Yesterday Alexa, my mom and I attended the Nutcracker Ballet. It was the first ballet for all of us and we loved it! I can't believe I have never been to the ballet before. What a shame. Alexa really enjoyed it and was mesmerized the first act. The second act she was getting a little tired and ansy but overall she thought it was great. The costumes and sets were so beautiful and much more elaborate than I expected. Alexa has been in ballet for 2 years and seeing the professionals was quite a treat for her. Another great memory created this holiday!
Are you ever overwhelmed by the love you have for your child? I'm certainly not surprised how much I love her but how pure and full and true it is. It is different than any other relationship. It just makes me a better person too in so many ways. Being a mother was always in my heart from a very early age. When people would ask me what I wanted to be I would say "a mom". My nickname in high school was "mom". I guess I was a natural at taking care of my friends so they felt it fitting. I also know that is one of the reasons why I became a teacher. I just really loved all my students like they were my own. But motherhood is for me is like the calm in the storm. It is what makes me feel whole and worthy and capable. It is one thing for sure that I know I'm good at. I cannot imagine going through this life without this experience.
Last night Alexa had her Christmas Pageant for school. She looks like a little opera singer in the last two photos. She really loves to sing and knew all the words to the songs. She loves being on stage and is not shy. A couple of times she wanted include some dance moves but the two girls on either side of her gave her some looks like "Don't try it girl, there's not enough room." She even curtsied at the end. I true diva in the making. My folks came too of course and we all really enjoyed watching her. She looked beautiful in her dress and enjoyed getting her hair curled and a little makeup on before the show. I love that she is so girly and enjoys all the foo foo stuff. We have so much fun getting ready together! It was a great night!
Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree and the outside lights. It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas out here in the desert. When I was growing up it was always my job to set up the Nativity set under the tree. I still have the old set that was actually my grandparents but it is missing a few key players like Joseph and a wise man. I bought Alexa a new set last year and she loves setting it up just like I did. The funny thing is that now she combines both sets and has two baby Jesus' and it is quite the lot of characters to set up and make sense of.
Besides the big tree and her pink tree in her room, Alexa has always enjoyed decorating this little tree when I am getting the big one ready. She really takes her time and loads it up. She also loves snow globes ( I'm thinking of maybe starting a collection for her and getting her one every year).
After a day of decorating and baking we bundled up ( it was 40 degrees here last night!) and headed out to a Christmas pageant that is literally put on in the middle of the desert. It was really cool. You follow the luminaries out to the spot and our local theatre troop puts on the story of the birth of Jesus including a live donkey and the wise men riding in on horses! They had an angel ( who must have been freezing) up on the mountain and they would light her up along with the North Star. It was narrated and also sung by a choir. It was really something. This morning Alexa and I reenacted it( with our respective sets). I think it was a wonderful way for her to relearn the story of Christmas.
What girl doesn't like a pink tree with lights in her bedroom? I ran around all over town today while Alexa was at school looking for a pink tree. Every store was sold out! Finally after picking her up we tried our trusty Targ*t and sure enough Alexa spotted one...the last one they had. She really is into pink and purple right now so we snagged some purple and silver ornaments. She could not wait to get home and get right to work setting it up. I had found the cutest little pink sequined tree skirt( at K*hls) and we got it all ready for decorating. She didn't want any help or suggestions and even though it is quite bottom heavy it looks super and she LOVES it!! She actually made a little bed next to it with her pillow and blankets and is sleeping on the floor next to it. So darn cute!!! I love the simple things like this that make Christmas time so special.
Alexa went back to school today for a few hours in the morning. She and I both were happy to get back to our routines. I was able to get my groceries for Thanksgiving, hit T*arget and work out. Her friends were really glad to see her and she was happy to be back. : ) !!!! Excuse the horrible quality of this photo. We were running late and I took some really fast crummy photos outside before we left.
We are over the hump! Finally...whew what a long week. Yesterday was day 9 after surgery and Alexa was mostly back to her old self. Her energy was up and her throat only seems to hurt sporadically. She is still having a few troubles eating but that is subsiding too each day. She lost a bit of weight which was something we did not want to happen but she certainly was not eating much all week so I think it was to be expected. Now, we need to fatten the girl up!
She is sleeping like a dream except when she wakes up 3 times in the night wanting the mama! When she was a baby she would wake up every night at 10:00, 12:00 and 3:00 and cry for me. Well, can you guess what is going on now...yep same schedule. She wakes up crying because her throat hurts and then I go in and comfort her and then back to bed she goes. Needless to say, I have not had much sleep in the past 9 days. I think once she is back to feeling 100% she will sleep even better. It is still so odd because she is so quiet when she is sleeping. This was our goal and it is really amazing.
So, now that she is on the mend it is time to focus on Thanksgiving...yikes only 4 days away! We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. : )
We are doing well! Alexa was an absolute champ today and is home doing very well.
