Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ella Tapp Is Awesome!

What a crazy, fun, sleepless, busy month it has been...and I wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything. Avery is now one month old and growing like a weed.

In fact, it seems like there is a "growing" competition in my house these days. Both girls are getting so big. We celebrated Ella's 3rd birthday on June 15th. I can't believe my baby is 3!!!

I started writing this blog almost a year ago for a number of different reasons. I wanted to share our experiences with Ella's diagnosis and development. I also wanted to have a record of this time and something that I can share with Ella when she is older. I want to remember the important milestones, etc, but I also want to be able to look back at the blog and smile and remember the fun moments that we shared as a family. I have done a lot of reflecting on the last three years recently. The time has gone by so quickly. I keep telling both girls to slow down a little....I want to take a deep breath and enjoy every moment. As I think about the day Ella was born and the stressful times we dealt with, I am even more grateful for all that we have today.

I decided today's blog would be special for Ella...and every birthday blog to follow for both of my children. A love note of sorts for the two most important girls in my world!

Dear Ella,

You are 3 years old now. A big girl in every sense. You continue to amaze and inspire us every day. I love your new independence and determined personality (even if you are fighting me about hair and clothes and what to have for a snack!) You have had quite a year. You not only got up and walked for us, you soared! I think your new sentence (that is on repeat these days) "Ella Tapp is awesome" can truly define YOU and what you have accomplished. I am even prouder of how you have changed your father and me. We are much better people because of you. You taught us the true meaning of unconditional love. You made us fighters, advocates -- you gave us a reason to speak up and make sure you have the very best there is in every aspect of your life. Today you woke us up at 6am. You were ready to start our day. With a big smile and sparkling blue eyes you crawled into our bed. The next thing we know....you were jumping on the bed! It's this new daring side that excites me. If someone told me a year ago, that this would be the start to my day, I most definitely would have been skeptical. I have learned though, that there is nothing that you can't or won't do. I look forward to the next year and what I will be writing about. One thing I know for sure is, it will be AWESOME! I love you, Pnut!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On The Charts!

Ella is just a few days away from turning 3! It's hard to believe that she is growing up so fast. She really is a BIG girl now. Not only is she handling her big sister duties very well. She has gained a new level of independence now that I have my hands full with a new baby. She has also grown a lot taller and stronger. In fact, Ella is finally on the growth charts! At her recent three year old well visit we learned that our 27 lb 34 inch toddler is in the 16% for weight and the 2% for height. It may not seem like much, and yes she is still a Pnut, but she is growing and catching up. It's been a tremendous year for Ella.
Ella loves to ride her bike!

Ella took her first steps just about one year ago. I will never forget the day. It was June 14th (the night before her birthday). We had just gotten home from the pool and she was excited to see her balloon still floating in the living room. That balloon and a little bit of cheering from Jason and me was enough for her to take those first solo strides across the living room. I can honestly say it was one of the happiest days for us. I cried at the sight of her doing it all on her own. She had worked so hard for this. It was hours of time with Jen and Linda (our awesome PT's) that had finally paid off.

Today Ella is doing all the things a girl her age should be doing. She runs, jumps, climbs and pretty much finds every way possible to get into trouble. She has even shed some of her cautious ways as we have found her standing on her toy chest, jumping on the bed, and even climbing the tall slide at the playground.

As we get ready to celebrate another milestone with her birthday, I am excited to think about the future. I can't imagine what she will accomplish next. I know she has such a bright future and so many more exciting moments :-)

Caught climbing the toy chest!

Friday, June 1, 2012

In 'Da Club

One week ago today...at 9:44 pm the Tapp's officially became a family of four! Avery Jessica Tapp was born healthy and happy at Albany Med to the tune of 50 Cent's "In Da Club". She was almost as impatient as her sister and decided to surprise us with an early arrival. While it wasn't exactly how we thought our Friday night was going to be, we couldn't be happier. Our doctor was awesome and knew that we had been through a lot with Ella's delivery. She made every effort to make this time around calm and memorable.  We had music playing in the OR (hence the rap tune on the radio ;-) ), Jason was able to take some great pictures and their was a calm, happy mood all around.

When we heard that first, loud cry, a sense of relief filled both of us. Avery tipped the scales at 6lbs 7oz and was 20 inches tall. Not to be outdone by her big sister, she did have a few curve balls for us. After a quick trip to the NICU (because of some concern over some extra fluid in her lungs), she was back down in my room. The NICU was more of a precaution than anything and while it was really upsetting to hear that she was going up to the place where we had so many difficult memories from our time with Ella, I am relieved to know that she was getting great care. We left the hospital on Monday as a party of four. I can't even express the feeling of happiness that drive brought me. It is everything I have hoped and dreamed about for the past nine months.

Our first week at home has been pretty amazing. Avery is the perfect addition. She is a good baby...and certainly has her own feisty little personality! Ella is a fantastic big sister. She has made the transition better than we could have hoped. She loves to help with diapers and thinks it's hilarious to tickle her sister's toes. I can't believe how BIG my Pnut feels now. She has gone from my baby to my big girl over night.

Jason and I are doing great and learning how to be parents of TWO! We appreciate all of the kind comments, phone calls, text messages and well wishes we have received. It's an overwhelming feeling to have so much love both for our family and from our family and friends.