Thursday, January 31, 2013

Overcome

I wanted to thank you so very much for surrounding our little family in love and protection after my last post! We are so appreciative of every single bit of everything that poured in from every avenue after what I wrote. I will never be able to tell you how much you all mean us! As far as the comments, I hope you saw my replies, as I am fairly new to leaving them on here : )

Shortly after my last post, we had to kick it into high gear as we were leaving for a trip to Telluride. This is a place that has been sitting on my Vision Board since 2008, so I was really excited about being in the mountain, fresh air! Last year, we flew to Idaho to visit our friends and then drove to McCallough and Sun Valley. This year, our same friends were going to meet us there.  

Our family and friends are the BEST of the BEST! They have a front row seat at this movie called, "Our Life," so they know first hand how crucially important it is for us to get away together as a couple. To be young. To have fun. To breathe. To just be...him and me. To escape from it all, if only for a little while. 

But, it requires a bit of careful planning in order to leave Aviana and Rainey. Think 3 Ring Circus style, but without the cruelty and contortion. Many moving parts, multiple houses, and house keys, various people, different acts, juggling this and that, and from here to there, garage door openers, in and out of the car, 2 additional trained feeders, transferring here and there, at this time and that. What? That one where? There. Yeah! Phew! Got it. Good. Woo Hoo!!

I referred to Aviana as the Hot Little Mamacita Potato. It created an excitement in her world, and I'm sure she loved every minute of it. After all, that's what she thrives on and in
: )

I do not use the term lightly or loosely when I say 'it takes a village'. I thought I was overcome with gratitude when I left, but after I got back, and finally all had slowed and everything was said and done - I was plowed over

Our family and friends, they pulled it all off without a hitch. Never one call, never a peep....the whole trip. The only time we heard from them was when a sweet little picture of one of our girls would dance across one of our phones : )

They selflessly and lovingly came together for the common good of 3 nights and 4 days for the 2 of us. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we love and thank you -

Mom, Gary, Roger, Rella, Warren, Anna, Ami, Oski, Dinah, Sean, Amy, Tracy, Cooper


Here are just a few pictures for now of what you made possible : )

















Hey Hodder ~ 

I have a question....

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Just wondering.

















Monday, January 21, 2013

Knock Knock CPS Calling

Do you remember how excited I was to say goodbye to December and start this New Year off? Well I didn't even have a chance to post our Christmas or New Year's pictures, before a tasty piece of something arrived in the mail. Addressed to us and regarding Aviana, was a letter from CPS about child abuse of all things.

I had to read it a few times to make sure the names were correct. I then called Dave. As you can imagine we were both shocked. Not at all by the abuse charge as we know we treat her like a little hunk of gold, but by the question of who the hell would do such a thing to us?

So this was how the year was starting off? Okay, we've been through way worse than this. We would just simply have to go through the motions. Yes, it's terrible to have to prove your own parenting skills, especially for a child that not really many know how to parent, and in regard to someone who anonymously decides to put in a false and bogus request against you. But, we'll do it...and do it well.

The social worker told us the anonymous person cited 'medical neglect.' We had to laugh a little, repeat the words out loud a few times and shake our heads, as we are beyond white on rice to Aviana's every medical need. The Institute helped us to make sure of that. We have gone so far above and beyond what Kaiser would even think to ask it's not even funny.

We were doing 10 viles of blood every quarter and I was cutting many sections of her hair and sending it to a private lab for extensive heavy metals tests. Every time we got the results back, we were doing things like using parchment paper instead of aluminum foil to cook her food on, and fish once a week instead of twice because her mercury was a little high, etc. I mean, those are the kinds of lengths we were going for this child for years on end. And we still keep insane tabs on her. We still carry the knowledge of what we learned. For not only her, but all of us. All organic, as minimal toxins as possible, the list goes on! When you know better, you do better!

