Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Blogging and Cooking August 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:40 am

Tonight I went out to dinner with my good friends to see Julie and Julia, which by the way, is a fantastic movie. It was an inspiration for me because it was really about writing/blogging (Julie Powell) and cooking (Julia Child), two of my favorite things to do in life. I have a hard time these days finding all the time I want to do a good job cooking or writing as much as I want to. I made a decision before I saw the movie tonight that I would write less words more often, rather than trying to cram one or two weeks worth of thoughts and events into one blog entry which gets to be overwhelming and dauting to me at times. Seeing the movie tonight just inspired me to do more writing and cooking and that your goals and ambitions in life are so reachable if you really want them to be yours.

Julia Child once said “find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” I think this is really a recipe for success and this is what got Julia’s cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking came to be published after many long years of writing and trying to get it published.

I came home from the movie and had to check out Julie’s blog, being a fellow blogger myself (http://juliepowell.blogspot.com/) which seemed kind of just like a normal person like you or I writing her thoughts about everyday events and things happening in her life and her political and other opinions. She is famous with her blog because she had a fresh original idea that people connected to and followed day after day. I do admire that.

At one point during all her blogging, Julie thought “who is reading my blog out there in the world?” So she asked if anyone was reading what she had to say and she received comments. I know some of you who are reading my blog, but not all I am sure. If you are out there reading this, give me a shout out in my comments section at the very bottom of each post so I know who you are.

We had a fun barbecue at Bob and Angela’s over the weekend. The kids LOVE the pool. Violet is already jumping from the side of the pool and going all the way under. She absolutely loves the water and throws one of her adorable tantrums when we get her out.

Note two blog changes:
–Check out the updated “Trip Tips” – lessons learned in triplet rearing or just child rearing in general.
— Sign up to be automatically sent my blog (on the top right side of the page) when I update it and that way I don’t have to bulk email you anymore. Your email will only be used to get updates on my blogs and will not be sold for mass marketing email campaigns, rest assured.
If I were Julia Child I would say “”This is Julia Child. Bon appétit!”.
But I am the mothership so I say . . .
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

A Weekend Down Memory Lane August 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:19 pm

Last weekend Ava, Chris and I took a wonderful trip to San Diego. It was a trip we took for Chris’s work called “Home Team” which basically is a team building, no work all fun trip with kid attendance optional. Ava has heard a lot about San Diego over the years since Chris goes there for work from time to time and she knows that mommy and daddy lived there once upon a time before she was born.
I haven’t been back to San Diego since I was five months pregnant with Ava. I have to admit that I have been hesitant to go back since I have so many fond memories of living there for eight years and I didn’t want to suffer too much from nostalgia. San Diego is such a wonderful place of beauty and an irresistable ocean. Chris and I bought our first home there in Carlsbad – a charming three bedroom home only miles from the beach. One day when I was working Chris called me up and said “Megan! I can see the ocean from our balcony! We have an ocean view.” We were both so excited to be able to enjoy that stretch of ocean from a distance when you were standing just right on our balcony on a perfectly clear day. Back then I worked for a “luxury lifestyle” magazine out of La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe, which gave me my own freelance writing schedule as well as access to the most beautiful homes, people and events around. I once had breakfast with Audrey Geisel, wife to the famous Dr. Suess, a sophisticated lady who taught me that coffee really is better when the cream is heated up just so. Another time I got a private tour from the owner of a $40 million home in Rancho Santa Fe. The owner’s EX husband was a surgeon and the inventor of a heart tansplant device. I would get free spa treatments for including the companies in my articles, rides in Aston Martin’s and attend high class fashion shows. Oh, it was the life. Life was so simple then, and when I think back on my San Diego days, it brings me a smile.
So, going back to San Diego was very special to me. My life is so stressful and busy these days and I wasn’t in the best mood the morning Ava and I left to meet Chris. We made the drive from the airport up to the Four Seasons Aviara and the minute I stepped out of our car on to the grounds of the resort I breathed in a deep breath and was filled with some happiness that I knew I needed. Ava and I dropped off our stuff in the beautiful room and headed down to the very fancy California Bistro in the hotel and sat outside to have our lunch. I ordered not one, but two fruity cocktails. I told the kind waitress to bring me something fruity with vodka in it. I enjoyed a steak sandwhich while Ava munched on her chicken tenders and drank her smoothie. We just sat there and took our time cherishing each and every bite while we breathed in the fresh San Diego air. I kept my nostalgia at bay.

