I finally decided after 3 1/2 years that it was probably time to give Ellie her first haircut. We've never cut her hair before, not even a little trim and she was absolutely against having anyone cut her hair. We had talked about this for about a week before we actually had her appt and most nights she would tell me (again and again) that she did not want her hair cut. The day finally came and we had scheduled appointments for both of the girls since Lily's hair was looking a little "mullet-ish" in the back. The day of the appointment came and I was figuring I would have to hold Ellie down in the chair and Lily would be jumping at the chance to sit up there and have someone cut her hair! Much to my surprise it was the exact opposite. Lily sat in the chair with a sour look on her face and Ellie just thought she was a princess up there having her hair done. She even wanted it curled!!
We have been waiting very patiently for spring to get here and Mother Nature, more than once, has teased us. We had some absolutely beautiful days in March and we took every opportunity to get outside when we could. I got the chance to take the girls down to the flood wall to let Ellie ride her bike and take Lily for a ride in the stroller. My mom got the chance to take the girls down to the creek and let them throw rocks in and let them wade in it a little. I have a feeling we will be spending plenty of days down by the creek this summer now that the girls have had a couple chances to play down there. The girls absolutely love the water so they have been dying to get out the water table ever since they spied in in the garage. After much anticipation while I was cleaning it up, we finally got it filled up and the girls had a blast...and they were soaked by the end. Nevertheless, they had a great time and have been asking to get it out again lately. Thankfully they haven't spied the pool yet!!
On April 16th, our family attended the Loras College Dance Marathon for the 2nd year. This is such a neat experience. Each miracle child has a poster hanging on the wall showing pictures from their hospitalization and what they look like now. Each child gets to "request" a song to dance to during the "Family Hour." Of course Lily danced to the Hokey Pokey!! They have snacks, crafts, toys, video games, etc for all of the Miracle Families to enjoy. This year the girls were actually brave enough to go up on the stage and dance with some of the Loras College students. For as shy as Ellie is, I was absolutely shocked that she got up and danced in front of people. I wish we could have stayed later to see more of the Dance Marathon but the meltdowns started and we split!! This year, Loras College Dance Marathon raised over $129,000 for the Children's Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Hospitals. For those of you who have stayed in Iowa City for a while, the tokens that you receive for the vending machines are funded by this Dance Marathon. We are forever grateful for all the work the college students do to fundraise for such a great cause!
On April 22nd, Lily turned 2 years old...where the heck have the years gone? It is so hard to believe that two years ago today I was sitting in a hospital room with her during her recovery from her 1st and 2nd open heart surgery. She has grown to become a fiesty, EXTREMELY independent, cuddly little girl! I can't wait to see what the future holds for this amazing little girl! I am sure she will do great things!
We celebrated her birthday with just family this year. Everyone came over for pizza, breadsticks and cupcakes. It was nice enough that we could spend some time outside and the kids got to ride the bikes. Lily loved being the center of attention and she was ready to blow out her candles. And no birthday is complete without the ritual smashing of the face into the cake by Uncle Jake!! Since her birthday she has been singing "Happy Birthday" on a regular basis!
This past weekend was the Dubuque County Heart Walk!! Team Lily made a strong showing with more than 35 people there to support us and walk with us! This year and last year we sold t-shirts to help raise funds and for the second year in a row sold over 100 t-shirts. We cannot thank our family, friends, co-workers and even my students for all the support they show us each year at the Heart Walk.
All week long I was looking at the weather and kept seeing that there was a chance of rain, however, it was absolutely beautiful. The sun was shining, the temperature was just right and the wind wasn't too bad! The weather was PERFECT!! After the walk we headed to a nearby spot right on the river for some lunch and relaxation in the sun.
I have to leave you with a picture of Lily's new obsession. She recently has taken a very strong interest in having her hair done (she tells me 2 ponies everyday), having lotion and make up put on and drying her hair! All of the above she also has to do to her babies...did I also mention she is BIG TIME into playing with her baby dolls. Whatever I do to her, such has putting lotion on her cheeks, she then has to do to her babies! The latest is drying her baby's hair...even the bald babies!!
One last thing...please take the time to say a little prayer for Ellie Jo Schmitt. Ellie is recovering from her Fontan surgery in Iowa City. She is starting to make great progress and I pray that things continue to improve for her. We will always be thankful to Ellie's mom for introducing herself to us as we were waiting in Pediatric Cardiology for our very first ECHO at 20 weeks! And remember those adorable calendars from last year...Ellie's mom put those together!!
Hope everyone is enjoying the great weather...hoping these next 17 days fly by! Summer vacation, here we come!!