How Old is Hallie?

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

How Old is Lea?

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, July 9, 2007

One, Two, Three, Counting with Ease...the July 4th Post

I think that three posts in three days is some sort of record for me, but there's a lot of catching up to do. Also, excuse me if I'm a bit out of order here; this post actually should precede the story of Curious George and the Climbing Hallie.

Anyway, for a while now, Hallie has had quite a well-developed Sesame Street habit; we inherited the Sing Yourself Silly DVD from Aunt Laura (Hannah has outgrown it and Adam never liked it much) and have been playing it for Hallie daily, at the very least (who in the world am I kidding? The kid won't eat without a good dose of James Taylor and his little friends singing the tale of Jelly Man Kelly. This song gets repeated at least five times during any meal!) Hallie actually does seem to watch Sesame Street; she squeals when she sees Elmo, she loves the songs, and unless there's a lot of uninterrupted dialogue, she'll sit in one place and pay attention to the action. I am risking being called Abby Cadabby by my own daughter some day. Sigh.

In any event, our friends Ethan and Karina had been to Sesame Place one time each earlier this season and we were feeling a bit jealous and thinking about an outing there ourselves. Hence, we were thrilled when Billie, Holland and Eden's mommy, let us know that they were going to be going there for their vacation. We all decided to meet up on the 4th of July for a joint park experience.

Alas, the weather was uncharacteristically cold and cloudy (the whole rest of the week was lovely; now there's just unrelenting heat and humidity around here--good thing that we live near very tasty water ice emporia). So splashing in the lazy river was out of the question. Nevertheless, we had a great time. This may sound very sad, indeed, but it's wonderful to be with parents who take it completely in stride when your kid refuses to eat anything at all, throws up in her stroller, and only takes her bottle once she collapses from exhaustion. It's nice not to be dismissed as utterly insane when we explain that we feed our kid food that contains butter, sugar, cream, and avocado--all at the same time and that we know precisely (or very nearly) the number of ounces, calories, etc that she consumes in any 24 hour period and her weight down to the gram. But this isn't the only reason that meeting Holland, Eden, and Billie, and John was wonderful: they are a great family and the girls are even more amazing in person than they are on their blog. We were really honored to meet them because we admire them all so much. It's not just that they have this wonderful blog that so many of us micropreemie parents have pored over, consulted, taken solace in, etc. More importantly, I think that, on the blog, Billie and John have shown all of us how much fun they have as a family. This is something that is too easy to lose sight of when we're in the middle of crises and suffering from the post NICU PTSD. And that's tragic, really; remembering to have fun with our kiddies and enjoy them for who they are, regardless of the unexpected circumstances of their births, is one of the most important things that we can do as parents.

Anyway, at the risk of gushing, suffice it to say that Billie, John, Holland and Eden are great fun to be around. We hope that we can coax them back this way with offers of showing them all of the really fun stuff that is available for kids in the Philly area (from storytelling and kids' plays in front of the Betsy Ross house to the carousel and mini golf in Franklin Square to the Camden Aquarium and Philly and Elmwood Zoos, just to name a few. Oh yeah, and Sesame Place always beckons again!!!). Seriously, if any of you loyal readers (assuming that you are not already in Philly, of course) are in the area, please let us know...

Anyway, back to the day. We were greeted at the gate by none other than Super Grover on our way to rent a double stroller for Holland and Eden.

Alas, no one was in the mood to pose and smile because everyone (with the glaring exception of Hallie) was hungry. So we headed off to get a snack at Elmo's snack shack. We were very impressed by how much gusto Holland and Eden relished their meals and this also gave us hope that Hallie's appetite might some day kick in.

After a quick change (not only did we have to change Hallie out of her pukey outfit, but no sooner than we accomplished this feat---since changing our wriggly girl has become somewhat of a Herculean task)--did Hallie proceed to poop all over herself. It turns out that Pampers Baby Dry might protect kids from pee but definitely not from poop---the darned things leak like crazy, especially when your kid has no hips, no butt, and no belly to hold them up. So, two outfits later, we were ready to roll.

Hallie, Holland and Eden all loved the crawling around space for little ones:

Eden had a great time playing around on the foam blocks. We loved this ear-to-ear smile:

The only thing that deflected Hallie's attention from crawling, exploring, and eating pieces of schmutz on the gym mat (yes, we did have to check our germophobia at the door, and no, we are not happy about this, and yes it will probably be a long time before we do this again) was the bright orange neon band on Billie's arm. Hallie took an immediate fancy to this and kept trying to eat it. Eden tried to signal to Hallie that this was HER mother's arm, but Hallie was, as she often is in such things, positively unrelenting.

In this picture, I am crawling after (and over) Hallie to keep her from eating things:

After the kids were done crawling around, we all gathered to watch the 2pm parade down Sesame Street.

Holland not only had a ton of fun dancing to her favorite songs but also got to meet Elmo:

Hallie and Eden had the best seats in the house:

Lots of fun was had by all and the girls were all tuckered out. This was the first (and only) time Hallie deigned to nap all day. Needless to say, this was when we made up for all those missed bottles!

Later on, Holland and Eden enjoyed the water rides at Sesame Place and we headed off to Sears to pick up Hallie's first-year pictures. Here area a couple of our favorites, including some collages. We took so many good shots that it's hard to upload them all (it was also hard to decide which ones to get, so Sears ended up really benefiting from our visit).


Jennifer said...

It looks like you guys all had so much fun!

Your Sears is so much better than mine... I love love love love love her pictures!!

Sarah said...

YAY for preemieblogmoms get-togethers!!!! Love seeing people all in one place, looking as cute as ever.

Sarah Furlough said...

So glad you all had such a great time! We should ALL meet up at Sesame Place sometime. I think we need a PBM get-together, and it seems the perfect place to do it!

Hallie looks so sweet in her 1 year photos, she has come so far. Glad to see all is well!

Kim said...

That is so cool that you all got to meet up! If we evr come to Philly, I'm looking you up!

Billie said...

Abby, Sharon, and Hallie,
We had SO MUCH FUN meeting you guys! I feel very flattered by your kind words, and also honored that you have taken a special interest in our girls. You guys are doing such an awesome job with Hallie, and I know exactly how hard it can be with the feeding and growth issues. We just got lucky that H and E ate well that meal! If you had been there the day before you would have been very afraid:)

Seriously, there are good days and bad days with all of it, but the good quickly overtakes the bad if you keep it in perspective. Our babies change so quickly. I am glad that you are taking the time to enjoy Hallie so much now, because in no time at all she will be running around with all of her opinions! Try to enjoy her babyhood as much as you can.

Love to you all,

PS. I especially love the second picture of Hallie with my neon bracelet. She's looking at Eden like "so what?"

Kellie said...

It's great to hear that the Seseme Street Adventure turned out so well. It looked like H, H, & E had a wonderful time meeting their favorite furry heros.

I do believe that Eli has a slight crush on Hallie because when I clicked on all of her pictures from Sears he started blowing kisses at the computer screen! They are beautiful as always. You two are blessed with such a cutie pie...tell those boys to watch out!