Our lunch spot on the balcony

It was just a magical weekend. The babies were at home being cared for by the domestics from Southern California so I didn’t have to worry about them and I could relax and spend quality time with Chris and Ava. The Four Seasons Aviara is so amazing because of how kid friendly it is. They have a playground, a kid pool and jacuzzi and an arcade. When we went down for breakfast each morning the servers provided princess silverware and special cups. Breakfast was free for kids under 5 which I thought was a pretty awesome deal.

That night after a good long swim in the pool we went to an old favorite place on the beach in Carlsbad called Harbor Fish. It is this hole in the wall outdoor fish n chips and fish tacos joint. Chris’s entire work team was there with all of their kids and I must say that they were collectively the most beautiful bunch of kids I have ever seen sitting at one table together. They were well behaved as they colored and ate their dinners. It was a peaceful evening.
The next day we went to the Wild Animal Park which I highly recommend. Ava was a little tired from her partying the night before but I still think it was worth it for everyone. We took a tram through the property to see the gazelle and giraffe, zebras and rhinocerosis. We even got to see a baby Carabou being born – the feet dangled out of the momma as she trotted around the perimeter of the fence looking very stressed and intruded upon during what was supposed to be a private moment. Ava slept in the car for the next 1 1/2 hours while Chris and I drove around Carlsbad reflecting back on the old days. We drove by our first home and I peeked over the fence and admired all of the landscaping that Chris and I slaved to complete every weekend. I felt the cool breeze coming up from the ocean that we would enjoy year round – I especially thought of that since I had a $600 electric bill waiting for me at home for all the air conditioning necessary to keep our house at 80 degrees for one month. Sigh.

When we got back to the hotel I snuck down to the tranquility pool that plays relaxing music under water. I layed on my back and floated and felt truly relaxed for the first time in awhile. As I floated a waft of marijuana floated past my nostrils. The roudy crowd in the Cabana to my right were partying hard. I went up to the hot tub and there were some rowdy adults up there as well. I thought to myself, the kid pool and spa consists of better behaved humans that the adult one I believe.

The Tranquility Pool

That night we went to our old favorite restaurant in Encinitas called Vigilucci’s. It is seriously the best Italian food you may have outside of Italy. We had great wine and pasta dishes. Ava had a fantastic spaghetti with meatballs and then we enjoyed some Gelato and chocolate cake as the Italians do and headed down to the beach. It was a dark night and there was a glow on the waves from the lifeguard tower. Ava has been really timid around the ocean for several years. We haven’t even been able to get her very close to the waves. I walked right out and stood in the low tide and let the water wash over my feet and legs. Ava saw this and recognized potential for adventure so she followed me in. For the next hour we ran along the beach and in and out of the waves. In the end, Ava and I were soaking wet and full of sand. Ava told us that she wanted to live at the beach. It was a very special night we will always remember.

Meanwhile back at home after our lovely little weekend vaca, Violet has been undergoing many an evaluation to see if she qualifies for in-home physical and speech therapy. Her gross motor skills are behind since she just started walking and has a little disability in her left leg (for now). Her speech is behind also. Cognitively she scores at a two year old level. This is great because this means that her brain is working well, but she just needs some therapy to smooth out her walking, strengthen her mid-section and some speech therapy to learn to say words. She will do very well with this early intervention.

