Walking and talking

Maggie has been QUITE busy at home lately – in the last few weeks, she has starting walking AND talking. And she has really taken to her new best bud (au pair) Mila after finally getting to spend some solid hours with her. She will actually prefer Mila over me fairly often (which makes a lot of sense, because by all objective standards, Mila is much more fun than me). The one thing Maggie just can’t seem to learn to do, however, is sleep! Or eat iron-laden foods. Here’s a nice picture of my furry walking, talking baby.

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Daddy Hair Dos

I bet Tommy never imagined he would be brushing so much hair every day – although Maggie’s locks are not quite long enough to require any maintenance, she strongly prefers to be part of the hair brushing party. Luckily Mila is an excellent braider, and sends the girls to school in all these fancy hairdos so it looks like we have it all together (because I assume people judge how together my family looks based on my children’s hair). But Tommy commonly gets hair duty on weekends, as pictured here.

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Thankful

We had a very low key thanksgiving this year with only two extra people at the dinner table compared to a typical night. But Tommy managed to cook a gigantic feast anyway, and I’ve eaten turkey and stuffing for 4 straight nights since. I have a lot to be thankful for this year and am very happy to just be home eating turkey. I am also thankful that the kids go back to school today, however!

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Dojo phone call

Kaya has impressed me so much lately – she is so responsible and I can literally see her learning to control her emotions at times (which is more than I can say for myself). Today she earned 10 dojo points (the reward system at school) and do you know what she chose as her prize? A phone call to me! I picked up the phone and had a 10 minute conversation with Kaya about life in the middle of the morning today (which was great, because I thought maybe they were calling because she had punched somebody or broken a leg or something). And here is her formal first grade picture. Such a grownup.

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The Big Four

Happy 4th birthday to my knee baby Laney. She celebrated Peppa Pig style at Notasium with 20 of her closest friends. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her so excited and she was so thankful to party with everyone. I am so thankful that Daddy Pig had cake responsibility because his Peppa cake was outstanding and Mummy would have done it all wrong. Happy birthday Laney!

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Backlog

Now that Maggie is feeling a bit better from transplant, I discussed with her the backlog of chores that have accumulated. She wanted to start easy, so I asked her to put together some bookcases first.

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Caught Up

Tommy is gallivanting around the Bahamas this weekend with his old childhood buddy Carlos, so the girls and I took the opportunity to rearrange the entire house. We moved into this house at the end of March and within a week, Max died and Maggie was diagnosed with a permanent disability (hearing loss that week, but that quickly morphed into something much more). April and May were a blur of trying to find my stuff in boxes and taking Maggie to doctors’ appointments. And then I was away for all of June-September. She was then readmitted a week after we got home in October, and then I stayed with Baba for a week because everyone was sick at home. So this is really the first chance I’ve had to choose which side of the closet to hang my skirts. Plus the weather was too cold for the girls to want to ride their bikes, and Maggie can’t hang out at any of our typical indoor destinations, so we stayed home. I am proud to say that I finally unpacked Maggie’s hospital stuff, the house is clean, there are no unpacked moving boxes in the house (still a couple in the garage), my laundry is caught up, all 3 kids had baths all 3 nights, I managed to vacuum while Maggie was napping (so as not to break the “don’t let her be around a recently vacuumed room for at least an hour” rule), and the older girls were asleep by 7 (Maggie can’t go to sleep that early lest she miss her cyclosporine). I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be right back in the thick of vomity screechy disorganized life, but tonight I am feeling accomplished.

Unrelated photo from a few weeks ago when Maggie was in the hospital, so the whole family could not attend our scheduled Christmas picture photographer mini-session. But Tommy, Kaya, and Laney went and I got this gem to smile at for all of eternity. Photo credit: the wondrous Danell Beede.

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The Mighty Magnolia

A Ronald McDonald House tradition is that any long-term stay kids get to decorate a ceiling tile. We finally got around to painting Maggie’s tile and I think it looks fantastic. I give all the credit to Tommy for the artistic talent. I found it comforting on our many long walks in the RMH halls to see the many kids who have come before us, including a few with Hurler’s.¬†One day, when we have our lives back in order, we will go make dinner for the RMH guests and the girls will run around trying to find Maggie’s tile.

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Mini Entrepreneur

Kaya has recently discovered that money is a very powerful thing to have. Accordingly, she is up for hire. So far, I have paid her to fold laundry, sweep the floor, and play with Maggie for 30 minutes. But she made most of her fortune by cooking and selling cookies and milk at a local park. She sold out in record time and bought herself a sketchbook with the proceeds. So I’m just going to put my feet up while my $2/hour babysitter watches my other kids.

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