In a nutshell...we moved, the girls are enjoying school, and life keeps passing at light speed.
But I think the real question is: How is Ava doing?
Our beautiful baby turned 4 in June. Her check-up was perfect. Weight and height were low-average and her development was right on target.
She's been doing horseback riding lessons for awhile...but after a complete break-down last week in the car (on the way to lessons!) see decided to "take a break" because "it hurts when I ride horses." So we're on to a sports class where she gets to try soccer, t-ball, flag football, and track and field.
She's doing nature walks...
Picking apples to make applesauce...
And hanging out with some unsavory characters...
Spending lots of time at Disneyland!
And acting silly with her sister!
But the biggest news...SHE'S BEEN EATING FOR THE LAST FEW MONTHS!
She's had almost no tubie intervention. She had a very slight cold a couple of weeks ago and I gave her 2 half feedings to keep her from being dehydrated...but other than that, she's been doing it herself. Food, water, the works!
Her menu isn't the finest...but she's gained weight and held her own. In the morning, she usually eats a cheese omelet followed by a bowl of almond butter and honey. Weird, I know, but she starts the day with around 600-700 calories. Lunch is a grilled cheese or hot dog and then dinner might be chicken nuggets or chicken. We get a little bit of fruit and veggies in...although not the favorite by any means. She also eats squeezy or Dora yogurts, string cheese, graham crackers, bean and cheese burritos, pizza, ham, hard-boiled eggs, goldfish...etc. Unfortunately, she could eat her weight in chocolate chips and chocolate ice cream.
It was the weirdest thing...she just started eating. We LITERALLY and COMPLETELY stopped talking about food and tubies and would sit down at the table, set the food out and just eat. Slowly, she started sampling and tasting and then her quantity started to increase.
There were no threats or bribery (that's never been my style) and no talk about getting tubie because she didn't eat enough (kinda my style). She just did it on her own. It's been months since I've really used it for nutrition. I still have her give herself vitamins through the tube every morning, but besides that, ALL of her nutrition has been by mouth!
I've become so used to her eating normally now that most of the time I forget to bring any tubie food...and I almost never remember to bring a syringe...
She even gets to order her own meal when we eat out. And I'm amazed to be hearing, "Mommy, I'm hungry!"
So we take one day at a time and hope that this continues. Tubie will stay in place for now, but we're getting a lot of questions from her like, "What happens to the hole when we take it out?" "Will it hurt when my tubie comes out?" "Why am I the only one who has a tubie?"
And my answers: "You're tubie will come out when you're ready for it to come out." And, "You're body will know when it's time to take out your tubie." And we leave it at that. Short and simple.
As far as Zoe...
She's loving her new school. New friends, new house, new bedroom, new bunk bed...a fresh start. She's come alive in the kind and loving environment of her new school. She wants to go early to play with her friends...and she's asking to have friends come over and play. She was pretty beat down at her previous school and with all of the trauma she experienced over the years with being Ava's sister, you could feel the heaviness in her soul. But I'm seeing an amazing spirit be reborn in my oldest. I'm hearing her belly laugh a lot. Her imagination is taking shape. She seems lighter and...well...just all around happier. The kids in her new school are kind, friendly, and just plain 'ole kids. They work hard on kindness. Acceptance, empathy, and compassion are words used and practiced every day on the campus. Zoe has needed a tremendous amount of compassion over the last couple of years...and she wasn't getting it where we were before. Now, I'm happy to send her to school everyday. I know she WANTS to be there. She comes home skipping and laughing...not sour and angry.
But I think what has amazed me the most with Zoe...she has started singing aloud and dancing around the house!
My heart has been overflowing with joy for my precious girls!