With Kindergarten in full swing, there is a lot of juggling a new schedule for me. My head is spinning. I have to figure out things for Ava to do in the morning before school, and activities for her after school (otherwise she gets bored and drives us crazy) and then I have to figure out activities for the babies to get them out of the house and activities for them to stay stimulated in the house. I still work around two naps a day for the babies because they are great little sleepers. Some days, like today, when we load all the babies up and take them to the park, I wonder if it is all worth it. Are they getting a lot out of it or is it just a major amount of work for me? I got all their suits on and took them in the new fountains that spray water everywhere. They liked it for about five minutes and then they were over it, so I changed them all into regular clothes and took them over to the park section where they really just wanted to eat snacks and hook up their stroller straps more than play on the play structure. I was left feeling like I should’ve just put them in the backyard with a bunch of food and strollers and let them have at it. Seriously. If I really wanted to accommodate each of the babies’ needs I would line up the booster chairs for Elsa to hook up, gather a bunch of books for Violet to read by herself (she would rather read by herself than be read to right now) and turn the hose on a wee bit or get the pink vacuum out for Preston and call it a day. Oh, if life were that simple for me.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Kindergarten August 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 2:29 am

I could not sleep last night. My tolerance for ultra depressing movies has wained since having my own kids. The movie was called Boy, Interrupted and it was a documentary about a 15-year old boy who committed suicide. It was particularly haunting because the movie was done by this boy’s mother and father who are filmmakers and took us on a journey of this boy’s intense suffering with bipolar depression. This boy talked very matter of fact from a very early age about how he wanted to kill himself and he eventually succeeded at the very young age of 15. As a mom I cannot even begin to imagine the suffering this family went through trying to manage this boy’s depression and keep him from harming himself. I just kept thinking about my kids and worrying about them and wishing that they never suffer like this kid suffered. It was a good documentary though, even if it did keep me up way past my bedtime.

Today Ava started Kindergarten and we were all very excited. She took a nice long bath, got her pretty dress on and then I fixed her hair in a braid. I have been waiting for this day for a long time; Ava is ready for Kindergarten and I am ready for her to go also. Auntie and Ronin came to send Ava off and wish her a fun first day as a big Kindergartner. As ready as I was, the strangest thing happened to me after Chris and I dropped her off. As we peaked through the window I saw Ava quietly reading her book on the ground and I became overwhelmed with emotions. I felt my eyes start to water and then my mom came to greet Ava and I burst into tears. My mom held me like I was a baby as I sobbed. I honestly would’ve never in a million years thought I would have been one of those moms who cries when they drop their kid off at their first day of school. In fact, I scoffed at those moms in years past, joking that I was going to party and celebrate the day I dropped Ava off for Kindergarten. I guess I just felt like where the hell did those five years go and that elementary school is such a big milestone for my baby. My mom consoled me and told me that she did the same thing when she dropped me off for my first day of Kindergarten.

Chris captured the pathetic display on camera for all of us to remember forever; the day that Ava did just fine on her first day of Kindergarten but I didn’t. As Ava would say, hmff.

The babies are doing so great. They are such a pleasure. We took all of the kids to the mall yesterday because on hot days it is a great place to let the kids run loose in the two play areas they have built. There is also a merry go round at the mall, and for the bargain of $12 all the kids get a one minute whirl around in a circle on the animal of their choice. I decided that it looked pretty fun and instead of standing by the kids holding them on their horse, I would hop on the tiger and catch myself a fun ride. That lasted for half a rotation before the 16 year old merry go round attendant scolded me and told me to get off the ride and make sure my children do not fall off their animals. Hmff again. Can’t a mom get a cheap thrill once in awhile I ask?

