Monday, October 20, 2014

One Two Three FOUR

Last week, Scarlett turned FOUR!

Can you believe it?  If you're still reading my sporadic updates, you've probably been around a while, and, like me, are completely floored that we are already at 4 years old.

This was the first time we felt like she would appreciate at least some part of it being her birthday.  She loves the "Happy Birthday" song, balloons and cake, so what more did she need?

She woke up to a room and bed filled with balloons...

At school, her friends presented her with handmade cards.  She also walked around a candle to represent her 4 trips around the sun, and shared pictures of her throughout her life.
School cupcakes
That afternoon, her cousin came to play while we put together her birthday present: a new trampoline!  We have been fighting to get her to stop jumping on the couches and beds, and thought a sanctioned, safer jumping space would help.  Then we saw this one on Amazon and we thought it would work well - and it does!

 She can jump to her heart's content in there and I won't worry as much as I do when she's on the couch.

We wrapped it up with more cake - she blew out her candles (with minor help) and dug in!

4 year old Scarlett is a delightful handful.  She is full of energy, and we jsut always hope she will use her powers for good rather than tantrums.  She loves school and her cousin Caleb.  She carries on full conversations in her own babble-speak, but also knows enough words to communicate exactly what (or who) she wants much of the time.  Her favorite word is probably "no"; my favorite of her words is "flower", which she pronounces "wow-ah".  She signs as much as she speaks, and when she puts the two together, we understand her best.  She is getting better at just imitating what she sees or hears, so we hear more from her.  She likes to count and sing.

She's a daredevil.  She climbs on everything, and wants to go as fast as she can.  If we turn our backs, it is not uncommon to find her standing on the kitchen table after climbing up the chairs, or hanging upside down on the bed looking at herself in the mirror.  She has favorites - food (cookies and cake); toys (babies and animals); clothes (pink dresses...sigh.); people (Daddy and Caleb); places (school); shows (Signing Time and Super Simple Songs); books (The Hungry Caterpillar, in which she pretends to eat every food with a little "nom nom nom" as we read).  She likes to be given a choice in what she wears or eats, which is just more of that 4 year old personality coming through.  If she agrees, it goes smoothly; if it is not her idea, we have a battle ahead.  Most of the time, she is quite the charmer.  She smiles, giggles and tickles everyone she meets (even though it sometimes feels like pinching) and loves to hold hands while she walks.

Her best buds.
 This girl amazes us day in and day out.  She surprises her specialists and therapists every time they see her, and those who have been with us since  the beginning take as much joy in her as we do.  We are proud and just plain happy to have her around.

Here's to a year of more firsts.

A few more pictures from the last few weeks...

At our alma mater high school's cancer awareness game.

 Our fourth blood drive was smaller, but we still collected about 40 units of blood.

 Pumpkin patch with the family...which is growing by TWO come Spring when Caleb becomes a big brother to twins!

Walking in with GG

Those sassy hands on out!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Flower Girl

Here is Scarlett's flower girl debut!
At the rehearsal

All glammed up!

With papa

With Best Man Daddy

Uncle Danny and Auntie Allie

Up bright and early the next morning for the first day of school!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


It's been a long time since I've had a chance to write.  I've gotten several messages asking how she is doing.  Thankfully, we've been busy in all the good ways.  I went through the pictures from the last few month to see what has not made its way here...we'll have to back up a bit.

For Mother's Day, we all went to Reno to visit my great grandma, Scarlett's great-great-grandma. 

We have spent the majority of the summer chasing her - she's everywhere!  This is her using a laundry basket as a stool, as the new stool we bought sits a few feet away.

We got a call one day from another brain tumor momma whom we met at camp.  Her daughter Audrey had recently gotten a play house from the Habitat for Humanity Play House Project.  They were looking for another little one to give a house to...and we were available!  A team from Samsung, as part of their team-building exercise, had two houses ready to go and no kids to give them to.  We were on it!  That evening, we watched as they finished painting, constructed and modified an adorable play house for Scarlett.
Adding her handprint
Checking out her new digs.  They made Scarlett's house wheelchair accessible - not knowing that she wouldn't need that - which allows her to ride her bikes through without slowing down!

Now it is pretty much her favorite hang-out spot.
 She is a big fan of purses.  Her favorite is a retired Seatbelt Bag of mine; she prefers it empty, despite how many times I have showed her that things can go inside.  She swings it over her shoulder and takes off.
 Once my school got out in June, we had several adventures....camping with family was first.  Then a Giant's game at AT&T park, 4th of July parades, and a few perfect-weather beach days.  Chris and I went away for a few days where I attended the I Teach K kindergarten teacher's conference by day, and we explored the city by night.  Grandma stayed home with Scarlett, and got her workout from the little lady!   Scarlett "graduated" from the toddler class at her school, and will be starting the preschool class next week!

The most amazing thing?  We have had only a tiny tiny handful of appointments this summer.  Scarlett was originally scheduled to have surgery in July, but with the seizure activity in June and new medications to balance, we all decided it was best to wait.  Since we left the hospital, we have seen NO seizures.  She has weaned off of some of the medications, and is down to just one mild seizure control med, which is very tolerable for her and us.  If this keeps up, she will have her reconstructive surgery around December.  Until then, I am enjoying her full head of hair...

We haven't gone a day without commenting on how she is developing.  She signs/speaks (usually together) constantly.  She has learned so many new words in the last few months...bus, watermelon, star, night, butterfly, hungry, train, colors, body parts, animals...we stopped counting a while ago.

She is a dancer.  Any music comes on, and she is moving.  I won't say she has great form, but she has enough enthusiasm to cover it.  She jumps, kicks her legs out, stomps, wiggles, shakes and

Beach lounging with Uncle Danny
This weekend, Scarlett will be the flower girl in her Uncle Danny's wedding.  There are several lists of things to do, especially since school starts for Scarlett and me the next day!  We'll be incredibly busy for a few days, but it should be a good time.  I promise I will post a pictures of her in the dress I made for the wedding before Christmas!!
Flower girl preview!
Here's all the videos I could upload - enjoy!!