It's February, which means it's Heart Month! Not only that, but the week of Feb 7-14 was dedicated to Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). This includes Ramona's Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Between the CHD moms I've met and the heart-related Facebook groups I follow, my feed has been full of stories about precious little heart babies and equally precious bigger heart kids. There are two things that have really weighed on me as I've read through all of these stories. First, as I've already said, these kids are so. precious. They are treasured, loved and valued. Even with the extra worry, extra work, and extra cost that comes with them, there's no denying that their families wouldn't trade them for the world. Second, we are incredibly blessed with how easy we've had it with Ramona. We haven't had to worry about feeding tubes, developmental delays, oxygen levels, multiple medications (none at the moment), or any of the other issues that seem to so often go hand-in-hand with heart conditions. She continues to grow, thrive, play, and live like a normal 2 year old. Really, it's crazy how easy she is. We certainly don't deserve it.
We had a heart check-up on Tuesday, and everything is still basically the same. No healing yet, but we are so thankful for how well she's doing despite how her heart looks. We spent a lot of time in preparation a day or two before this appointment, because her last few echos have been ROUGH, to say the least. In an effort to avoid pinning down a hysterical, sobbing toddler yet again, I walked through the process with her several times. We practiced what we would do, looked at pictures from previous visits, and got excited about a "special treat" (a.k.a. cheap toy from the clearance aisle) that she would get while we were there. Each talk ended with her saying something like "Yeah! Okay!", until we were getting ready to go the morning of the appointment. We went through it one more time and I told her we were going to go do it now, and she looked at me very seriously and said "No. Not do that." *sigh*
|Getting checked in before her echo-cardiogram.
When we got to the small room where they do the echo, she was nervous but let me take her shirt off and sit with her on the bed. As we were getting situated, she started to lose it and began to cry. We crossed our fingers and popped out a new toy, which was quickly greeted with a teary "Oh...Okay!" and those tears dried right up. That was 75 cents well spent! With her toy in hand, we watched a puppy cartoon and breezed through the echo.
|Watching a puppy cartoon.
|I made sure Nathan got a picture of these steps
so that we can go over them next time, too.
|They always play hide and seek, even
though there are literally three hiding places,
and none of them actually hide you.
|She was excited about the seat she found.
|They had this cute heart wall with capes set up
for taking pictures.
|😍 Seesters 😍
Even though Daisy's heart is perfectly normal, she got a heart wall picture and new toy during the echo, too. Ramona's health is a big part of all of our lives, and we want to keep things as normal and similar between the girls as possible, which, for now, means treating an appointment day like just another day running errands. Is that the right thing to do? *shoulder shrug emoji* But it's working for us and for the seesters.
- For Ramona to continue to thrive
- For her to stay healthy (she's avoided almost all illnesses the rest of us have had!)
- For her heart to be healed
Basically the same requests we've had all along. But, we continue to lift them up again and again, because we know they are heard even if they aren't answered on our schedule or our terms.
Aaand here go the pictures. 😁 We celebrated Christmas early at our house so we could head to Florida and celebrate with family there.
|We got them a dollhouse, and Ramona will
play with it for hours. She loves people that
came with it and uses them for everything.
She even asks to take them to bed at night.
|Playing with GG.
|At the zoo with grandma and the cousins!
|Feeding giraffes! Ramona was not a fan,
but Daisy loved it.
|That's Daisy and Nathan in the tube. Ramona passed
on this one, too, which is understandable.
|Ahhh, flamingos. Definitely more her speed. The
humidity made her hair so curly!
|Sharing binoculars with her cousin.
|Cute cousins! 😍
|Stretching our legs during our very long
|Then we came home to sub-arctic temperatures
and mounds of snow and endless winter. It
was fun at first, but I think I speak for America
when I say we're totes over it now.
|Their aunts helped make an igloo.
|Celebrating great grandma's birthday, and they can't keep
their eyes off that cake. 😂 They ADORE that baby cousin
sitting between them, and she was probably glad the cake
distracted them from her for a while.
|Totally random, but too funny not to share:
This is my tiny nephew who really needs to
work on his IKEA endurance.
|This was taken first thing Christmas morning.
Even her hair was excited.
"This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it."
- Psalm 118:24