So the babies let lose in these little play areas that are made entirely of rubber. It is really
good for them because they climb up rubber mountains and slide down and run around free bumping into all the other little kids playing also. For some reason all the other kids were very interested in groping the babies this day. These boys were coming up to them and rubbing their heads and faces and interfering in their personal space. Well, this was just not acceptable to big sister Ava, the intimidator (not a word). She would literally see these kids groping one of the babies and walk up and stand over them with her hands on her hips and a scowl on her face. It scared me. At one point I told one of the kids he better just back away because he doesn’t want to tangle with the crazy red head. I must say it does give me piece of mind to see Ava watching over the babies and protecting them. At one point she said, “mom, Elsa!” as Elsa was making her way out of the play area and into Sears. It is difficult watching four kids at the same time. We lost track of Elsa at one point in the day and I saw that she had climbed up on a bench and was enjoying the ice from some body’s cup that they left behind. Gross. Chris and I didn’t mention or want to talk about that again. . . ever.
There is more to say but because I am exhausted from subjecting myself to depressing television viewing rendering me unable to sleep for a long time, I must adjourn to bed.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


We’ll Always Have Paris August 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:36 am

Unexpected Pleasures of Paris:

Lemons in every coke
Warm nights
French Onion soup (I despise onions)
Beautifully dressed Parisians – I knew the men and women of Paris were fashionable, but I didn’t realize how they dressed up so impeccably during the day. It made me feel very lame and sloppy in my shorts and thongs.

Unexpected Displeasures of Paris:

Parisians are very abrasive (maybe not so unexpected)
Cab drivers have no idea where anything is in Paris. Hmmmm.
Everything is way too expensive
In mine and Chris’s opinion, French food is not very good. I will give them the cheese, baguettes and sweets, but the meals themselves were not as tasty as home.

Our trip to Paris did not begin as I would’ve liked. We arrived to the airport in San Francisco three hours early and didn’t get our business class status upgrade on the leg from SF to Chicago (we had it confirmed from Chicago to Paris) which was disappointing but manageable. We boarded the plane that looked like it was built in 1920, an hour late and then the captain said there were mechanical issues and to stay tuned. An hour later, they sent us off the plane and told us they would let us know the status in a few hours. We just missed our connecting flight to Paris from Chicago. Chris, in Chris style, ran from the plane to the customer service desk where we were next in line. We had the United rep working furiously to find us a new flight. She got our ticket transferred over to Air France for a 3:30pm flight straight to Paris. She told us she know a guy down in baggage and is going to get him to pull some strings to go retrieve our bags from the hundreds of bags in the plane and move them over to Air France. She flirted and sweet talked him on the phone. I get the feeling there were some inappropriate comments and potential workplace sexual harassment directed toward our customer service lady, but ultimately, all was agreed. He would retrieve our bags and have them transferred. Or would he?

Day One: August 1st

When we arrived in Paris we waited for about an hour for each and every bag to come down that conveyer belt until there weren’t any bags left and we were the last men/women standing and waiting. We went to the lost bags area where a French man explained to us about ten different times what we should’ve done to possibly prevent this mess. At one point I snapped “where are our bags? How can you get our bags to us. We need our bags.” We filed a claim and walked out of the airport to find a very cute French lady holding a Takeda Cresset sign waiting to escort us to the Westin. She had been waiting for us since 6am. It was now 3pm. She was as happy to see us as we were to see her. We got into our car and silently (due to exhaustion) drive to our beautiful hotel in the ritzy Place Vendome. Place Vendome used to be the area filled with mansion back in the 1600s. Today, it is a place of fancy hotels (like the Ritz) and high priced shopping.