When the social worker visited, she asked many nutritional questions. We explained that Aviana was her perfect BMI for her height and described her extensive diet history. We explained that we have 7 binders of nutrition and 2.5 years of detailed excel spreadsheets saved on the computer, which include breakdowns of not only her every calorie, but if that calorie was coming from fat, carbohydrate, protein. We explained that by the request of Aviana, we have now made some modifications to her diet because she began opening her mouth less. Do we blame the little Meek? Nah, I commend her for finally putting her Meek Mook foot down to that perfectly balanced food and asking for something with more taste. Does it make our lives a lot harder? Why yes it does! But we all deserve to eat something we like better. Especially Aviana. She understood : )

She also inquired about her head. Her noggin is complex due to all of her surgeries, so we told her all of the details.

The social worker was compassionate and caring. I was grateful. At the end of the visit she said she did not see any medical neglect going on and that we would never see her again. She said because of the request she did have to check with the doctors at Kaiser to verify about her surgeries, appointments and such.

Yes, it's amazing that just anyone can decide to hide behind, and file a request. While we understand for people who really are abusing their children, we are appalled for people like us, who take extreme care of Aviana. We are disgusted that there are people who take advantage of a system meant to protect children for their own petty and vindictive purposes. Or for a person who has no idea what it's really like to care for a child like Aviana, but thinks they do. Please, I invite you...come spend a day, a week, some time with us. I bet you will be running, in a heartbeat, with your tail between your legs - back to your nice, normal, non- brain injured life! It's not for the faint of heart. Nobody would choose this for themselves, and especially their child, trust us!

In these moments, funny things happen though, because everyone we told - all of our family, friends, my Maggy, everyone...they all rallied around us. They are the ones who are with us all the time, see us all the time, spend all the days, weeks, months, and moments with us. They jumped up and in, some laughed at that person for doing this, some wanted to get them, but above all, everyone protected us and loved us. We just laid low, and let the love carry us until it was quickly over.

It would have been easy to focus all our attention on who, but with everyone who loves and protects us - that made it far easier to concentrate on all the positive we have in our lives. We are thankful!

With the love and support of our family and friends we can do anything, and everything...always!

MLK

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I'm Still Standing....


Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Avi Eats

I was sitting across from Aviana this particular night, and she looked super cute! As you know, feeding is usually a challenge, but there are times when something happens to hit the spot, or maybe the stars happened to be perfectly aligned, I don't know? I have yet to figure her out completely ; ) Aviana has a way of keeping us on our toes, constantly! Sometimes though, you'll see, she takes really big bites. In those moments, I swear the heavens open in my heart, and I want to get up and seriously do a CraZy WiLd dance!!!




"Not that again Mom!! Don't even try it! I swear I'll give you my best lock jaw."




"Oh ok. It looks like something different. But we''ll see...I know how they are. They're sneaky."




"There goes Daddy, trying to get me all pepped up. I've heard this before. Hmmm...but, it smells really good!"





Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rainey & Her Bucked Toothed Bunny

I have this malfunction, I sometimes can't wait to give Christmas presents....or any presents for that matter. Well, we were getting everything organized for Aviana's Elves, and one of a certain someone's presents was sitting there. Okay, when I bought the bunny that night, I had no intention of waiting! I was going to give Snoozer and Chelsea theirs for Christmas, but not Rainey!

Here's a bird's eye view of what the three of us do at some point with Rainey during pie night.  








Bunny says, "I will cut you!"








"What?"




"Rainey, you've got something right here. No...not there. Here."



Oh bunny...gimme a smooch!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Share the Avi Around



My favorite




"Rainey, lights really aren't my thing...do you think you could be a doll and put them on this year? Thank you!"




Avery and Avi used to go crazy together. Avery was the boss, and Avi...well, let's just say Aviana was finding her way ; )

My friend Summer called and said Avery was really excited to bring Aviana her presents. So sweet.  












Celebrating early with Dave's family. These are our nieces and nephews on his side.




Celebrating with my Mom, Gary, Roger, Rella, and my cousins before we went up to Tahoe.




