We have been busy bees around the Lovell house this summer. For starters, we have not been dealing with spina bifida and that’s been a great thing. For all the new parents who may read this, there’s your proof that spina bifida does not always dominate your life (as I once thought it would!), and things do feel “normal” again.
Since the beginning of May (been a while since I’ve blogged), we have spent our days lounging by the pool, grilling out, spending time with friends, letting the girls stay up late, and just overall having a blast (hence the reason for little to no blog updates-we’re not near a computer at home long enough). John & I joke that we have never spent this much time outside, but we realized this is the first summer in a few years where things are settled. Three years ago, Faith was a newborn, so I barely remember much from that time due to sleep deprivation & learning how to be a new mommy. Summer of 2010 was a blur because we’d just gotten Zoe’s diagnosis and I didn’t much feel like doing anything fun for a while. Last summer was better, but I still had an infant who didn’t do much and couldn’t stay out in the hot heat for very long. This year, we have two little girls with loads of energy, interest, and the older they get, the easier it becomes to do more fun activities together.
So this year we are living it up!
We have put in a pool (not a huge pool, not a fancy pool, but a pool nonetheless!), bought the girls a water table (which is perfect now for Zoe with her new KAFOs), stained the deck & updated our outdoor furniture. John & I set Zoe up for an aquatic therapy consult at Vanderbilt which was very helpful, and we learned all sorts of ways to use the pool this summer to help her get stronger. Now, she has grown to love the pool, and it is a great way for both girls to burn off some energy and get some exercise.
In my quest for kiddie entertainment at a cheap price, I discovered the local movie theater is running deals on kids’ movies for summer….$1.50. We took advantage of it last week–I scheduled “Mommy & Faith day” as she calls it, and we had so much fun eating popcorn & gummy bears, watching a movie, all by ourselves 🙂
In May/beginning of June, Zoe had all her follow-up check-ups. After our crazy round of spina bifida madness in the spring, I was ready for a break. A wise friend had once advised us that all the “bad news” we were getting at once just meant the time would come that we’d receive good news. She was right. Zoe got PERFECT check-ups. By that I mean, her doctor literally came in to the exam room grinning from ear to ear. I thought she was about to run over and hug me. She was so excited–all Zoe’s tests and scans literally were perfect according to her. We practically ran out the door from that visit! Cleared for 6 months!!
All in all, it has been a great start to summer. John & I are preparing to head to Indianapolis this week to attend the National Spina Bifida Conference. I am very excited and a little nervous. I am sure we will be overwhelmed with all the information. I’m looking forward to meeting so many of the parents I have been able to connect with online who are on this same journey. Many of them I have become close to over the past few years. We’ve exchanged equipment, supplies, advice, prayers, and celebrated the highs & lows of the journey that is spina bifida, and yet we’ve never met in person. I’m sure it will feel weird “knowing” them but yet having never met face to face before.
The girls are spending next weekend (4 days!) with their nana & papaw while we are gone. I don’t think I’ve ever left them that long, so I’m a bit anxious about that too. They probably won’t miss me a bit though-they have a blast there and get to do all the fun things mommy & daddy don’t do–drink chocolate milk, eat yummy sugary foods, watch lots of fun cartoons, swim in the hot tub, and basically come home spoiled rotten.
But I suppose that’s what grandparents do best 😉