That night, on the recommendation of the snooty and unfriendly concierge staff, we headed to Barlotti for dinner. The food was delicious – it was the concierge’s second favorite Italian restaurant around, his first pick was closed for August vacation time. I have decided on this trip to document my food because food is such a memorable part of every trip and the details are usually left behind when you arrive home. So here is what we enjoyed at Barlotti’s:

Appetizer: Carpaccio Di Carcioti – thinly sliced artichoke with truffle oil, balsamic vinegar and shaved parmesan cheese
Dinner: Fusilla Al Gamderi – jumbo shrimp, sundried tomato, zucchini, smoked scampi and a touch of cream
Tagliolini Pomodoro E Basilico – pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil
1 limonade martini
3 glasses of red wine

Day Two: August 2nd

I told myself when I left for Paris that I would not bring my stresses from home with me on this glorious trip. When our luggage didn’t come for the second day in Paris, and we were forced to wear our dirty old airplane clothes yet again and miss the opening reception party thrown by Takeda, my stresses from home flew thousands of miles to meet me in Paris. Missing the opening reception party that Takeda throws which is always so much fun was so disappointing to me. Chris handled it better than me and it is his company and his people he knows so well. At past Cresset reward trips, I have found this opening reception parties to be very fancy and fun where you dress up and become acquainted with all the other people we know as well as new friends we may enjoy the city with.

I threw out some expletives and we headed out to dinner on our own in our grubby smelly clothes that we left home in. We dined at Bennett and it was only okay food, but very good wine. Here is our dining experience:

Appetizer: Bennett – mozzarella fritters with green salad
Chevre – goat cheese, lardoons, crusts salad
Entrée: Noix dest – Jacques au Curry, curry with scallops and basmati and Chris had a steak dish that was not very good
Wine: Bourgogne, BeaJolais Nuits-Saint George Frederick Maguien– 1 bottle

Day 3: August 3rd

On Monday morning at 2am our bags arrived at the hotel and they brought them right up to us. Our missing bags had become quite a saga around the hotel and everyone was on high alert for their arrival. A couple of Takeda women friends of ours had begun a campaign to collect clothes and shoes for me to wear if my bags did not arrive today. When the bags showed up at 2am, the thought of fresh and clean clothes for the next day made me feel giddy.

I woke up at 4:30am because my body is not adjusting well to the nine hour time change, and I decided I was sending my worries back home again. I ordered myself a nice French press coffee with real cream, a chocolate croissant and an egg from room service and at it while being serenaded by some French music I found on the television. Of course, when breakfast came I had a huge mound of chocolate croissants and baguettes, a mound of different toasts and two eggs instead of one that came to 90 euros. There is much that gets lost in translation here, and I will take responsibility since I have a total of three French words to my vocabulary.

While I was dining, Chris was running to the Eiffel Tower and back. That morning we had a tour of lle de la Cite, which is the island in the middle of the Seine River. This island is home to the famous Notre Dame as well as La Conciergerie, a royal palace later turned into a feared prison where Marie Antoinette, among others, were held in their cell before their beheading. I was so exhausted and the tour guide was so longwinded that I actually almost nodded off standing up a few times. The section of Paris was beautiful and the cathedral was a sight to see, but the tour guide was bland and I was tired. We headed back for a two-hour nap after that tour and were refreshed and ready for our evening.

We ended our evening in Paris with a dinner cruise on the Seine amidst the Paris lights. As we were boarded on the very elegant boat on a very beautiful warm late afternoon, we were greeted with champagne and hor de ourves. We went down and sat around tables and were served elegant courses of authentic French food while enjoying the sparkling Eiffel Tower as we floated by. I must say, the food was not very good this night. The John Dory fish preparation left little to be desired, but it didn’t matter because it was a special night.

Day 4: August 4, 2009

Today was the first day I was able to sleep past 4:30am. I felt like a new person when Chris came in the room and woke me up a little after 8am. We had a cooking class at 9am and I was so excited to experience that. I have to admit that compared to all the cuisines in the world, French food is not my favorite. I am particular about meat, and the French are not. They will eat any animal and they will eat any part of that animal, and that scares me a bit. Despite this, how fun it was to walk down this tiny Paris street and enter a courtyard where there are tall glass windows flanked in bright blue trim, no signage, and a very handsome French man greeting us and preparing us for our class. The mothership was pleased.

