James' dad had tickets to the BYU football game in the box seats, so how could we pass it up? Free food? No annoying fans? And Claire got to support her favorite team, the cougs. Actually, she pretty much slept through the entire game and then got upset until we let her sit in her very own seat.
I'm sure some of you that read my blog happen to know about my sweet niece, Abigail, and her courageous parents, Jani and Jesse. Abigail was born five days after Claire with several serious heart defects. Just four days after she was born, Abigail had open-heart surgery, one of three that will take place before she reaches the age of 5. I remember what it felt like, those first days after Abigail's birth. I remember looking at Claire, her perfectly functioning body, and just weeping out of gratitude for her health, and out of mourning for Abigail. This sweet little angel with curly peach-colored hair. Lying there in her tiny little hospital bed, her first experience of life in utter pain. I could barely look at my sister-in-law, Jani, without feeling almost guilty, shameful, for having a healthy child. It was so unfair. But she and Jesse were more courageous and faithful than anyone I had ever met. If anyone could overcome a trial such as this, they could. Their optimism and gratitude towards Abigail's condition floored me. Perspective. Perspective is something I have a hard time with every now and then. Within days, Jani and Jesse were able to take Abigail home from the hospital. But, they took a little of the hospital home with them. Abigail had to be constantly connected to a monitor, oxygen, and a feeding tube for several weeks. Jani couldn't even carry her child into the next room without having to have the assistance of someone else to carry all of the machines Abigail was connected to. To top it off, the monitor would send off an alarm if Abigail's oxygen levels got low, which happened at a constant rate.This trial for Jani and Jesse is something hopefully none of us will ever have to endure. Miraculously, however, Abigail soon began to act like a normal, sweet baby. Abigail's sweet personality began to shine. She is so easy to laugh. Abigail has taught me so much. This child has gone through more physical pain in her short time on earth than most of us will ever experience, yet she still smiles away. Perspective. I am writing about all of this now because Abigail just had her second surgery two days ago. Although she is recovering at a miraculous rate and shows signs of such will, this time it is much more difficult for me to see her. Abigail often awakes in a panic, wondering why she is in such pain, calling out for her mother. It is so difficult to see her look into your eyes. Every look from her pierces me. You can see it; she is crying out for help. She wants so badly for the pain to go away, to be snuggled by her mother. And how difficult it must be for her parents, knowing that there is nothing they can do but try to soothe her and get her to rest. Today, as I watched poor little Abigail lie there in such discomfort, I thought to myself, "Why does this little baby have to go through so much?" Maybe she is here to teach us all something. I wish it didn't have to take a sweet, sick baby for me to learn about gratitude, but I am grateful. Abigail, we hope you make a quick recovery! We love you! And thank you for all you have taught us!
All you seamstresses out there, be gentle with your criticism, because this is my very first attempt at sewing anything... if you don't count that one time I made pajama pants at girl's camp and sewed shut the waist...
I got the wonderful pattern from this book... my great friend Alicia gave me the book for Claire's baby shower. Such a cute gift idea, right? My next attempt might be a little doll like this, for Claire's Christmas gift.
Claire is usually really bad about tummy time. She has had the capability of lifting her head up for a long time, but now she just prefers putting her head down and sucking her fists instead. Well, I figured out how to get this girl to keep her head up. Yep, watching a video of herself. What a diva.
The tomatoes and basil in our garden are just about dead, so we enjoyed one last caprese salad for lunch. And it was delicious. P.S. - I know its kind of gross that I put this plate on the floor to take pictures, but it makes me want to have an old wood table because the contrast of the white plate is so pretty!
I couldn't resist. I had to upload this video. It's a little long until it gets to the good part, but the wait is totally worth it, at least to me. You know how parents always think their kid is the cutest thing ever, even when you think they really aren't that cute? I wonder if Claire is genuinely cute, like gerber baby cute, or if I'm under some illusion. Either way, I still think she is the most beautiful, adorable, sweet baby that ever lived.
James and I decided that from now on, we are going to make a true effort to set holiday traditions because we have both experienced one too many Halloweens, Thanksgivings, and Christmas', that crept up on us before we could even enjoy them. We were reminiscing how, when we were kids, the holiday season was more enjoyable, and it was because of the traditions our parents set at home and the activities we did in school. But mainly, it was because we were kids and I think kids are much better at finding and holding onto joy. So, this week James, Claire, and I did some simple planning, like making a Halloween station on Pandora Radio, buying and making Halloween decorations, making an effort to come up with a good Halloween costume, and, doing what the Alexander's do best, eating delicious treats. Today I made the best butternut squash soup ever. The recipe doesn't normally call for it, but we added sour cream and bacon pieces to it, and it was the perfect salty contrast to the sweet taste of butternut squash. Dinner was followed by homemade pumpkin rolls that were so delicious. And finally, we put our decorations up and got to enjoy our new jack-o-lanters! I am so excited to share such a wonderful time with my baby girl. I can't wait for her to get old enough to recognize and enjoy how special times like these are. What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Last night was one of those nights I went to bed knowing that I would be a sick pup in the morning. Surprise, surprise. Swollen throat, body aches... the works. Mr. Alexander made me a delicious cup of tea and scrambled eggs for breakfast, which was eaten in bed. Autumn is here, which means I can drink tea every morning. There isn't a better start to the day, right? Anyway, Claire and I spent the majority of the day hanging out in bed and James read Pride and Prejudice out loud to us for a little while. A man who drinks tea and loves Jane Austen is a man after my own heart. Claire did some of her own entertaining as well. She sure knows how to make a sick lady's day.