8 days ago..

Ahhh! So sorry for the lack of updates. Broken promises. Broken plans. Yikes. I intended to update this blog for every day in August. I had a little sliver of doubt at the beginning of the month. Once I got going, blogging everyday, I started to see our calendar fill up. Some days with plans oozing out of the huge box with that day and it’s little ‘ol number. The sliver of doubt began when I saw the beginning of school for Natalie, appointments, and the start of school. School- for everyone! Come one! Come all!

Our household currently houses 4 occupants and 4 students. Check us out! eehhh? Right??

But most importantly, our dear Natalie began the big K on Monday. This year, the school did a “soft start” where each child could pick either that Monday or Tuesday to begin class and then having Wednesday as the first day of a full class. If I heard right, I think there are about 21 students in her class. For our county’s standards that’s not too shabby.

But again MOST importantly, how did she do?

Fantastically! That’s how. She had a quick moment this morning where she asked, “Mommy, do I really have to go to school today? I’m so tired.” I think we all understand the exhaustion in that question. Her brother, who is in 1st grade, asked that question quite a few times during his entire kindergarten year. I’m kind of shocked that she waited to ask all the way on a Friday morning. Tuesday was usually her brother’s day to ask me that question.

The school has been pretty awesome about keeping the teachers in the loop about Natalie’s health plan. In fact, that’s another shocker for me, because I’m so new to this whole kid-in-school-all-day-with-heart-condition-thing. Brand new. She had a year of preschool but by the time I got home from dropping her off it was time to pick her up. And that was only 3-4 days a week. This time, it’s real. Like for real, for real. The school has been very good about taking care of Natalie so far. The only small issue we’ve had was some heat exhaustion the other day, but even I failed to see how hot it really was outside. Throw into the mix 3 recesses (2 of which I didn’t know about) and well, you get a little bit of heat exhaustion. She fell ill by the end of Wednesday, but once I pumped her full of even more water and a snack she was feeling normal again. The school didn’t do anything wrong. They kept supplying her with water and she kept downing it. When her teacher would ask, “Natalie are you okay?” several times, Natalie (just like her mom) would brush it off and just say “I’m fine”. She even looked fine, until we started our walk home.

Now we know to cut her recess time down a little bit on hot days. The 3rd recess is being dropped off soon so that won’t matter. It’s the lunch recess that’s triggering, I think, the biggest problem. For days like today, where the heat is just too much, Natalie will get to spend it inside either with the teacher or at the office, reading, coloring, and hamming it up with the faculty.

Wanna see some photos? Oh you know that’s why you’re here:

Natalie with her big brother! I really need to compare these 2 to last years’ photos. My god.

And there they go… off to new adventures.. off to experience the school life. A life of slightly crappy school lunches, optimistic dread, the sound of bells, the smell of pencils, glue sticks, and copied paper. Just like last year, the new students have the “deer caught in headlights” look. Natalie was smiling and then waved after I took this photo. Ham. Pure ham.

2 responses to “8 days ago..

  1. Oh my goodness! Must admit to the tears in my eyes (for a family I’ve never met) who get to see their little gal off to do such an important, NORMAL life event when not long ago you didn’t even know if she’d make it to this point. And now she’s doing it and doing it well! Definitely helps me see a brighter future for Eli. Thanks for sharing your blog and good luck the rest of the year 🙂 Go, Natalie!!!!!

  2. I read your comment through email on the morning of the congenital heart walk. We had packed up and sifted through emails. I had to show my your comment. I said, “this is why I keep blogging”. I am so honored that you read our blog and that you commented like this. Because this really is why I keep doing this. I am so grateful.
    The best advice that I’ve EVER received from pretty much ever adult CHD survivor that has reached out to Natalie and our family, is just that- to let her do normal stuff. To let her be as normal as possible. I figure, they know a little something more than I’ll ever know. And they’re right. I know she’s only 5 but just letting her do what she needs to do without actually throwing the bubble wrap around her has been liberating for us both. That’s easy for me to say, harder to do. But when I keep saying “Natalie you okay?” on a hot or rough day, she says, “ok mom you’ve asked me that like a million times” then I know that I need to step back. LOL Eli is going to be same way. Well, hopefully without the diva ‘tude. LOL Again, thank you!!

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