The cooking class was delightful. There were 20 of us prepared to get down and dirty in a kitchen surrounded by glass on all sides and filled with stainless steel tables and the mother of all stovetops. We chose a station with some friends and began chopping and dicing and peeling like the professionals. I discovered a new type of grater that does an excellent job of grating things like red pepper and tomatoes.

First we peeled and chopped vegetables for the Ratatouille, then we cooked them over the largest flame I had ever seen for the longest amount of time I have ever seen vegetables cook. We took cookie cutters to filo dough and created crisps. We whipped goat cheese for the top. It was beautiful Ratatouille. Next we de-boned sea bass fillets, covered them in tarragon leaves and folded them over to steam atop the stove. During this time, we brought crème and real vanilla beans to a boil for a custard and whipped egg whites and sugar for our floating island dessert.

Our menu at L’atelier des Chefs:
Ratatouille: Provencal vegetables topped with crisp, sesame seed filo pastry and goat’s cheese honey emulsion, served with tapenade toasts
Main Course:
Steamed sea bass with tarragon, mousseline potatoes with horseradish and a crisp salad of apple and fennel
Foating island, custard

At the end of our preparations we sat down at a very long wooden table set beautifully for all 12 and enjoyed our work. Our lunch was accompanied by red and white wine and finished off with teas and coffees. Afterward, of course, I had to buy some of the unique sauces and tools used for the recipes . . . I just couldn’t resist. I love a good kitchen tool. The added bonus is that every time I get it out to use it in my kitchen, I will think of Paris.

That night, after an evening at Willie’s Wine Bar, I got sick. I spent the whole rest of the night and the next day in bed with some sort of stomach virus. At least I could be sick in peace.

Day 6: August 6
Our last day in Paris was a good one. I was mixed with disappointment that our wonderful trip was over but I knew it was time to get back to the kids. From the daily updates we were receiving, all the kids were doing great under grandparent and nanny care. We missed them terribly.

We started off the day with a trip to Musee de Orsay, the best museum I have ever been to. I had been there before when I was 23 backpacking through Europe. This time we had a tour guide to give us some of the cool history behind the artists, the building itself and the art.
The really special part was that night, the last night of the trip, when we got all dressed up and headed out to our gala. Chris’s company rented out the Palace of Versailles and we walked from our bus to the entrance on a red carpet with tourists taking our pictures. They were sure we all had to be someone famous if we were dressed so fancy walking on a red carpet. It was really funny. We had cocktails and appetizers in the back of the palace which was spectacular (pictures in the slideshow above). Then we headed in for an elegant sit down dinner. It was a great way to end our trip in Paris. I feel fortunate to have been able to go on this trip. I would like to thank Dick and Sherri, my parents, my sister and my nannies for helping us with the kids – without you, no trip.

The slide show is above. There are some cool shots of Paris that Chris took. Now back to the real world.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Our Lovely Violet August 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:27 pm

On February 1, 2008 I was admitted to the hospital at 30 weeks with contractions. After monitoring me they found that my contractions were making baby B’s heart rate go down to a dangerously slow pace. Baby B was Violet. The next day after I was admitted I was talking to my nurse on duty that day and she said that usually the baby is not affected by a heart rate drop unless it last for longer than three minutes. She told me as she was looking over the heart rate print out for Violet that she doesn’t think she experienced any drops that lasted that long. Oh, but wait, here is one, she exclaimed. Great, I thought. Violet may have some sort of brain damage or trauma over these contractions I was having the night before. I put that worrisome little tidbit out of my head as quickly as possible, but I did worry every waking hour about her in the hospital. I worried when they put the heart rate monitor on me that her heart rate would drop and they wouldn’t be able to get it back up again. But I never worried about the three minute heart rate drop and how it could’ve caused her damage in the womb again until now.

