- She had her g-tube removed. She wanted me to be sure to note that Nurse Mary took the MICkey button out.
- She learned to use the potty.
- She spent 6 months in the most amazing home day care center ever.
- She started and adores pre-school at the Lycée Français.
- She reached the amazing height of at least 41.5 inches (3 inches since last January). I don’t know her exact height which means we’ve been to the doctor a lot less this year. An accomplishment in itself. I do know that she seems to have outgrown her brand new bicycle.
- She weights about 35 pounds. Up about 4 pounds since last January.
- She is figuring out that written numbers correspond to quantities. She routinely asks questions like, “What is one and one?”
- She can finally say her name. She does still insist on being called ‘harlotte when she’s about to be naughty.
- Vomiting? What’s vomiting?
- She still sings in French. Gorgeously. And now she speaks in French, too.
- She still loves Bubba, plays the piano and sings, still making up her own melodies and words as she goes.
- She is teaching herself to read. This morning she asked me, “Why does it say cup on your pajamas?”
- She loves books (but you knew that).
- As for the food front, stay tuned for another blog entry shortly.
- She “graduated” (with honors) from physical therapy and speech therapy
- She discovered the joy of making art projects.
- She can finally climb the ladders in the playground
Like last year, Charlotte and we would like to honor the extended Team Charlotte who helped us reach this day with grace and some bit of sanity:
- Dr. Carl Backker, cardiac-thoracic surgeon. We haven’t needed to visit him this year, but he’s always going to be on the top of the list
- 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
- Janet Holzman , of Kids’ Kastle and her assistant Ramie, the very next best thing to caring for Charlotte myself
- Lycée Français, Charlotte’s teachers and friends
- 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
If I’ve left anyone out, please know that we are ever-grateful for all of your kind thoughts, your emails, your comments on the blog. We never take for granted the blessings we find in the love and support of our family and friends. And we are always moved when strangers find the site and post their well-wishes.
In summing up 2007, I wrote: “Charlotte brings a smile to my face on even the most trying days. And most of the time, she is not the reason the day was difficult.” For 2008, I have simply to echo that. Charlotte wakes up smiling and giggling most days. Her glee is infectious. Like all 3-and-a-half year olds she can try our patience. She seriously knows how to be naughty.
But, most of the time she radiates happiness and spreads it where she goes. (If you omit mealtime from the equation.) She is cooperative, inquisitive, and as responsible as you can expect a 3-year-old to be.
Charlotte’s resolutions for 2009, you ask? To learn to eat happily and politely so that meals can stop being the most stressful times of our day. To learn to dress herself. (Yes, both of those are actually mom & dad’s wishes for her.) To learn to peddle her bicycle so that Mommy will put the bell back on . To go back to Virginia Beach and play in the sand. To visit Nenenne in Belgium. To go back to New York City. To turn four. And, as always, to continue to grow from strength to strength.
May you all have a blessed and gleeful 2009!