And she took over our lives!

(June-December 2001)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)

    In a nutshell, Angeline has taken over our lives and the scary thing is that SHE KNOWS IT! The last few months have been both exciting and challenging. In June we celebrated her first birthday. We had a great time, and we think Angeline did too. It was very exciting seeing her with all her friends from the Mommy and Me class and from her Ring Around group. We had over twenty children and an equal number of adults at our house. Our home was transformed in a huge pre-k room for all the children to play and for the babies to crawl. It was very nice and, as far as we know, everyone had a great time.

    In August we went back to Nashville to participate in the Annual Fetal Surgery Reunion. This time we only stayed a week, just as planned. Most of the families stayed in the same hotel, so it was very nice getting to know each other and watch our children "interact" with each other. We look forward to next year's reunion. We had a great time.

    In September Angie started attending daycare at my place of work. The ratio is great (6 children, 2 adults) and she rides with me (Dad) to and from work nearly every morning. It is great watching her as she develops "friendships" with other children, interacts with different adults, and learns new things. Like Emily says, "she is a big girl now."

    As Angeline gets older, more independent, and more assertive, it is easy to see that she is her own "little person." She knows what she likes and dislikes, loves to explore new things, wears a beautiful smile everywhere, and is the love of our lives. We give thanks to God everyday for the gift of having the opportunity to raise Angeline. 

    This Holiday Season was particularly beautiful thanks to Angeline. She made everything look and feel prettier, fresher, and newer. We took a lot of pictures and videos so we can show her, in the not too distant future, how special she made this Christmas Season for all of us.

     Angeline continues making  progress, bearing witness to the power of prayer and  to the benefits of fetal surgery. In a December email addressed to all of those registered in Angeline's mailing list, Emily shares:

As the year closes it finds us in good health and good spirits. We thank God constantly for our Angeline, health, family and friends. . . .  Angie is now 18 months old. Cognitively she's on target and advance in some areas. In the language area she's delayed. Angie understands English and Spanish but she only says a few words. I'm not worried yet. I have heard often enough that when you teach children 2 languages at the same time they don't start speaking until the age of 3. So it's just something that we're keeping an eye on.

. . . Angie had an MRI (brain and spine) this last Thursday, which went pretty well (considering that she was sleep and food deprived). We don't know the results of that one yet because her neurosurgeon is on vacation. I'm not really concerned about the results because his assistant assured me that the doctor would call me if there were any problems. They are very nice in that office. I take Angeline for a visit whenever we are in the building.

Kidney/bladder sonogram was this last Friday. . .  The radiologist requested to know if Angeline has had bladder reconstructive surgery. He was impressed with the way the bladder looked. It looked smooth (and well shaped). Some people will say that it's because of the catherization (and medication), but we all know better. We know that the reason Angie's bladder is looking so well is because God has once again been listening to our prayers. I know that it's only a matter of time when God will let us know that we no longer will have to cath Angeline. We will continue to storm heaven with our voices and her prayers. We are a persistent and determined group. Only in His time........

Her orthopedic told us that Angeline is doing wonderfully. Recently he rented out a multiactivity center for his patients to go and play. He gave away free pizza and tokens. I don't know who had more fun the kids or the parents. Angeline was the youngest one there. She looked really cute walking with her little walker. She figured out that the tokens were to be placed in the games and had a ball inserting the tokens. I must confess that Manny and I motivated her to use her walker by holding up the tokens in front of her. LOL Hey, you have to use whatever works.

Physically, Angeline continues to use her walker and is getting quite good at it. We have to remind her to sit with her legs tucked in and not in the W position. Before when we reminded her to sit correctly she would do it, but now it's a challenge because she pretends not to hear us. Her ankles remain weak and easily give in on her if she doesn't wear shoes.

. . . Angeline is her own person and there's no question about that. She loves babies and especially baby Alex (a baby at her daycare). Whenever she sees a baby she gets really excited and calls out "mami/mom". I'm not sure if she's trying to tell us something. . .  She now gives kisses, hugs and is very nurturing with her dolls. 

But there is another side to Angeline that has been surfacing recently. In the last several weeks Angeline has started throwing herself on the floor, kicking us, refusing to have her diaper changed, pulled my hair, scratched my arm, slapped Manny in the face and throws things when she's angry. I know that this is normal 2 year old behavior, but I was taken by surprise and not prepared at all for this change in personality. Especially since she has a long way to go before she's two. 

When Angeline wakes up in the morning or after naps, Manny and I just wait a couple of minutes and see which personality we're going to get. . . If we get a smiling child then we breath a sigh of relief and say oh yeah she's happy. But the happiness is short lived until we have to cath her and change her diaper. Then Manny and I will argue as to who's turn is to cath her. LOL. . .  As for eating she's still a picky eater. Recently, Angie starting feeding herself. Half of the food goes on her clothes, but that's okay.

Well, my friends that's all for now sorry to make this so long, but it's been a while. Please stay safe this New Year and enjoy the important things (families and friends) in life. Life's too short to worry about anything else (good advice-I'll think that I'll work on taking it).

Please continue to pray for Angeline's bladder to normalize and for her legs and feet to get stronger.

God Bless you all and Peace Emily :0)