Feel the love : )




Hey, what about me...

did they ask about me?

Pantene 2012

I'm a little behind, but I wanted to share our Pantene 2012 video. Aviana was in need of a haircut, as her lovely lady locks were getting a little too long to manage in the bath seat, and so on. 

The girl who does my hair is the sweetest ever and had offered to come to our house on numerous occasions to cut Aviana's hair. Love her! We decided to take her to the salon right before my appointment, and then Dave would split off and take Avi home. We cut 6 inches, and added some bangs. 




For those who may want to watch Aviana's original Pantene commercial.




Some pictures from that day : )




Oh Avi...




That Girl.






Monday, January 7, 2013

Repeat Offender?

With school starting back up for Aviana tomorrow, I hope we don't have a repeat of what happened her first day back after Thanksgiving vacation!

Although she looked adorable as she was shooting her daggers at me all.morning.long...she was an absolute bear to get ready. 


She was one mad little Meek!!

If you look closely, she's ready to punch me and her legs are straight out. Even when I asked her nicely, she wouldn't bend for me to put her in her chair!! The ultimate anger position...all the way around!

Clutter Brain

I ended the year with so much to say, but for reasons - not aloud. A deafening silence. My top was ready to pop, yet nothing. That is, with the exception of long filled days at the click clack. For what seemed like three days straight, a river of words was forcefully flowing from my fingers. An overall good month with, yet a hundred tiny, little, daggers of well intentioned, innocent, instances which by year end left me - exhausted emotionally.

So...I did what I know works best for me, and that is - to sit down and write. And sometimes it happens, and happened it did. I could tell what I was writing was for my own keeping. Because as easily as it usually is for me to take these letters and make words, and put the words into simple sentences, and those sentences into working paragraphs, and for those paragraphs to then be stacked upon each other into a nice, neat, hopefully coherent story - try as I might, or might not have, I couldn't twist or turn anything into anything. It was clear, I had been writing from the clutter brain. 

And just like that, I could write no more. I wanted nothing to do with the revisiting or writing of any of it. I was done. For my eyes only.

And now, days later, six blog posts, as I look back on those prior words, they are all still true. I still understand every keystroke and space within. They still have every bit of significance. I own them. But with time, and distance, perception and perspective...they have lost their steam. And for that I am grateful. 

Aviana and her injury felt more tangible than ever this holiday season, for many reasons. But, if I'm being honest, it wasn't that we walked through this whole month feeling sad, not at all. We feel very blessed as a family, but sometimes, there is a deep loss and what is beyond all those blessings. When we are with Aviana, spending days on end, not just a snapshot, or a moment in time...there especially, is where it all becomes very real and very raw.

And as I stand, feet stuck in that rawness, I sometimes start to question...three and a half years? Shouldn't I be past this? Shouldn't I be better? Shouldn't this not hurt so much? With everything else, I am much better. And with her, not as much. When I look at her, shouldn't I be able to spin this right, too? Well, the answer is a big, glaring, no! Not every time. This one comes with the healthiest and heartiest dose of pain. Flashes of it are served up often. Yes, thank God, so is the cuteness, sweetness, and appreciation. And I understand, and accept it. 

I have to get better though at not trivializing such a thing as putting my grief on any sort of timetable. What we lost is very real, and what we are dealing with is difficult, especially during the holidays. I also work hard to face it, to walk through it, which feels even worse, but I have to, because I know full well where I will end up if I don't - and that is further down...rather than just passing through.

I have discovered that grief is an unwanted gift that keeps on giving. 

I have never been so happy to see the holiday season be over and done with. I won't say we didn't enjoy Christmas though, the pictures will surely show that we did! But come the 26th, I had every single shred of the season gone baby gone!

You'll see in the coming New Year's pictures, (because I am going to post way more than I should) that I was one happy camper to say goodbye to the end of December!!

I hope you are all enjoying this New Year so far.