halloween bucket hack

Friday, October 17, 2014

I made some adorable and easy Halloween buckets for You Are My Fave. They have quickly become a favorite around our house this year. The kids cannot keep their hands off of them - even after I hid all the candy away. Go check it out and let Melanie and I know what you think!

foot prints

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

November 1st, 2012 - foot prints

I never made it to the pumping room in the NICU after coming back to tell Tyler my hunch that sometime soon Matilda would be offered a liver. Instead, the Child Life social workers treated us to something special. Something that we will cherish forever.

The air in the room was mixed between excitement, sadness, hope, and despair. They came to help us take molds of Matilda's hands and feet. Of course, we knew that this was being done to help us deal with the loss of our beautiful baby girl. So that we could hold onto something and feel her close once she was gone. We knew that. But we were also so thankful for the opportunity. We were in the midst of this strange process of letting go, but we felt nothing but happiness. It was a painful kind of happiness, but still, it was there and it filled the room.

We took our time, soaking up the moment and laughing when Matilda would not cooperate. Our nurse was a hoot. She insisted on redoing each of the molds until the entire tub of plaster had been used up. And then she insisted that they come back the next day so that we could get more. If it were up to her, I think she would have dipped Matilda right into the bucket to get a full body cast. She was determined to make us laugh, keep us hopeful, and make us forget about the nosebleed.

I started to cry. It was just all too much. Was I really saying goodbye to my sweet little Matilda? Were these really our last moments together? I felt so much love for Matilda and I had hardly had a chance to know her. To hear her laugh. To see her grow. To kiss her wounds and make everything better. I felt her love when she would look at me with expressive eyes. When she would snuggle her head into just the right spot of my neck. When she would ever so gently squeeze my finger. I felt it. The love we had between us was real. It was alive. She was alive.

Everyone had left and the room was once again quiet. My face soaked with tears, my eyes puffy and red, my voice unable to speak. I kissed Matilda's head. I slowly felt every bit of her. Running my hands up and down every wire and tube that was connected to her. I sang her a song and lulled her to sleep. She was sedated and resting peacefully, but I took that moment and filled her with love.

Still crying, I left. I needed some fresh air. I needed a chance to collect my thoughts or better yet, not think at all. I still needed to pump, but I found myself walking to Starbucks. The barista saw me often. He might have noticed the hospital guest badge that sometimes hung around my neck. He might have noticed the same set of clothes worn over and over. He might have noticed my shrinking baby bump and empty arms. But he definitely noticed my tears. And today, as he handed over my coffee he said, "Things will be okay soon." And I felt it. I believed him.

apple season

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I have to say that this season I am in with Parker right now, is the sweetest season we have ever seen. And even though I have only written one sentence, I hope you have gathered that I am not at all talking about apple season. But rather a season with my boy - full of love and joy and perfect moments snuggled close. His humor, his storytelling, his kindness are all spot on right now. Sweet I tell you - the sweetest season yet.

long live new york

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Religion can be such a funny thing. It can unite, divide, isolate, or save.

Yet, there is one thing that all major religions agree on. One cause that brings life. One cause that is shared equally. Organ donation and the gift of life that it facilitates transcends all differences, transcends all politics, transcends all judgment.

People often think that organ donation is against their religion. Or maybe it is easier to not think about it at all. Because to think of donating organs means to think of death and that is an unpleasant thing to think about.

My daughter received a liver transplant when she was six weeks old. With only one percent of her liver still functioning at the time it was removed, we were so close to losing her. Before Matilda was diagnosed with acute liver failure at nine days old, I was completely naive to organ donation. I had been a registered donor since I got my driver's license when I was 15, but I never took the time to think about what it could mean to someone else. And I certainly never considered that babies and young children need organs from a donor of similar size.

But there I was holding my daughter's tiny hand in the hospital for five long weeks, hoping that one day I could bring her home. It is absolutely remarkable to me that another mother grew and nourished this beautiful organ that lives inside my daughter. That another mother in the saddest moment of her life was willing to gift my life with so much happiness though an act of kindness. That another mother said goodbye to her two-week-old child on the same day that I said hello to a new life with my six-week-old.

Despite religious or non-religious beliefs, we are all humans. We all deserve to be given the gift of life. A chance to make our world a better place to live in. A chance to laugh so hard it hurts. A chance to hold our children in our arms and tuck them in each night.

Please take a few moments to talk with your family about what organ donation is and how it can impact the lives of so many.

first up - apple picking

Monday, October 13, 2014

Remember when I made a Fall Memory Maker as a way to combat remember-how-sick-Matilda-was syndrome? Well, first up was apple picking at a brand new (to us) u-pick apple farm. The weather was perfect, excitement was in the air, and we all had a blast.

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