Friday, June 10, 2011

Heart Day

Yesterday was a big day.  One year ago we handed our not quite five month old baby to a surgeon.  One who obviously cared about her and loved healing hearts, but never the less one who was going to forever scar her tiny body.

Claire blew through surgery and recovery with the strength we have come to expect in all she does, and we were home in just three short days.

Last summer was quiet.  There were restrictions that came along with open heart surgery and we laid low.  We had fun, but it was low key fun.

This summer will be different.  We have big plans. 

This summer we are going to swing higher, splash harder and soak up all the warm weather activities we can.

We started our summer of fun with a hastily put together BBQ last night.  There were bubbles, chalk, good friends and lots of food. 


Last night before the BBQ, on what was supposed to be a completely joyous day, Claire had an accident, and it was my fault.  We live in a bi-level, which of course means stairs.  I came in last night in a rush, and either didn't close the gate at the top of the stairs at all, or else I missed getting it latched completely. Either way, she found the open gate and fell down the stairs.  I heard the thump and my heart dropped.  She didn't start crying until I got to her, and she honestly looked more surprised than anything at first.  Once I picked her up the tears started, and we sat on the floor and cried together.  After she quieted down we moved arms and legs and all seemed well.  I know she's ok, she was fine at the BBQ, but today the guilt hangs heavy and tears keep pricking my eyelids.


I'm not very good at asking for help.  I get overwhelmed and tired, and still feel the need to do it all.  The problem is, doing it all seems to mean not doing any of it well.  (See above if you skimmed...)

In an attempt to make things more manageable, I'm asking for help.  Or rather, I'm paying for help.

I've never enjoyed cleaning my house.  When there are other things going on (and aren't there always?) it's an easy chore for me to ignore.  But my filthy house is just one more thing that is bringing me down right now.  Yesterday was our first cleaning.  The house felt better, but I know it will take another time or two to reverse all the damage my lack of cleaning has done. 


We have our summer vacation book and I am SOOOO looking forward a break.  I know where a lot of my bloggy friends live, but not all of you.  So, if you are in Michigan, send me an email (email link is in the upper right corner) as I'd love to meet you in person while we are there.


  1. Happy Heart Day sweet Claire.It truly is a day to rejoice and as I put to another mommy,of the darling Ollie that just joined the zipper club yesterday,it is a rebirth of sorts.A new beginning.

    Sorry for the scary fall and the mommy quilt and as a mommy,have done this gig for the last 24 years,may I be so bold as to say,let go of the quilt sweet young Melissa and know you are doing the best you can in this moment.Just look at Claire ... she is testament to that.

    Sending prayer your way...

  2. Happy Heart Day Claire!

    I can imagine how scared you were when Claire fell. Poor mama! Poor Claire! Let go of the mommy guilt. You are doing a great job, Melissa. It good to ask for help. Happy to hear that you will have a vacation. A break that is well deserved and much needed.

    Looks like the little love bug is thriving and doing so well with her chalk and splash table.

  3. My Sweet Loving Melissa,

    I think the reason Claire is so strong & sailed right through her heart surgery last year, is because she has her Mommy's overflowing, strong, beautiful heart.

    It's normal my Sweet Heart to have Mommy guilt after your child has an accident. That's what makes you such an exceptional Mother. And, I'm not just saying that, YOU ARE. We love our children so much, this guilt comes along with it. Even when they're older the guilt can raise it's ugly head & make us question ourselves.

    I would like to ask you to stop thinking about this incident & instead make a list of all of the incredible, wonderful things that you do each & every day that make you the incredible mother that you are. That list will take pages, my dear!

    One other short thing - I've learned that it's much more important to spend time with our babies than cleaning house. Sure, we have to do what we must here & there so we have a clean dish or two but - the time spent with the children far out-weighs those other not quite so important things. Stop & think for a quick second when there's something you "need" to do. Do you really need to or can it wait? If it can wait, let it wait & don't let it weigh on you. Give yourself permission & know that it's ok.

    I love you so much & am hugging you right now! Can you feel it?



  4. Happiest of days to you all!! what a great celebration...high fives to you for asking for the house is so hard sometimes...and so time consuming...I cry when Maddie cries..I cannot help it...I feel that she has been through so much...that she never has to hurt again...have a wonderful weekend..smiles

  5. You know I never celebrate Julian's heart day and really I should. I know it's only two weeks after his birthday but I think we will start doing it next year. After all, we have to do an echo every year so we should celebrate too!

    And, Jesenia took a tumble down the stairs a couple weeks ago while I was at Homero's house. I went down in the basement to do some laundry and I shut the door but it didn't catch all the way and Jesenia was playing with the door stop and opened it. She must have been leaning over the stairs and just tumbled all the way down. Adrian did the same thing when he was about 9 months old. She only cried for abotu 30 seconds and then all was well. It happens but I felt awful about it too.

  6. Awwww, Claire, happy heart day!
    I can't tell you how many times I've cried thinking of things that "almost happened" that were totally my fault. Just think, Claire is strong enough to have OH surgery, a tumble down the stairs is nothing to her. (-:
    I'm the same way about cleaning...after my school year is over, I totally have to scrub my house top to's getting embarrassing.

  7. Happy <3 day!

    Brooke Annessa

  8. Happy heart day!

    Melissa, please don't feel guilt about what happened. I know it's easier said then done but no one is perfect all the time. Things like that have happened to every single mother I know, including myself. Lucas fell out of his crib last week because I forgot to latch the top and I'll tell you, my pregnant body has never moved so fast. When things like that happen it probably means we need to slow down. Maybe hire someone to clean every other week, would that help? And family is always a good option too.

    I hope you enjoy your summer vacation!

  9. Swing higher, Splash harder...LOVED that! Last year I was still so terrified of Ds and of Russell getting sick I tried not to take him outside very often...This year, different story!! We plan on swinging higher and splashing harder too!!!
    And the stair incident, as scary as it seems, is SO normal! Every Mom has one of the moments, if not more...Russell rolled of the couch when he was a couple months old...Scared me to death and we both cried! It happens...Glad Claire is ok.
    Happy Heart Day :) She is an amazing little girl.

  10. Happy Heart Day, are one of the strongest, most beautiful little girls I have ever seen and your momma amazes me more and more everyday... Melissa, Dash, my 4 year old, has two fabulous souveniers to remind me of how fast an accident can happen...his two front teeth...Jack pushed him off the treadmill(which was not even on at the time) and Dash kerplunked and his two front teeth were broken in half and HANGING on by a toothy thread AND it was on the weekend...needless to say I called our pediatric dentist (who is the father of 5 boys), who happened to be out of state at the time and he reassured me everything was going to be ok AND Dash's teeth broke off while I was on the phone with Dr. Worley... nice story, huh...scary, what the heck stories...we all have em...So glad Claire is ok...Give her a smooch and hug from me. Love to you both.


  11. Happy heart day sweet Claire! I never really celebrated heart days either, I should. He's had more than one, but only one open chest that was his full repair.
    Arina has fallen down our stairs too. I felt so bad, thank goodness they were ok!


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