Thursday, May 31, 2012

Celebrating Jess

How do you explain to an almost three year old what today is? How do you tell her that someone who loved her so much is not with us?

Today would have been Auntie Jessica's 29th birthday. It was a day filled with a lot of emotion...tears, memories. A day we have been thinking about since January 15th when Jessica became our angel. Jason and I have spent so much time talking about how important it is for us to share our memories of Jess with Ella and now Avery. We want them to grow up knowing how special their Aunt much Jessica ADORED Ella and how excited she was for a new niece. It is not fair that she is not here today, not here this week to share the news of a new baby, not here to enjoy new memories with.

Jason and I wanted today to be more than just tears though, so we planned to celebrate Jess. Ella helped me make cupcakes.

We frosted them pink and yellow (Jess's favorite colors). Each girl got a rose and we wrote messages on balloons to send up to heaven.

It's a new tradition we plan to carry on every May 31st. As the girls grow, we hope to be able to share with them our memories of Jess and make them feel like she is always with us. Our girls have the best guardian angel their is. We promise to raise them with the kindness, feisty attitude, and love that Jess taught us all.

Happy Birthday Jessica. You are missed so much every day. We love you...always in our hearts!

Monday, May 21, 2012

What a difference....

The weather was beautiful this weekend and we had a few things we wanted to do....enjoy lots of time outside, and pack in lots of family time. The count down is on to baby, so we are soaking in every moment we can before things get a little crazy ;-)

We made an impromtu trip to Hoffman's Playland on Saturday. It's a small amusement park for little kids not far from our house. We have been once before -- last summer at the urging of Michelle (Ella's speech therapist). What a difference a year makes (less than a year actually!). Ella was SOOO excited to see the rides.
I literally had to hold on to her before
she busted down the gates to get on a ride!
She was so impatient just waiting in line for tickets and had to be the first on the rides. During our first trip last year, she was certainly happy, but pretty passive about everything. She smiled on the rides and seemed to enjoy it. I KNOW she enjoyed this trip.

Look Mom, I can fly!

As fast as one ride ended, it was on to the next one and she just kept asking us for "more, more". She drove her boat as fast as she could and bravely hopped on the plane ride....flying solo. The smile on her face is an image that means so much to Jason and me.

We are so lucky to have such a happy girl in our lives. Where she is today and the things she is doing are honestly something I always hoped for, but I must admit that in some of those low moments and days when everything seemed to be going wrong, I had doubts.

I remember right around this time last year, wondering, hoping, praying she would walk. Today she not only walks, she runs, climbs and jumps! She knows her colors and letters and animals and is starting to talk much clearer. It is truly amazing! She wants to badly to exert her independence and has sparked quite an attitude. I even said to Jason just yesterday (as Ella was emptying the water cooler for what seemed like the 20th time), remember asking for this trouble?!
Things are certainly going to get interesting as we welcome the new baby. We have already caught Ella "hanging out" in the bassinet in the baby's room and very curious about the crib coming back and the little diapers set up. I think after a little adjusting, she will do just fine. She is such an easy going kid and she loves to be a helper, which is exactly the role I see her taking on when the baby needs to eat or be changed. Two weeks (or less) and counting. June 6th will be here before we know it....can't wait!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Traveling Tapp's

In just a few hours, we are packing up the car and hitting the road for Boston. It's a trip we make all the time. This trip is a little different though. It will be the last time we will drive down I-90 east before the baby is born!

 I remember the first trip back to Woburn we made with Ella.

Ella's first trip to Woburn...and her first meeting
with her Great Grandmother!
It's only a two and a half hour drive and we stay at my parent's house, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but I think it took me two days to pack and prepare for that trip. Ella was only a few weeks old and just getting out the door to run an errand was a major ordeal. It's funny how times have changed and we have it down to a science now. I am sure adding another little person to the mix will shake up the routine all over again (expect to see a return of the Tapp train wreck, Mom!)

This trip, while it's significant in that it's our last before we are a also an important visit to Boston Children's hospital for Ella. We have a follow-up appointment with the genetic endocrinologist that we met in January. She would like to see Ella every four months and actually has lab work done every month (thankfully that can be done in Albany). Our experiences with Dr. Holm have been very good up to this point. She calls to check in every month and update me on the results of Ella's lab work. I am anxious for today's appointment because it's the first time Dr. Holm will see a healthy Ella. Our last visit was the day Ella was discharged from Children's after the pneumonia. She was still a very sick little girl and had lost a lot of weight. At the time, there were no changes made to her medications...and there still haven't been any. This has proven to be a good thing. In the last four months, Ella continues to make so much progress. She is a lot more coordinated. She has a great appetite. She has been able to fight off little colds and viruses much better and her speech has improved significantly. However, we are well aware that it's a delicate balancing act and we can expect to have some tweaks to her doses along the way.

It will no doubt be a stressful day (doctors visits like this always matter how many times you do it), but it will be a day that I will remind myself constantly to enjoy. I have to appreciate how lucky we have such a happy little girl, to be able to make the drive to world class hospital, and of course, to be lucky enough to be getting ready to welcome another lovely lady into our lives. Today's little moments become tomorrow's precious memories :-)