Thursday, March 29, 2012

A new blog!

I haven't blogged here for a while as I needed a new start.  Please come visit

I can't get away from loving my family and wanting to talk about them all the time, but the new blog has a wider lens than just that of a preemie mum.  It was time for me to heal.  I so appreciate you coming along the journey with me!  

Friday, November 25, 2011

And so she is 3

Lydia turned 3 at the beginning of the month.  She's almost 3 feet tall, a few pounds away from 30lbs.  How about my little girl being a sassy little thing?

It's amazing how much she has grown this year.  There are these crazy full sentences that have been coming out of her mouth for the past half year.  Frankly, it's amazing considering how worried we were.  She has this ridiculous memory which allows her to learn so many different things and different words.  Of course, it's the story of a child in development - it's not like she's a genius, but in my eyes she's the most brilliant star in the sky.

At the end of September, Gary and I had the most marvelous night with Lydia.  It was her first shadow puppet show.  We turned off the lights, got our flashlights out and made ourselves giants, made bunnies, dogs, crocodiles.  It was so much fun!

Lydia, Gary and I took 2 weeks at the end of October / beginning of November and went over to England.  Lydia got to meet her cousin, Henry, who she calls Hengry.  It took her a week and a half, but by the time we left, she was wanting to hold him.  She was slightly jealous, but she did fairly well for a 3-year old bratty kid who was being spoiled by family who doesn't see her but once every 18 months or so. 

We celebrated her birthday with my family.  It was hard to leave at the end of the two weeks because Lydia had obviously made some attachments with my family.  When we were talking on our last night, we said that we had to go home on the aeroplane.  She said she wanted to go to work with my sister instead!  It was quite cute, although sad too.  It's difficult because I want to be around so that we all grow up together still.  And I know when we go back like this, the time we spend together is precious, intentional and everyone is so present because it's truly special. 

It's prematurity awareness month too.  Here's a quote I love from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream:

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

That's our Lydia.  Our 2lbs 7oz little itty bitty girl is a fighter.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New videos!

Check out the 2 new videos above.  One is of Lydia cooking with her Daddy, and the other is her with her binoculars!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Lydia loves play-doh.  She has been making pretend muffins, pizza, all types of stuff.  The play-doh set has 2 pieces of bread.  Rather hard, plasticky, inedible bread, but it looks like bread at least!  Lydia put some blue play-doh in between the bread and gave it to me.

Me:  Yummy, what's this?
Me:  Lydia, what's in the sandwich?

Lydia:  Play-doh!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Memory Lane

I was just looking through this blog with fondness as I really do intend to either wrap it up or revamp it in some way in a few months.  I was reading through those first few blog entries and remembered the day we brought Lydia home.  That week, a lady showed us how the oxygen machine worked, and how the heart monitor was going to work.  I just remember becoming short of breath, panicking and not hearing much of what she was saying, which was freaking me out even more!  I remember being tearful, scared and so worried about not having the safety of the hospital staff around.  What would I do if something happened to the machines and I didn't know what the hell to do?!

I am so past those days, but every now and again I remember something like that and it sneaks up on me a bit.  Preemie parents say this all the time, but I really don't remember how small she was to begin with anymore.  Or at least I don't remember the look or the feel of it.  I remember she felt like nothing, and that her leg was as big and round as my index finger.  Every now and again I look at my finger and remember that.  Honestly, if I didn't have photos to prove it, I wouldn't believe it.

We are one lucky, lucky family.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mother and daughter time

Gary spent the weekend helping his Dad with some home improvement projects so I got to spend an entire weekend with Lydia on my own!  I always have visions of being productive, organised and efficient with my time.  I've come to realise that spending time with Lydia is just that, even when we're just indoors staying away from the heat.  In 10 years time, I have a feeling that she won't want to sit on my lap, or hang out with me so much, or even consider me her 'friend'.  I'm okay with that, so I relish these moments where there is so much love and laughter between us.

She helped me with some of the household chores today - she helped me do the dishes (put them in the dishwasher haphazardly), she helped me with the laundry (flinging clothes on the bed and laughing really loudly) and when I dozed off and took a nap, she decorated the house with play doh supplies.  Nice!  We also started a weekend tradition of dancing like Peanut Gang maniacs in the front room.  Not that we don't already do this, but it seemed we were doing this all weekend.  We put the radio on and made up crazy dance moves.  The move of the weekend was JUMPING A LOT!  So when I got really tired (because toddlers can just do that FOREVER), we rolled all over the front room instead!

