Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Privacy. Oh How I Miss Thee....

My girls ask a lot of questions. What I cannot understand is why these questions need to be asked when I'm in the bathroom. At what age will they be before I can use the toilet or take a shower or (God forbid) talk on the phone without being interrupted multiple times by them, asking such gems as....

"Why does Max (the cat) have fur and we don't?
"Why don't you like minivans?"
"What's for lunch?
"What's for dinner?"
"Can we go out to dinner?"
"Can two Barbies marry each other?"
"Can we get a dog?"
"Can we get a hamster?"
"Where are my shoes?"
"Why do you drink wine?"
"When can I get a cell phone?"
"What's your favorite song?"
"Whats your favorite color?"
"Do you remember when I was a baby?"
"Do you remember when you were a baby?"
"Why are babies in bellies til they're born?"
"Why do we burp?"
"Is a fart a burp from the butt?"

Good times. Really.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Five Years Later....

You know how we all have certain dates that are ingrained into our memories? They often include birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones. September 21, 2006 is one of those dates I will never forget. That was the day that Maya was definitively diagnosed with Biliary Atresia. We had been at Cincinnati Children's for 6 days at that point. She had undergone numerous tests including x-rays, ultrasounds and daily blood draws. The surgeons met with us and told us the only thing they could do now was to open her up and do a test called a choliangiogram.

Open her up?
My two month old daughter?

But the alternative would have meant certain death in a short period of time, so off to surgery she went. The choliangiogram proved she had Biliary Atresia so they performed another procedure called the Kasai. It lasted a good 4 hours, which was about 3 hours more than they initially thought it would last. I was a mess.

But let's fast forward 5 years. I look at Maya today and marvel at what she has become. She has gone through so much in such a short period of time, yet she always has a smile on her face. Five years after being diagnosed with what is often a fatal disease, she is still here. We've gone through a liver transplant and numerous other surgical procedures since her initial diagnosis. There have been times when I wondered if she would make it. Hell, there are times when I wondered if I would make it. But we did it. Or rather, she did it. Sometimes I still find it hard to believe how lucky we are.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And So the Journey Begins....

If anyone would have told me six months ago that I would be quitting my job by the end of the summer and returning to school I probably would have looked at them like they had two heads. Who quits a job in this economy to devote time and effort to finish a BA in Creative Writing and English Literature? Oh, that's right, me! But you know what? I'm happy with the decision I've made. I thought about staying at my job and attending school at the same time, but when would I see my kids? Plus I had to think about  all of the money I would spend on babysitting. Changing the amount of hours I worked or my work schedule wouldn't have been an option either, so I basically had to choose between higher education and staying at a job that wasn't really making me happy, a job that offered no room for growth. Once I looked at my options, the decision was easy. Thanks to some freelance writing gigs, I have income. My children and I have health insurance. I have the support of my partner, along with encouragement from many friends.

Of course, there are a few naysayers, a few pessimists that have tried arguing that right now might not be the best time to quit a steady job and embark on the journey of higher learning. My first inclination to those types is to say piss off. My next thought is to ask the question of when IS it a good time to go back to school? We only get one life. Figuring out what makes us happy and then forging the path to that happiness should be something that is high on the list of our priorities. Will this degree lead me down the yellow brick road to riches? Probably not, although anything is possible.  But I do think it will enrich my life in ways that I probably can't even comprehend yet. And really, how is that a bad thing?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maya's First Day of Pre-School!

Today marked a momentous occasion in this household: Maya's first day of pre-school. She has been waiting for this day for months. I have alternated between sadness, joy and absolute fear regarding the beginning of her school career. After all, this is the child who was deathly ill and spent the first three + years of her life in the hospital due to a rare and often terminal liver disease. This is my little girl who received a life saving liver transplant at 19 months as she was on the edge of death. This is my little girl who was too sick too learn to crawl, walk or talk until she was two years old. This is my little girl who almost died a year after her transplant from the virus that causes pink eye. This is my little girl who has fiercely battled death so many times and has learned to not only endure, but to thrive. This is my little girl, who is growing up so quickly and who wants to experience everything she can. And as of today, this is my little girl - the proud, happy, often zany 5 year old who loves life and is moving full throttle ahead, because she is already well aware that every day is a gift to be treasured.