Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Chloe's Holiday Update! Jan. 2010!
January 5, 2010 2010! Holy Cow! What happened to worrying about Y2K? Seriously, time moves at warp speed when such one leads a wide and varied life! An uninteresting life is something I have never been able to shout out to the world! Having Chloe join our family, although very unexpected, shouldn't have been a surprise! And, Jennie and Lance's unsurpassable ability to care for this little Warrior should not have surprised me either! This holiday season brought so much joy, it is a shame I have been so remiss in reporting its wonders on a more regular basis! So, let's get to it! It has been seven weeks since Chloe made her journey home into the warm and loving bosom of her family! Much of this time has been spent integrating her into her family's lifestyle and catching her up developmentally. Being in the hospital for the first seven months certainly slowed her down a bit, but Chloe being Chloe, and Jennie being Jennie, we KNEW that wouldn't stay the case for long! Chloe has made so much progress! Coming home around the holidays allowed the family some normalcy, some continuation of tradition, with Chloe just being an added blessing and extra special addition! Thanksgiving at the cousins house led to more outings, like the all important visit with Santa Claus! I wonder if this particular Santa had ever held a baby on life support toting around a ventilator before? If not, he handled it brilliantly and probably said some prayers of his own as Sierra, Kadin and Chloe skipped away after leaving whispered wishes in his ear! This seemed to be about the time that Christmas angels started showing up! Jennie had taken her own camera, knowing that they would not be able to afford the picture the elves take of the kids with Santa. Turned out 'they printed a picture by mistake, so went ahead and framed it' and gave it to the family! Nice elves! It was such a great picture, one that we are are very grateful to have! It is in the pics here now. Talking of Christmas angels, I hope I do not leave out anyone who helped to make this the BEST Christmas it could be! Times are tight at the Cooper house, as Lance has had little work due to our extremely snowy and cold winter. Having Chloe at home was plenty for mommy and daddy, but you know kids and Christmas, and Sierra and Kadin had plans for Santa! So, thank God for the angels that seemed to appear just when they were needed most! One rare night when there was actually a night nurse, Jennie and Lance were afforded the opportunity to attend Lance's Christmas party. This was a VERY big deal, as I could not be there that night, and without a nurse, there was no way Lance could have taken Jen with him to the dinner. But, because of the nurse and a babysitter for the others, they did get to attend, and not 10 minutes after they left, a very special knock came at their door. A Secret Group of Angels came delivering a little decorated Christmas tree and three jars of change that had been collected by strangers! They would not leave their names, just met the kids and were on there way! Needless to say, Jen and Lance were quite disturbed that these angels got away without them even meeting them, but prayers of thanks were said, and love was in big supply that night! Those angels have a way of being pretty sneaky! Another wonderful moment came when a family from the organization There with Care arrived. This group was known to the family while at Children's Hospital, at various times they would deliver boxes of food that could be eaten at the hospital. They also started Chloe off beautifully with a lovely bag of baby items, nice things like blankies and clothing, toys and books for the the siblings! Very lovely deliveries never failed to bring joy in some very sorrowful times! Well, a certain family from there chose Chloe and Family for Christmas sharing! Such beautiful thing were given to the kids, new coats, scarves, hats, gloves, toys and special gifts for Chloe! Jennie and Lance were given gift cards for dinner and a movie, hopefully we'll get them out to use them soon! A very special friend that I have met through this group sent money to help with any expenses that might need to be covered, of which there were many! Bills! Our prayers of thanks have been plentiful and so VERY HEARTFELT! If there ever were a year that needed an extra special ending, this was it! Kadin and Sierra especially needed some extra love and attention. They very courageously and with so much love spent day after day after day in the Children's Hospital with their stress-filled parents and precariously ill baby sister. God sent angels to make this one beautiful Christmas! Thank you God and a big, big thank you to all angels! Even Lance's boss, who I have not always spoken glowingly of, was TREMENDOUSLY helpful throughout the season. Lance has an eight year old son in Montana who was not going to make it home this Christmas because there was no money for the plane ticket. Enter the boss, who happily paid for the ticket and also got the much needed bathtub put in where there was only a shower before! This was difficult with Chloe and bath time, also Sierra and Kadin had been missing baths since moving into this house! Thank you John! Big brother Donovan got to know Chloe a little better and it was great to have him, he just had to go away much too soon! Jennie and Lance invited the whole family to their house for Christmas day. Lance cooked an amazing meal, we exchanged gifts and had a very normal holiday celebration once again. Chloe was an angel the whole day through! Time flew by, all of us were over extended and sometimes, like other families living stressful lives, we had our moments. Emotions vary so much, depending on how much rest is had, how much work there is or isn't, how many nurses show up...or don't, the world and all its inconsistencies! We all have done our best to keep up with life on a one day at a time basis! This IS the only way to live it! We were able to have Chloe and her family to our house for New Year's Eve for a simple but wonderful dinner and Chloe even got to meet her dog, Lila! We took over the care of Lila about a month into the hospital stay, She is a very special dog and I think would be an especially sensitive pet for Chloe to have someday! Jennie showed Chloe the sign for dog and Lila and I'll be darned if she didn't try to imitate it immediately! Such a smart, smart baby! Grandma's pride and joy if you don't know by now! I guess the most exciting thing to add tonight is that Chloe has begun to be MOBILE! Therapists and Jennie have been working on Chloe pushing up on her arms and hands to begin crawling, which she is attempting, but Chloe has figured out an easier way! By laying on her back and pushing with her feet and lifting her body up and down, she can SCOOT on her back! I got a very excited call from Jennie last night, describing Chloe's travel about three feet across the living room floor! After celebrating this accomplishment, she spotted their sweet, sweet cat, Mary and head her way. Jennie said that Chloe moved in Mary's direction, and after getting there, began to give the dog sign she had seen a few days before! She had made the connection between furry dogs and cats! Amazing! Her signing is much more developed that the therapist expects and we are all on cloud nine knowing this and getting on board with learning the signs. Sierra schooled us all at New Year's dinner, showing us absolutely every sign the family has learned so far! She is five years old and loves little Chloe oh so very much! Chloe feels the same way, and often signs for Sierra to come to her! Precious moments! Moments we might never had had but for the grace of God! This was a particularly sweet Christmas for us, as you can well imagine! Financially, it was tough, but the community in Ft. Collins is beginning to have a bit of awareness about Chloe and hopefully will become more involved in the lives of these very special angels of mine! I wish I had about two clones of myself, so that I could do more. My 85 year old mother has been living with my husband and I for about three months now. The needs are great from one end of the age spectrum to the next! God provides me with most of the energy I need to keep up with it all! Unfortunately, I did not get the time to update as I hoped! Sorry you have such a long one to read now! Chloe is thriving! She has two new teeth and rarely, rarely cries! She smiles, plays, naps...continues to offer us the most amazing lessons in patience, tenacity, faith building, finding the most wonderful moments in the simplest of moments! She sits alone and can hold herself up, weight bearing on her legs at an activity table just for her! She tries SO hard! So we will NOT stop trying and believing right beside her! We are all in this together, just still trying to figure out how to make it all work! It is very difficult to not have night nurses, this is an issue that stands alone and I will address my frustration there at another time. Thank you to our day nurses who help so much! Praying for this help is very important at this point! So, my sweet friends and family, that is the best I can do tonight! I am tired and it is late. Of course, I must make my plea for you to please invite ALL of your friends so that our prayerful community continues to grow! I promise to get back on track with the writing now that the holiday season is over! Happy 2010! My hopes are that we continue to have progress to report throughout the year! Love to all! Nancy