually being well this year. When you have a child, it just brings a special kind of magic to the holiday season. To see the wonder and amazement in their eyes and in their expressions it is a memory your heart will hold close forever. And it is moments like these that make being a parent so rewarding and quite honestly priceless. Okay, enough for now with the sappy Mommy moments. When Ava woke up on Christmas morning she woke up to a decorated Christmas tree, with many wrapped presents under the tree just for her. And of course in the Dora wrapping paper too. What would a christmas be without presents wrapped in one of her favorite cartoon characters! She neatly lined them up on the couch, only to be told she couldn't open them yet until her Daddy was there to see her open them. Imagine trying to keep an almost 2 1/2 year old from unwrapping her christmas presents! Next year I am not so sure I will be so lucky in getting her to wait for her Dad. Haha. So I did end up turning on the movie Polar Express which the girl absolutely loves. In fact, I think I've seen the movie like 10 times in the last 3 days! But it did keep her out of the presents (Thanks Tom Hanks for making such a great movie)! :)

Well finally Paul arrived and Ava was soon able to dig into her presents. And I have to say I am so proud of how well she did. It was the cutest thing ever. She would go over to the tree, take one present and then go sit in the middle of the living room floor and patiently open the present. And of course not leaving even a tiny piece of wrapping paper on any of the presents. She would then ooh and aah over each gift. Then she would go back to get another present under the tree, go back to her "spot" on the floor, same process of opening the next gift of leaving no paper on the gift, and ooh and aah again of that present. She did this with every gift. It was such a wonderful experience watching her and she was really enjoying each gift and not tearing into each gift and not really looking at them. So that was a proud Momma moment watching her have patience and care with each gift. We even had to tell her a couple times she could go and get another present under the tree. She seemed really happy with all of her Christmas gifts. It is really hard to even say which one is her favorite because she likes all of them. Though I do have to say I was quite surprised with her Baby Alive dolls she got. As soon as she opened that present she wanted them out of the box. Paul took the girl doll out first and Ava quickly went to work at undressing her and undoing her diaper and taking it off. Then, Paul got the boy doll out, which Ava quickly took from him and began undressing him. As she is taking off his diaper I see this "boy" baby doll has a penis! Yes an anatomically correct baby doll. Ava's expression was classic and mine was as well. In fact I am on video laughing at this boy doll. I was pretty shocked to say the least. Which Paul managed to catch my words on video. Not that I am opposed to her having anatomically correct dolls or anything, it just caught me off guard. Toys now days! I tell ya! I couldn't wait to show it to my brother and sister when they came over for Christmas dinner! Haha We so were not acting like adults about this new baby doll that Ava has, that is for sure! This will definitely be a Christmas memory I will always remember!

Christmas dinner went well too. I made most of the food and had Christmas at my house this year. I had my Mom and Step-Dad, my Dad and Step-Mom, my brother, his wife, my nephews Austin and Jordan, my niece Alyssa, my sister, and my newest niece Olivia. My nephew Kylar spent Christmas with his Dad and his family. And my oldest brother had to work Christmas day. Dinner was great and everyone loved all the food. We had quite a lot of food too. And once everyone left there was quite a big mess to clean up too. One of those kind of messes where you think "man why did I agree to have dinner here!" I told my sister and brother that Easter and Thanksgiving are on them this coming year! :) All in all though it was a wonderful holiday and we have been very blessed this year. We hope you had as wonderful of a Christmas holiday as we did. May 2008 bring you and your families many blessings and much deserved happiness throughout the coming year. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Pictures...