On Saturday, we had a playdate at the park.  This is where these gorgeous pics come from.  My friend has a great eye for those special moments - I love these types of photos!  They're just so real and capture such emotion.   

There's Lydia with a face full of banana!  On a somewhat related note, here's a memory that came to me the other day.  When I was younger, my Mum would peel oranges for us.  I hated peeling oranges.  To me, it just wasn't worth the work but I still ate them when my Mum peeled them.  This memory came to me the other day when I was peeling the umpteenth orange for me and Lydia to share together.  I still hate peeling oranges but I do it for Lydia.  It helps that the oranges taste good too!  Thanks for all of the oranges, Mum!

Lydia has a new fear of noises.  It actually started on July 4th.  We thought she'd love watching the fireworks this year, which she did from afar.  Once the fireworks started up right in front of our faces, we realised it wasn't the best idea we've ever had!  It wasn't so much the noises (as she has been next to cannons going off and not batted an eyelid) but the 'colours were too big'.  So now she associates the loud noise with that feeling of fear she had.  Fireworks, thunder, random cannon going off in Charleston harbour (Yes, really, just the other night when we were having dinner).  In this photo, she was scared of the sprinklers and how loud the splashing was at the time!

This new awareness of fear means her sleep routine has changed.  She's now insisting that we sit in the chair in her room whilst she falls asleep.  This process can take anywhere from an hour to two hours, usually involves listening to our lullaby Pandora station and listening to her whispering to herself and her stuffed friends for a while.  It's actually not bad other than not having time to do much else in the evenings, but I don't particularly care to do laundry, or unload the dishwasher, or spend time on stuff for work.  So when I get irritated about sitting in there and 'wasting' my time, I remember that one day she's going to wish she had locks on her bedroom door to keep me out!  Then I relax and cherish the moment.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Gary and I are back in the swing of things after a nice trip to Washington state.  We spent a couple of days in Seattle before we headed up to Everson to celebrate Gary's grandma's 90th birthday.  We didn't buy a lot whilst we were out there, but I did bring back some rhubarb from Grandma P's garden and made a strawberry rhubarb crumble - delicious! 

My favourite food in Seattle?  We went to Chinatown one night and had a proper Chinese meal.  It's so sad that I have to go to the other side of the country to get some good food!  We didn't have time to get dim sum, but I am going to NYC at the end of August so maybe I'll get some then!  Oh, and I loved the England-like weather in Washington state too.  It was a much-needed respite from the 100 degree heat here. 

We're all 'talk three talk four' here at the Donnelly house.  Most of what Lydia is saying these days is so clear, or at least it is to us!  She's able to hold mini conversations with us, telling us what she's doing, or what we're doing, or what she wants/needs.  It's all quite astonishing.  Even the daycare lady said, 'You know, she talks the most now - we had a whole conversation the other day!  And to think she was the one that we were worried about because she wasn't saying anything!'  So that's either an argument that development just takes its own sweet time, or that the speech therapy made all the difference.  Believe what you want.  All I know is that Adrianna taught me and Gary just as much as she did Lydia.  We learned how to elicit responses, repeat, rephrase, acknowledge, reassure and just talk talk talk about everything.

On August 1, it will be Gary and my 11th wedding anniversary.  We are the best of friends and continue to grow together.  We are always learning patience, love and living in the moment.  Granted, I get on his nerves because I pile all the big bowls on top of the small bowls instead of putting them in order (HA!  If you know Gary, aka Mr. Disorganised, you know this is a strange pet peeve).  He gets on my nerves when he leaves his dirty clothes all over the place!  In the end though, if that's all we have to complain about, we're pretty lucky.

I hope you enjoy this blog post!  I am averaging about once a month these days and we're coming to the end of the book.  I think I'm finally letting go of preemie parenting fears so it's time for a change.  I'll keep you posted on the new blog ideas I have for the future.

Oh, by the way, look me up on  I don't have too much on there right now, but I do love that site.