Our morning started at 6:15 check-in at the surgery center. Alexa was very relaxed and in good spirits. I really think the tour on Wednesday helped her so she knew what to expect. After some paperwork and waiting we were called back to get ready. Alexa was given a "relaxer" medicine which made her all loopy so she wouldn't have a tough time leaving us and getting started. This was a difficult time for me because I did not like seeing her all spacey and out of it. I was starting to get anxious so I was sort of glad when they told us it was time to go. I wanted to get the show on the road! All the anxiety leading up to it was killing me! We gave her kisses and told her we loved her than went back to the waiting room ( well, I went outside for a moment to "gather" myself) and then it was only like a 30 minute wait until her surgeon came out to tell us she was finished and in recovery. He also said her tonsil were "HUGE".
We were allowed to go back into recovery after a few moments ( this photo above is from there). This was heart wrenching for a bit as she was just waking up and crying. She was telling me "her throat hurt" and I kept saying "I know honey, just rest your throat and don't talk." She finally fell back asleep and stayed comfortable the rest of the hour. Here is the amazing part for me. After she fell asleep, I realized, "Oh my goodness, she is quiet...no snoring or difficulty breathing!" I almost started crying! It was amazing to me after so many years to see her finally resting peacefully. When she napped at home later, I kept going in to check on her because I could not hear her breathing! Very odd for me.
We are so thankful for all the wonderful nurses and doctors today and the excellent care she received and the compassion for her and us too. We are also thankful for all your well wishes and prayers. It really means a lot.
Alexa is feeling much better than we expected. She was eating Jello and scrambled eggs only a few hours after we were home. She is keeping busy watching movies and sleeping. She is on pain meds and an antibiotic. She is talking and moving around. Here is another really strange thing. Her voice is totally different!! Kinda freaking me out. We're not sure yet if it is from her throat being sore of this is what is really should sound like without the "frog" in her throat. Time will tell.
So, we are so glad that we pusued this and got it done. For all the worry leading up to it and the anxiety, it is nothing compared to the peace of mind that she will feel better now without them.
She is our little trooper..she never ceases to amaze us what she can handle!! We love her so!
Alexa is having surgery next Friday. She is having her tonsils and adenoids removed as well as having her nose cauterized. I found a fabulous ENT who finally sees what we see....a otherwise healthy vibrant 4 year old with huge tonsils that are affecting her life in negative ways. He said that he would be shocked if she did not currently have sleep apnea, considering the size of her tonsils. They are also affecting her speech. She sounds like she has a frog in her throat and quite frankly I'm sure she feels like she does! He was appalled as I was that for over two years, 4 different doctors have told me that this was no big deal. I have stood over her bed almost every night listening to her fitfully sleeping, waking every few minutes to get more oxygen in. I have gone to bed most nights wondering if she will continue to breath through the night. That might sound mellodramatic to some but as a mother, my instincts told me that this was not right and that I should push to pursue a solution.
So now we have finally scheduled the surgery and I am terrified!! I have not really let myself "go there" with my worry but I'm scared. I'm scared of her being under anethesia, being on an antibiotic for the first time in her life and having a reaction, and having post-surgery bleeding ( which is rare but does happpen). A week ago Alexa had a horrendous nosebleed in the night that scared the crap out of me and the chief. We both thought that we were not going to get this one to stop. It was like a faucet just running, down her throat, in her mouth...just horrible. The ENT said that she has huge blood vessels and that is why she keeps getting bloody noses ( for years). She has had her nose cauterized twice and he will only be able to do one nostril during surgery but we are hoping that will eliminate the episodes for the winter at the very least.
on Wedensday we are going for a pre-surgery tour which will makes us and Alexa more comfortable for what will happen on Friday morning. I would welcome any feedback from anyone who has already gone through this. I have done lots of research and am prepared for a pretty rough few weeks of healing.
I am also asking for any prayers next week for our sweet little girl. I have always believed in the power of prayer and our family would deeply appreciate your help in that respect.
I will try and post an update after the surgery after we are home and settled. : )
The festivities started on Thursday with some pumpkin carving. My mom and dad came over to help out and join in the fun. After we did our pumpkins we roasted marshmallows in our outdoor fireplace ( it was the perfect rare cold night in AZ). Alexa loves using the stick she whittled to roast her own marshmallows.
The next morning it was off to school for the Harvest party and parade. Alexa kindly asked if I would dress up as Sleeping Beauty's queen mother so I had to oblige. For two days before she would read her princess books and inform me of my "royal duties" to be polite ( as if I wouldn't!) and mind my manners. She was so cute when I was helping her get her "jewels" on. I let her wear a pair of my drop earrings and pearls and she was loving that!
The Queen and her princess. Yee gads, I could not wait to get that thing off once the day was over. I volunteered at her school for the party and was in charge of leading 3 groups of trick or treaters through the complex where the school is located....yikes, in heels!! A Queen just does not wear gym shoes under her gown...imagine!
She really loved this dress.