Okay, so I haven't taken Ava to officially get a picture done in a portrait studio in quite awhile. But I thought at almost 2 1/2 years old it would be a piece of cake. Yeah right! Seriously, I think by the time this experience was over I was borderline having a migraine. This is so not an experience I want to have anytime soon again. First of all let me just say she looked absolutely adorable in her Christmas outfit. Sparkly silver shoes and all. But to get her to actually sit still or pose was virtually impossible. She wouldn't sit still for 10 seconds to simply say "cheese", let the photographer snap the picture and call it a day. Then this brilliant photographer (insert sarcasm here) tried setting Ava on her lap to get to know her??? This woman obviously does not know children that well because anyone who knows any two year old, knows you do not scoop up a child and put them on your lap. You have to let them get a feel for you on THEIR terms. Not the other way around. So, when this lady was holding onto Ava, Ava was flailing about and not having any of it. Trying to wrestle free of this woman's hold on her. So here I am thinking "oh great now I have a kid who is crying and freaking out and now her face is going to be all red and blotchy in the pictures". Great way to force me into buying the enhanced b&w pictures there lady! My sister went with us and after 2 minutes of this my sister is like "well I guess you are just going to have to realize you are not going to get any pictures of her". Oh no, I am here for pictures and we will get at least one or two pictures. I was determined, even if it cost my my sanity...which it darn near did. I did plan on doing an outfit change as well with her in her Illini cheerleader outfit, but after this experience I was willing to forgo that experience and hang onto what little sanity I had left. Had I opted to go for it, I think I might have been carted right out in a straight jacket.

Amazingly enough though we were able to manage a few shots that were actually pretty good. Not the pictures I had hoped for and had envisioned before this experience...but you know you just have to take what you can get sometimes. And it was an experience I actually paid for. $75 of 30 minutes of an experience I wouldn't want to live over again if someone was paying me the $75.

Feeling helpless...

I found out on Friday my Mom has Alzheimer's. My Mom is only 52 years old. I've suspected it for some time now, but to get anyone in this place to take it seriously or to think that COULD even be a possibility was hard to do. We went to a neurologist in 2005 and I think to myself if he had not been so close minded then, to the fact she could have it and that she wasn't too young to have it, maybe we wouldn't have lost two years of slowing it down. More time to have with my Mom remembering. In my heart I knew it wasn't just depression. I knew it was something more. I thought I would feel relief that it was something more than just depression, but now I am angry because I know what lies ahead for the most part. I feel selfish for feeling angry. I feel sad and honestly I feel scared. My Great-Grandma (my Mom's Grandma) had Alzheimer's and I remember her well and what the disease did to her. I am scared to know that one day my Mom may not recognize me or recoginze my daughter. I don't want to become a stranger to my own Mom. It is hard enough that she cannot recall how old I am or when my birthday is. Things before this ugly disease invaded her mind she could recall without a second thought. Now it is like a complete blank to her. But I know that is not the worst of what is to come. Someday she may look right at me and think I am but a stranger. She may not remember I am her daughter. She may not remember my name or that she gave birth to me. She may look at my daughter and wonder who this little girl is.

I am sad for being only 30 years old and watching my Mom simply fade away, unable to stop this from happening. Unable to fix what is broken. I am angry, because I feel like my family is slowly withering away. My Mom has always been my life, my heart, and my best friend. She has always been there for me no matter what. How do you not feel angry, sad, and scared as hell. I have never in my life felt so completely powerless an helpless. I am angry because I feel like my daughter is losing out on knowing the most amazing woman in my life. I am angry because Ava will never have the grandma I always imagined and dreamed she would have. I am angry at myself for being angry. When I lost my Grandpa 4 years ago that was hard enough and I was not ready to say good bye to him...and now here I am just 4 years later and facing the one of the hardest moments of my life. How do you stand by and watch the person you would lay down your life for, just slowly slip away?

I am having a harder time accepting this than I thought. I thought I would be okay once I knew what the diagnosis was, because then I would know what is going on. But how does one accept a diagnosis that basically will erase most of the memories of ones existance? There is no cure for this, at least yet anyway. There are medicines that can slow down the process, but what are you slowing down? I mean it just draws out the process of the disease and what is inevitable. Is it not painful enough to endure, let alone to slow it down, but knowing you cannot stop it. Eventually it will have its way and in the end it is going to overtake you no matter what medicines you take. Right now I am just angry.