Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Big Bunched Up Update + Lu's 1st Birthday!

Let's see. This post is going to include a few months of Lu updates.

First off, me and Matt's first Mother's and Father's Days: On Mother's Day, Lu and Dada woke me up with a nice spa gift certificate which I still haven't found the time to use. I keep thinking I should save it for a time when I really, really, really need it. Who am I kidding? I guess I just enjoy looking forward to it and knowng it is there. We also went to the beach with Gampa, Gamma, Auntie Kristin, Uncle Jim, cousin Sailor, and cousin Owyn. Lu had a blast (of course), and then we had the usual Sunday Dinner at Yaya and Nono's house. For Father's Day we had a relaxing weekend at home (per Dada'a request) and we gave him a massage gift certificate, as well (which he will use as soon as I convince him that it is not at all awkward), and an Orlando City Soccer Club jersey.

On May 23rd, we welcomed a new baby into the family. My sister, Shannon, had her 4th baby girl, Reese Nicole. We haven't met her yet, since my sister's family lives about 8 hours north, but we hope to meet her soon.

For Memorial Day weekend, we took a trip to my Memall's beach house in Alligator Point, FL. It was built by my great-grandfather and generations of West's have been going there since they were kids. It was a great feeling to bring Lu there for the first time. She had such a great time and we really enjoyed spending time with our family and friends. It was a nice break for Matt and I as well. We try to go 2-3 times a year (usually in the summer) but with my pregnancy (I was due right around the time we would normally go and the beach house is at least an hour from any hospital) and with all of Lu's health problems, we hadn't gone since Labor Day 2009. It was a much needed vacation! This is also when Lu took her first real steps. She is a toddler now!

Dada and Lucci at the beach house

Enjoying our first vacation together
In June, we met with Lu's new cardiologist, Dr. Sattar. Unfortunately, Dr. Appleton moved to CA and although this made us really sad, we really liked her new doctor. We had a consultation and a quick check up. We will return in mid October for an echo-cardiogram to check on her mitral valve leakage. There is little to report on Lu, health-wise. She is developing normally, eating great (she loves scrambled eggs and salsa), and is very advanced intellectually. She is walking, talking, and probably the most genuinely happy human being in the entire world.

I love to eat!

Today is Lu's 1st birthday! We had a huge party on Saturday and she was spoiled rotten! She absolutely loved playing with everyone (my little social butterfly) and was in heaven eating her birthday cake!

I can't believe it has been a year since she came into this world. It has been a stressful year but we all made it through with grace. Although I still tear up when I think about everything we went through, especially Lu, the only thing I would have taken away, if I could, was her pain. This past year has made us the family unit we are today and I am grateful for that. This year has sent us on a whole new path, advocating for CHD awareness and helping others dealing with CHD. It has also sent me on a path to a new career. Lu will be almost 4 when I graduate but I hope she understands the part she played in my decision to enter the field of cardiovascular medicine. I hope she understands that lots of good things have developed from all the struggles of her first year and that she has given an important gift to so many people; the gift of perspective. Her smile, bubbly personality, and courage has touched so many lives and helped so many people believe in love, will, strength, hope, and happiness.

Today, we celebrate her first year but we also celebrate the impact one soul can have on the world. She has changed my life and in some ways changed the world in my eyes. She has given me more joy than I could have ever imagined and she deserves to be spoiled rotten today. Cupcakes for breakfast? Whatever she wants! If she could tell me with words, she would probably request some scrambled eggs with salsa. :)

Happy Birthday Lu! <3