So, Harlie had a great birthday, I think. We did something different this year. Harlie is so hard to buy for. She doesn't really ask for anything. So, this year, we told her (and Cooper, since his birthday is the day after hers) that we were going to go to Toys R Us and let them pick out something. They love going to Toys R Us, so why not make that part of their birthday celebration?
A couple of days before Harlie's birthday, she found a Tom and Jerry movie on youtube that she wanted to watch. It was a trailer or something. She showed it to me several times. Through asking questions, I determined that she wanted that movie for her birthday. Well, as amazing as some of you might think I am, I forget a lot of stuff. And I forgot all about that movie. So on the morning of her birthday, we all went into her room to say Happy Birthday and before she even opened her eyes, she signed "movie." Oops. I meant to order that movie! Darn it.
So, I got her up and Brandy came over and we went to school. During the drive there, she communicated to Brandy that she was going to pick that movie out when she went to the toy store. She signed "toy" and "movie" and when Brandy asked her if she was going to get a movie at the toy store, she said yes. Oh, I just couldn't live with that. There is no way I was going to let her pick out a movie for her birthday selection at Toys R Us. So, I went to Target immediately after dropping them off and luckily they had it. Whew!
Since it was Brandy's first day at school, I went in with them and showed her around. I went into Harlie's class with them to introduce Brandy to her teacher and as soon as Harlie went in, the students started saying, "Happy Birthday Harlie!" It was so cute! I love how much they try with her. Such good kids!
That night, we packed our dinner and took it to the park for a playground picnic.
|My happy, beautiful girl!|
|All my loves. Pretend Tom has his eyes open.|
|The two birthday cuties!|
Cooper's little face is so sweet!
|A picture of Murphy since I feel a tad bit guilty|
that I had to crop him out of the above photo.
|Here's the original photo. |
See why I had to crop him out?
It's frustrating. But, it's funny, too. I don't know what his deal is!
Anyway, so after the playground, we went to the toy store. They were so excited. I put Harlie in her chair and wheeled her around a few aisles. No reaction until we got to the Playmobil aisle. She took a quick scan of the wall, and in about 15 seconds, made her selection and there was NO talking her out of it.
She selected the Take Along Hospital - with an operating room!!
Just to recap... last summer when she picked something from of the gift shop at Boston Children's, she selected the hospital room. This summer, she picked the ambulance. And now the hospital. My mom got her the house. So, now she can play that she has an accident, takes the ambulance to the hospital, gets better and gets discharged back home.
It sounds funny, but I gotta tell you... when she picked the hospital, I wanted to cry right there. I tried everything to get her to pick the zoo (which was WAY more expensive) or the camp site or something. Anything! It breaks my heart that that's her world. Her life. And what she relates to. I guess we should start taking her to the zoo more often.
Cooper picked Legos, of course.
Since it pained me so that she selected the hospital for her gift, I let her pick out a Lego Friends set, too. She selected the house. And she built it ALL BY HERSELF! I was so impressed!
I asked her that night if she had a good birthday and she nodded yes, with a huge smile. And that totally made my day. Nothing extravagant, but special and good, anyway. I wish more of life could be that way.
The next day (Thursday, the 26th) was Cooper's birthday. Five years ago, he looked like this...
|He is still just as sweet. And lovable.|
|Now that's a happy, grateful face. Mine, I mean.|
Maybe his, too.
They are looking at me as if to say, "What the hell were you thinking?" They are judging me. And they look kinda mean. This picture is scaring me. Seriously, click on the picture and make it bigger.
And this picture was taken at his soccer game on Saturday...
He brought home the class bear, Charlie. And, of course, Charlie has a journal that we are supposed to put pictures of Charlie's "adventures" with Cooper in, and write about them. I wish my perspective could be different. But I find this assignment silly. And not in a good way. I just find the whole thing superfluous. And I don't have time in my life for superfluous. Sometimes I consider bare minimum a success. So I put a few pics in, wrote a few sentences (literally) and called it a day.
Anyway, we had Cooper's party that afternoon at a playground. He was happy. He's pretty easy to please.
Grandma and Pap Pap came to visit for the weekend. So, they got to go to Cooper's game and his party. On Friday night we had my family over for a small celebration. It was a busy weekend. But, a good one.
Now I'm focused on THIS weekend. On Friday I am off to San Diego!!! Can you believe it? Just me. I am leaving the house without a pull up, or wipes or an extra feeding tube or can of formula. No suction machine. No toys. My purse will contain a wallet, a pair of sunglasses and lip gloss. Crazy!
I am meeting some dear friends, Ann and Susan and Sarah - for the first time ever. We all have a trached child with complicated medical conditions. I met them in the months after Harlie was born, when I joined a trach support group on line. Over the years we have gotten to know each other well. And I think the world of them. And I can't wait to meet them. And hug them. And drink with them. And laugh with them. We are staying on Coronado Island. And I can't wait!!!
Full report next week.
Thank you again, for reading and caring. It gets me through.