Last January I wrote that Charlotte’s resolutions for 2007 were: “Simply to fly through her next surgery with the same panache and resilience she brings to everything else. To turn two. To learn to say her name. To play in the ocean. And to continue to grow from strength to strength.”
Here she is last month.
- Charlotte had her second open heart surgery. She was home from the hospital in 5 days. Her scar is barely visible.
- She reached the amazing height of 38.75 inches (4 inches since last January)
- She weights 31.2 lbs. (Just about 6 lbs. since last January or .5 lbs per month, exactly what the doctors expect from her.)
- Her speech and vocabulary improve and grow at such a rate that we laugh about our worries (in Fall 2006) that she had a slight speech delay.
- We no longer count days without vomit. Vomiting is a rarity, not a regularity.
- Charlotte is taking nearly 100% of her Pediasure by mouth. Last January I was giddy about 50%. She also eats between 400 to 600 calories of solid food daily.
- She sings in French. Gorgeously.
- She still loves Bubba, loves to push me around the house and place me where she wants me, and sings, making up her own melodies and words as she goes.
- She has taught herself the alphabet and is now figuring out basic reading skills.
She recognizes all her numbers.
- She loves books (but you knew that).
- Dr. Carl Backker, cardiac-thoracic surgeon. His smile after Charlotte’s surgery said it all.
- Laura Robson, Sara Karp and Cheryl Mercado–respectively Charlotte’s speech, physical and occupational therapists
- Dr. Luciana Young, cardiologist extraordinaire
- The Feeding Team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
- All of our wonderful friends who never think of Charlotte as anything other than a regular kid
- Lakeview Pediatrics, all the doctors and staff, who answer our questions and assure us that Charlotte is as extraordinary as we think she is
- Our families, especially our nieces who treat Charlotte like one of the girls, even if she is 10 years younger than they are
- Tammy, pediatric optician, who makes sure that Charlotte has the perfect glasses, in terms of fit, function, and fashion
- Dr. Charlie, Charlotte’s dentist
- Francie Paul, a fellow “heart mom,” the founder of the Saving Tiny Hearts Society, and the best friend I’ve never met
It was a rough year. In many ways, it was harder and longer than 2005. Charlotte
lost her only grandfather before he had a chance to know her or she him. There
were definitely days when I didn’t know how I’d make it until Charlotte’s
bedtime and nights when I thought that if I had to clean up one more vomit, I’d
lose my mind.