Thursday, May 28, 2015

Preschool Graduate

I'm feeling happy and so proud of Georgia, today she graduated from Preschool!  I remember her walking into her first day last year she didn't know anyone but was so excited she didn't even turn around to say goodbye to me.. she was ready.  This year has been so wonderful, her teacher, the class, everything.  Georgia loves school, I mean really, really loves school, on the weekends she asks when she gets to go back to school.

This week we've been talking about how this is her last week of preschool, ever!  The smile that happens each time this is discussed is priceless.  She has one question, when do I get to start Kindergarten?  She's a little bummed that she has to wait all summer before she can go but I've promised her we'll have fun.

Here are a few pictures of the graduate.

Can you tell she's excited?

 Best Buddies
Silly Faces


Michelle Enebo was a total stranger who'd heard about Georgia when we were in the hospital a few weeks after transplant.  She got my email address from a friend whom she'd done family photos for and emailed me, offering to take pictures of Georgia.
Our first meeting was at Day +100, a big milestone in the transplant world.  She captured Georgia's lively spirit and sheer happiness.  I still look at those photos and just see her gleaming eyes and bright smile, not her balled head.
Over the years Michelle has reached out to offer more pictures, we've done one year post transplant and newborn photos for Leo.  Michelle's generosity is seen all around my house, she reminds me that amidst the chaos, Georgia was a happy baby, I am so grateful for these reminders.
Since meeting Georgia, Michelle became involved with Soulumination, giving her gifts to families during such difficult times.  Recently, I saw a comment she posted on Facebook, she'd had a Soulumination shoot that day and the family remarked that having pictures taken was the best and most normal thing they'd done in the hospital.  She was feeling grateful for giving them that and pictures of their child.  I commented on her post, letting her know that her photos are reminders of a happy Georgia during such a traumatic time.  A few minutes later Michelle sent me an email, she said it had been too long, that the kids are growing up so fast and that she'd love to take pictures... if I was interested.  I think my response was something like, Am I interested... YES!!!
We went to her studio about a week later and she did it again, she captured the sweetness and silliness of my kids in a way that you can literally feel.  Thank you again, Michelle!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Team Arsenal

Today Georgia had her first game with Team Arsenal, or as the kids cheered, "red team!"  She had a blast, both playing and cheering on her teammates.  When her friend Frances scored the teams only goal, Georgia ran onto the field, put her hands on Frances' shoulders and said something to the effect of "wow, great job!" then gave her a huge hug.
The other team was quite good, well really one girl in particular, I lost count of how many goals they scored.  In the end all of the kids had huge smiles and happily completed their first game.  Georgia said it was fun... and tiring!

 Ready to play!

 This little spectator was woken up from his nap to watch the game.
 Georgia getting ready to throw the ball in

Georgia & Hazel

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Yesterday Brian and I attended our first ever parent/teacher conference, we met with the parent ed teacher, Judy and Georgia's teacher, Kylene.

The 20 minute conference ended up being 40 minutes, all discussing the most amazing Miss Georgia.  Judy started off by going over the evaluations she'd done a few weeks prior.  The kindergarten readiness evaluation consisted of things like stacking blocks a certain way, remembering which order cards were placed in, using a pencil to draw certain shapes and balancing exercises like hopping on one foot.  Judy went over how the test is scored, it's broken up by specific age and each section is scored, if the child scores 18 or above they have passed, 14-17 is retested and so on, there is a max score of 28.  Georgia scored a 26.

When I saw her score, I smiled, remembering the words of her doctors over the years... "she might have developmental delays..." "do you think she'll do okay being away from you?" "transplant can impact how well children do in school."  All I could think was, she sure showed them, didn't she.

Next, Kylene showed us her evaluation of how she has observed Georgia in class and how she did in an exercise that she had done during school.  Out of 30 skills, Georgia scored Meets Expectations in five, the rest were marked Exceeds Expectations.   Her teachers notes included the following:

Georgia is a skilled and capable child.  She is an enthusiastic and passionate student when playing in dramatic play or involved in and area that interests her.  Georgia puts her whole self into the activity.
Georgia plays well in the classroom both independently as well as with others, she can lead the play as well as follow.  She has the communication skills to make her needs known to adults, as well as her peers.  She is willing to problem solve and negotiate with those around her.
Georgia will continue to be successful as she enters into kindergarten next year.  She is truly a Teacher's Delight.

Naturally, Brian and I are proud of her, but it's more than a score or a comment that makes Georgia amazing.  It's the reminder that she is doing well, in life and all that it has to offer.  She is the epitome of resilience and a well adjusted five year old.

Two things were continually mentioned during the conference, Georgia is always smiling, and she is a very happy little girl.  No parent could ask for more.

Keep being you Georgia, you are truly remarkable.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Oh Leo, my sweet, full of energy, happy and a bit shy, truck loving boy, how can you already be TWO?   Two years ago I had no idea what it meant to be the mom of a boy,  I cannot tell you how much fun it is being your mom.
You are a "typical" boy in many ways, you love trucks, any and all trucks bring a smile and a squeal of excitement.  When Georgia and I started asking you what kind of birthday you wanted you were certain, "truck birthday".  We asked, dinosaur? airplane? rocketship? you just looked at us and said, "truck birthday".  You and daddy saw a firetruck recently and the fireman offered to let you take a look inside, you immediately became shy and didn't want to.  You are eagar to see new things but often become shy when meeting new people.
You love to snuggle, give hugs and kisses and at night as I rock you, I say, I love you Leo, you say, "thank you".  Last night as I rocked you, you were holding a small bulldozer in one hand and your soft snugly blanket in another, a perfect balance of you.
I think your favorite activity is playing with Georgia, you idolize her and all that she does.  That's not to say you don't stand up for yourself, you certainly know how to make your opinion known.  
You love to play with household equipment just as much if not more than your toys.  You literally cry when we put the vacuum away and would be perfectly content to play with it for hours.  
Happy birthday Leo, I have loved watching you grow and learn about who you are over the past two years, I can't wait to see what adventures you'll have next.

 Truck Birthday
 We were ready for the kids to do some work!

Patiently waiting for his cake.

 I like this...
He quickly got to work with his new blower, ride on car, vacuum and more.
Inspecting his new toy with daddy and Bawdy

To fully appreciate how sweet and fun Leo is you have to see him in action.  Here are a few videos from the last few months..

Warming up for the Seahawks

Sending a message to daddy & Georgia when they were out of town

His favorite past time, vacuuming

First time riding the zip-swing by himself

Leo going over some of his favorites

Big boy on his scooter

You idolize your big sister and love to do what she does.  Georgia had decided to put on a performance for us, just after she started you came running out with an outfit for yourself...