The following morning at Ballet class they were allowed to dress in costume. She is wearing a different princess dress because her other one was just filthy from dragging on the ground. Here she is with her friend Sydney
This is not the best photo because it was taken through glass but I like it anyway. She was doing her solo with the scarves. She loves that part. : )
Halloween night at our annual Fire Dept. neighborhood party. Here she is with the Chief. I love how she has her arm around him...so precious. We did a trunk or treat and she got lots of candy which she was so sweet to share with everyone in her family.
It was a fun filled weekend of activities and fun memories!!
A couple of weeks ago we went to a Fancy Nancy party at our local library. This lady was a hoot and was so entertaining. All the girls dressed up in their fanciest outfits and listened to stories, ate little cupcakes and enjoyed being "fancy".
As you can see, Alexa loves getting dressed up in all her jewels and fancy accessories.
She is so darn cute in all her bling.
Got some attitude going on here!
The other day Alexa says to me, "Mom, sometimes people tell me that I'm beautiful and I'm just not that interested in hearing that." Must be rough!
I told her that what matters most is her beautiful heart!
Today we had a visit from our favorite friends Amy and Georgea http://joyofgeorgea.blogspot.com/. It is so cute to see the girls together. Georgea is an absolute sweetie pie. My mom is in town for the winter so she came over too. She has been following Amy's blog and was really excited to meet the "newest princess". Love you guys!
Me and my camera are friends again..we've been estranged for some time. With most things I enjoy I go through phases and only seem to concentrate on one thing at a time. Lately it's been sewing and exercise so photography has taken a back seat. This morning I took some really great photos of Alexa but when I was editing ( I just use Picnik, nothing fancy) I noticed that she had those darn tattoos on her arm. I hate those things! I had tried twice to scrub those darn things off and just forgot about them this morning when we ran outside to take a few shots before school.
Two questions: How do you get those darn things off her skin? and How do you edit it off the photos? I tried the "blemish" feature and "airbrush" feature and neither worked.
Any suggestions out there? A couple of the photos are Christmas card worthy but not with a dolphin tattoo and Barbie on her arm!! : (
Here is Alexa the other night after her bath ironing on her new ironing board. Isn't that thing the cutest?! I bought it the other day at T*rget and had intended to keep it for Christmas but I couldn't resist. Alexa has been home with a cold for 3 days so it was the perfect time. She got out all her doll clothes and it kept her busy for some time.
Update: Her hair is wet in this photo but the haircut update is...just a trim. My friend cut it and really only took like an inch off but it really made a difference in how healthy it looks.
This morning on my hour walk I decided to take some photos with my phone. I figured maybe if I can multitask the time will go faster. Truly I love (well "love" might be a little strong) my solitary walks in the desert. It is my time to be one with nature, suck up tons of dust in my lungs and burn off some snacks from the night before. Today I faced 25 mile an hour winds pushing against me which increased the dust particles I actually breathed in and produced an additional 500 calories burned! I wish!
This is how I start out, down a nice hill, gorgeous views and peace and quiet. I am actually enjoying myself at this point, planning my day and doing some self-reflection.
About a mile into it I, round this corner and get a great view of the Tonto National Forest that we live next to. A this point I am scouting for bobcats and mountain lions and hoping no snakes slither in front of me as I take my eyes off the road. I'm working up a sweat now and feeling good!
After about 2.5 miles, here I am about to tackle this little hill. It is one that I actually like since the view is incredible and I know I am past the half way point. I am thinking about my blessings and how I am thankful that I am healthy and can make this walk without passing out.
And then....I get to the bottom of this beast. I hate this hill!!! It is at the near end of my walk and I have lost my sense of humor at this point. I am sweaty and want to go home and have some coffee!!! And then I think, "Hey, I'll check my emails!" I have to take my phone with me in case of "an emergency" Wow, what a great idea. It is really the only way I can get up this hill. If my mind is otherwise occupied I can't think about the fact that I am dizzy and about to drop. It works! Up I go.
I turn around and look back at what I just did and feel pretty good. I've tackled the beast and am almost back home. The rest is a breeze.
I love and hate my walks. I feel nauseous for about 3 hours after I get home ( not sure why) but feel an accomplishment and more energy for doing it. The Chief says I am releasing 40 years of toxins, and that is why I don't feel well. Nice. I guess my walks are a little like therapy. I have a quiet place to think, I can leave my worries in the dirt, I can overcome hills and appreciate the beauty all around me . Works for me!
Alexa ran into our bedroom this morning with her shoes tied. She said, "Mom, I did it!" How exciting! I still remember the first time I learned how to tie. I was 7 and I learned on a Dressy Bessy doll. Alexa and I have been casually working on it but I was pretty surprised when she surprised me this morning. What a great way to start the day! She was really proud of herself!!
I am a fortysomething mom of an amazing daughter that we adopted in 2006 from Hubei China. Alexa is 10 years old and lights up our lives everyday. I am married to my best friend, have 3 crazy dogs and love my life near the beach. We are soaking up life in CA in our new home and welcome you into our piece of paradise.