Recently, though, worries have been lurking in the back of my mind. My protective self-conscience kicked in and made me forget. Then about two months ago Chris was watching a special on a mom who had quadruplets, two set of identical twins that were four years old. The mom was explaining that one of the girls was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and they showed how she exhibited some mild problems in walking and talking that required some therapy. They showed how she walked and had difficulties with certain coordination functions in walking and skipping and jumping. I had watched this special about a month before. When he was done he walked out to the kitchen and asked me if I thought it was possible that Violet had some mild CP. I said yes right away.

I didn’t know much about CP but what I did know seemed familiar to me when I watched Violet. Violet seemed to have a hard time with her left leg. Her feet were definitely turned in, but what concerned me extended beyond that. When she walked her left leg would swing in a circular fashion turning her whole body a little to the right. That seemed strange when I watched her. The other thing that concerned me was the fact that I know Violet is very smart and understands everything I say to her, yet she really couldn’t produce a word. I know that 16 month old children aren’t really required to say words yet – heck, Preston didn’t. I know there are perfectly normal 18 month old kids who don’t walk yet. Yet, something didn’t sit right with me.

When Violet went to the developmental clinic for her routine examination they didn’t mention CP, so I did. I asked if they think she may have CP and they said maybe. They could not confirm or deny that diagnosis. So, I brought her to see a Pediatric Neurologist in Sacramento. The doctor simply observed Violet for a while, grabbing objects, walking, examined what she did when she was lifted into the air. After about a half an hour I asked if Violet has CP and he said yes. He thinks it is a mild case based on her ability to walk, among other things.

I was prepared for this, as prepared as I could be. You see, I had already gone through many emotions and denials up to this point. The first night Chris and I discussed the possibility I cried and cried and I felt so worried for Violet. I thought for sure she had CP. About a week later, after observing Violet closely Chris and I changed our minds. We didn’t think she had CP, but rather just a beginners walking style that had to do wither turned in feet. Then, about a week before the appointment I silently came to terms with my motherly opinion that Violet had a mild version of CP. So, when the doctor told me the news very matter of fact, there wasn’t a jolt of shock, there weren’t tears, there wasn’t a huge sadness that overcame me. I simply wanted to know what to do next. The doctor told me that he thinks by about first grade one would never know that Violet was diagnosed with CP, which was comforting. He said that he thinks Violet is very smart and he enjoyed her contagious laugh, her social nature and her great sense of humor.
I just wanted to know what to do next. Violet is young and her potential is huge. She is a fighter and she is strong. The next day I called Alta, which is a group that will come to your home and provide physical and speech therapy to children. It is unknown how little or how much therapy Violet will need but we will do anything for her.

Although Violet has been diagnosed with this ugly Cerebral Palsy term, I think she is perfect. If you told me five years ago that I would have a child with CP I probably would’ve had a nervous breakdown. Today, I watch Violet and I think, how could I have been given such a perfect and wonderful child as this? It doesn’t matter what kind of label she is given or how hard she has to work to reach her developmental goals because we will do it together and she will succeed.

So, here I am writing this sitting in the airport at the Air France gate and I have tears running down my face and I am surrounded on all sides by French people staring at me like, oh those crazy Americans. Chris and I are literally the only Americans on this entire flight from what I can see. Who knows what they are saying about me since I am not a native speaker.

I am not sad about Violet. I am interested in all the unexpected that life brings and what you can get out of it if you pay attention. I will not let this be a disability for Violet, but instead an opportunity for us to work hard to achieve something great. Violet has taught me that although your child can be faced with challenges or disabilities that do not fall in line with our need and desire to have a “perfect” child, perfection is indeed how we perceive it to be. Violet is perfect in our eyes. CP will never define Violet. Instead, Violet will be judged on her vivacious personality, her awesome laugh and how she loves her family so well.

More from Paris later. . .

au revoir.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.