Emmie turns 2 today!! Early this morning, I recalled my solo drive in the early morning to the hospital while I was in labor. Eric was on his way from military duty. I delivered my baby girl with a dear friend by my side. Eric arrived 15 minutes after Emmie entered the world. We got the shock of our lives when we were told that Emily had Down syndrome. We thought our lives were over. Little did we know that the beautiful girl we were holding would make our lives so much better. Emmie has opened up our eyes to a whole universe we never knew existed. A life that was so unfamiliar to us has become familiar, natural, "normal". Who would've thought?!?!
We celebrated Emmie's birthday this weekend with our family & friends. Her birthday reminded me of the many "typical" things that Emmie isn't doing yet: talking, walking, waving goodbye, drinking from a sippy cup, etc. I have to remind myself that these things will come & where Emmie is now is right where she is supposed to be. Her milestones are different & some day soon it will be Emmie's turn to do all of those "typical" things. For now, we wait & celebrate our little girl for who she is & everything she has given us.
In lieu of gifts, we asked friends & family to make a donation to either the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center or the Epilepsy Foundation in Emmie's honor. Everyone was very generous. Emmie received some wonderful gifts & several donations were made. Emmie's favorite gift came from Mema (my mom)...a rocking horse that makes a galloping noise & neighs. This gift is appropriate because of my mother's life long love of horses. She grew up on a horse ranch & now owns, trains & sells horses & gives riding lessons. She has been determined to pass on her love of horses to at least one of her children. Neither one of us got into it though. Aidan & Emmie have developed an interest. When we visit my mom, you can find the kids in Mema's barn helping with feeding, grooming, walking & riding the horses.
When Emmie got Mema's gift we decided we needed to name the horse. After all, Mema's horses all have cool names....Sundance, Choo Choo Charlie, Black Magic. Aidan wanted to give the horse a name that starts with "F". He did this because he loves "firetrucks" & "firefighters" & they both start with "F". We came up with the name "Fiona!" When Emmie hears "Fiona" neigh, she gets so excited!!! Her arms start flapping, the giggles come & she reaches for "Fiona". Sometimes she crawls over to her & pats her. Maybe Mema found her cowgirl after all. :)
Last week I learned to sign the "Happy Birthday" song to Emmie. I sing & sign it to her. She loves it! She smiles & waves her arms around. The connection is amazing & I want more, more & more!!!
Tonight Aidan chose to skip his swimming lessons so we can have a family dinner for Emmie. We are making her birthday brownies for dessert. Aidan will help me bake when he gets home from school.
"Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EMMIE GRACE!! Happy Birthday to you!!!! " (We'll be singing, signing at dinner tonight.)