Can't Be Contained

I am beyond angry, beyond heart broken, beyond distressed and shaking with emotion.  Elaina Redding was two years old when she died last week.  The button battery that she swallowed remained in her esophagus for ten hours before it killed her.  For Hazel, the battery remained in her esophagus for six days.  Elaina's doctor did a chest x-ray after her mother reported that her daughter had been coughing up blood.  After Hazel's second admission to the hospital following respiritory distress and an episode of coughing up bright red blood, we were told that it couldnt be blood, and that the doctor "wasn't even going to look in [her] throat".  

This poor child, beautiful baby, loved by her family, supposed to live forever, was taken out of this life by something that Hazel and I grazed by.  Something hard, hot, corrosive and terrible brushed us as it moved by and settled in with another family chosen at random.  I don't know if there is a way to express my horror and my sadness.  Please think of this perfect child- running, intact, cool, smooth, alive.


One day, and Some Birthday Fun

We went to cousin Owen's second birthday last month- un-freaking-believable that it's already been a year since the first one.  Hazel fell in love with this little buggy, and because her feet didn't touch the ground to mover herself around, Sucker Mama pushed her all over the play space for most of the party.  It was pretty awesome for her.  She is really into mechanical things right now- her Legos are her favorite toy that she can play with for an hour straight.  She loves anything with wheels and anything that moves.  I'm going to have to become one of those mothers that pushes the car-carriage hybrid at the grocery store very soon.  I always hated those things, but now I can appreciate the genius behind it.  Anyway, this was one of those times where she had to be forcibly extracted from the buggy as the play space employees flickered the lights on and off.  I had to carry her out under my arm, legs flailing, screaming bloody murder.  I secretly love it.

Just some pictures of my kid hanging around the house looking cute.  Playing with the dog dishes.

This!  This picture stops my heart.  This is her smile that slays me.



Just a couple of pictures from Easter.  We went down to Rhode Island so all the cousins could participate in the first annual Donovan-Kirkpatrick Easter Egg Hunt.  Since the kiddos are all pretty little, the eggs were just scattered all over the lawn.  Hazel won an awesome duck wattering can to use in her garden.  As soon as these kids get a bit bigger, one of the eggs will have fifty bucks in it and we will just laugh as we watch them tear each other apart over it.  It's a fmaily tradition, and it's time for the next generation now.  We spent the day with Grammy and Grampy Donovan, Uncle Jeremy, Uncle Pat, John, Lisse, Annabelle, Cecelia, Brian, Jen, Owen, Lorna, Linda and a bunch of Lisse and John's neighbors and friends.  Lots of kiddos...lots of wine.

Hazel Gets Her Hair Did

The "before" shot- a crazy mess hanging in the eyes

"Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them."

The first snip!

All done!  We just trimmed her bangs a bit.  I like it long and shaggy, and I love her curls in back.  She is still growing out her ICU bald spot a bit, so I didn't want to cut the back until it has sort of blended in a little bit more.  She just needed to be cleaned up a little bit.




Hazel just said, "Oh, crap."  It's her second phrase, her first being, "Hi, dada".  I was picking cheese out of her hair and she repeated me.  Guess it's time that I start to (try to) clean up my mouth.

Her other words for now are;

cup (cu)
dog (dug)
woof (wffffff fffff)
hi (hhhiiiiiieeeee)
cat (ca)
that (dat)
no (nai nai nai)


I Love This

"Your toddler will do what they need to do and it's not necessarily what you say. If you're patient then they will be patient. If you speak gently then they will be gentle. Whatever you want them to be you have to start becoming."  Helen Hunt

Perfecting the Walk at Mount Vernon

Stay tuned for the good stuff at 1:45


Mother of the Year

I won the award, and was recognized by Obama..really!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mamas out there.  Keep up the good work.


Hazel Takes Washington....Twice

So, like I said earlier, the stars aligned and the Donovan's took three separate trips to Washington DC in the month of April, two of which Hazel was on.  The first was a quick family vacation, and the second was for the MS walk with friends.  We were lucky (?) that our first trip coincided with the cherry blossoms, which were quite beautiful, but the District was also pretty overwhelmed with tourists, too.  Hazel enjoyed herself, but travelling with a toddler is certainly a different experience than traveling with a baby.  She did great on the flight, no screaming or yelling, but was so interested in every single thing that it was hard to contain her.  She wanted to take everything out of the seat pockets, say HI to every passenger, and march up and down the aisle.  I didn't get any pictures from her flights, since my hands and brain were full trying to keep her under control, but the mental picture I have of her looking out the window and yelling, "VROOM VROOM!" is priceless.

Hazel and mama in The District

First carousel ride.  It didn't go over as well as I had hoped.


Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Longer lines than Space Mountain

Waving at the rays at the National Zoo

I have very mixed feelings about pachyderm exhibits in zoos.  Hazel was mostly confused, too.

Mount Vernon was also terribly crowded, so we didn't get to see inside the main house, but it was a beautiful day, so we just chilaxed on the lawn.

The outside of the house was cool...

Visiting friends in Adams Morgan

Quincy was so good at smiling for the camera!

Hazel falling apart around three hours past her bedtime.  She was a trooper.

Cherry blossoms on the Potomac.

Looking down the Mall

My uncle, Gary Ray Townsend

Hazel with her Uncle Gary

Washington trip number two!  Hazel and I flew down and stayed with our friend Heather (in the middle) and her son Zach who was born the same month as Hazel.  On the right is Leanne and her daughter Lexi, who is another February 2008 baby!

Our Walk MS Team!  From the left, Kim and her daughters (Shaleah is Hazel's age), Wendy and her daughter Regan, Leanne and her daughter Lexi, Me and Hazel, Heather and her son Zach.  Despite the 90+ degree Virginia heat, we had a blast walking together.  Hopefully we can do it every year.  All together, between both MS walks, Hazel raised just over $4100!  I'm so proud of that kid...