Monday, July 25, 2011

My Perfect 10

My sweet Claire-bug, on July 25th of 2001, you graced the world with your birth, and you changed my life forever.  And for that, I THANK YOU.  I remember so clearly saying the same words over & over again that day... "Things will NEVER, EVER be the same again..."  I remember being haunted by that feeling then.  These horrible prognoses were being tossed around, and I think fear was the overriding emotion for all of us.  How could we have waited SO long for you and then lose you within the year?  Now though, those words remind me of how lucky and blessed I am to be your Mommy, how your very life has changed me, and how I am so glad I am not the same person I was ten years ago.

It's mindblowing how back then every sniffle, seizure, reflux incident scared the shit out of me.  Was this the "beginning of the end?"  I so desperately wanted to find that one thing which would save you and give me MORE TIME with you.  I wish I knew then what I know now (thanks to you & your sister).  And that is, NONE OF US are promised tomorrow... we just are under a false assumption that we are stronger or less likely to die.  Life is fragile for ALL of us.  The amount of time I get with you, Buggy, well... it matters HUGELY to me (and I will continue bargaining every single night that I will trade years off my own life if you can just stay here with me for a loooooooong time.  I NEED YOU!!!!!).  What matters most is that we make the best of the time we do have, no matter how long that might be. 

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."  ~Abraham Lincoln

You are my heart, Claire.  My sweet Mini-me (AKA Mimi!)!!!  I have loved watching you grow up, celebrate each new year, and leave your mark on all who have the joy of meeting you.  These pictures fill me with many smiles and much emotion... elation, intense love, fear, sadness, determination, bonding, strength, and most of all HOPE and belief in all that you were then and are now.  I love you more than you will ever know. 
July 25, 2001  ~  with our beloved Dr. Feuille  ~  You were so beautiful and perfect, Claire!

This picture was taken after we were told that there was something "wrong" with your brain... we were terrified, said we would "fix it," and then were told that we couldn't.  Remembering this moment in time makes me bawl, Claire.  I was so incredibly scared.  Yet we were determined to fight for you, optimize your life, and make every day count with you.  And we so have, sweet girl.  We SO HAVE.

In the Special Care Unit with puffy eyes from crying.  We held you 'round the clock, Angel.  And when we did, your O2 sats went to near 100, and you were HAPPY.  And so were we.  We are so connected, Buggy.  Soul level, baby.  xo
Cal was SO in love with you... he waited so long for you, too!  Even at 2 years, 7 months old, he was so worried about you. 
Oh, how he loved you!!!!!  Your crying made him giggle! 

7 months old  ~  You are our sweet angel!
Since I was told you might not live to be 1 year old, I wanted to remember you this way always... so we had these pictures taken.  I still love them SO MUCH.  Those eyes... they see straight to my soul.
Your 1st birthday...
We had a Princess party for you!  You were so radiant in your tiara... though it barely fit!

Our Birthday Princess with Aunt Jill

Your 2nd birthday...

We had the most amazing Hawaiian Luau for you, Mimi!  I may or may not have gone ape-shit on the decorations... ummmm, yeah, I did. 

Your 3rd birthday...
A Ladybug party for our Bugga-Boo!

You are so beautiful, Claire Elise. 

Your 4th birthday...
Thumbs tucked into fists = the PERFECT year for you to tell us you are 4!!!!!  Apparently you'd rather tell us to SUCK IT!  HA!
You partied hardy!!!
Your 5th birthday...
(Scott insisted I add a side note here that he doesn't always look like he's been "rode hard and put away wet," but every year (before pics!?!?)  he plays outside in the July heat on a water slide and/or Slip & Slide -- hence, the soaking wet hair and shirt as well as his ultra-fancy attire.  HAHAHAHAHA!)

Your 6th birthday...

Your 7th birthday...

Every year, we'd invite a ton of people to your party, rent a huge water slide, and spend all day celebrating YOU.  And yes, we always made you go down the slide, and everyone cheered! 

Your 8th birthday...

Last year's 9th birthday... a little quieter, family-only celebration at home!
Since Daddy's & my birthdays are just days on either side of your birthday, we celebrated all three together.  What an honor!

SO blessed.

Happy 10th Birthday!!!
July 25, 2011

We love you to the very depth of our being, Claire. 


"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 15, 2011


My thoughts exactly!!!!!!!   HA!

Life's been random & crazy & busy & wonderful & perfect... all wrapped into one lately.  NO COMPLAINTS... just lovin' it all & trying to be as present in this moment as I can.  No fear for the future, no regrets about the past... just here & now & finding my joy in every moment.

Here are some random Hooligan snippets for ya'!  ENJOY!
Our old boy, Pre, just turned 14 years old... love this dog SO MUCH.  xo

Daddy let Claire-bug hold his credit card, and she was SO enthralled with it!  (as all girls are!!!!)

Add to cart, dammit!!!!!!!  HA!
Yes, she DID finally give it up to the nice lady at Macaroni Grill... we praised her, but I'm pretty sure she gave me the finger shortly thereafter.  Diva!
Pocket's new kicks!  MAD LOVE for these bad boys... OMG.  I SO want a pair myself.
Best boots EVAHHHH at Hippotherapy.  LOL
Cal & Kaitlyn  ~  June 2011  ~  awwww, fer cuuuute!!!!!
Swing, baby girl, swiiiiiiiiing!  She loved it... it lulled her cranky butt RIGHT to La-La Land!  Must get hardware to install one in my bedroom.  HA!  (For HER, not me, you sickos!)
Claire-bug with her "peeps" at the chiropractor's office.  HA!  No bones about it, this guy would've been a hottie with skins on, Mimi thinks!  Check out his severe microcephaly... Claire's head looks freakishly huge in comparison.  HAHAHHAHHAHA!  First time EVER!  Buggy was SO not amused with our antics. 
Cal ~ age 12.5.  Cannot believe 7th grade is right around the corner... we are SO proud of you.

Mommy & Mimi at "Horses"
Did Pongo rip one?!?!??  Freaked out by horsey macrocephaly?  Hands getting snorted by horse nostrils?  All of the above?  Most likely.  :)  Again, DIVA!
Uh, yeahhhhhhhh.  ONLY IN SMALL TOWN, KANSAS!!!!!!!  HA!
Classic!!!!!!!  Gotta remember to fully utilize *our* family truckster's sunroof!  HA!  WTF?!?!?!
Cal at the zoo with his "little brothers" (our next door neighbors).  I SO love seeing him in this typical big brother-type relationship... how they SO admire him, how he loves teaching them things, how they have special handshakes, how they are like 6 & 7 years apart, yet they STILL click SO WELL.  Makes my heart happy! 
Cal stretching with mini-Cal (Hal!) imitating.  OMG.  SO.  FREAKIN'.  CUTE!!!!!!!
Truer words were never written!!!!!!!!! 

We are all lovin' lazy days out by the pool...
Why yes, yes our dog, Romeo, DOES swim in our pool!  He thinks he's human... and we basically agree. 
What do you feed your dog?  He's MISERABLE.  (I love Ace Ventura!  TELL ME some of you remember that quote!  LOL)
A typical family picture with the dwarves... coughy/archy/sun-hating/hermit dwarf on one side and I-will-kill-you-if-you-make-me-pose again/princess/diva dwarf on the other side... us eternally smiling & speaking, "LORD, IS SHE LOOKING AT THE CAMERA?  JUST TAKE IT!!!!!  IF THEY AREN'T BARFING OR SHITTING, SNAP THE DAMN PICTURE NOWWWW!" through clenched teeth.  Oh yes... this is REALITY right here, yo, if I'm keepin' it 100.  HA!
Same shit, 2nd chapter... my fun-sized gals are hella pissed!!!!!!  Can anyone else feel/sense Claire's inner shitstorm?!?!?  DAAAAAAAMN!
GAHHHH, Dad, you're such a jackhole!  I'm pretty sure this dwarf's ready to tap out.  HA!
Christmas 2007  ~  Just found this pic & OMG OMG OMG... HEART!  FULL!  xoxo

Best license tag EVER!
Have a great weekend, all!  I leave you with THE BEST QUOTE I've seen in a VERY long time!!!!!  Mwah!  xo

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”  ~William Gibson
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