Saturday, April 05, 2008

Happy 16th Birthday, Bailey!!!

Wow! What a celebration. I'm only sorry that you couldn't have ALL been there with us. Some friends of ours whom we met at Riley just after Bailey's last surgery in November, Terry and Conrad, pulled some strings and for Bailey's 16th birthday and put together the best birthday party EVER. Donnie Walsh and Tony and Laura George donated their suites at the Pacers vs. Miami Heat game last Monday. Bailey got to invite anyone she wanted and chose to invite some of her friends and favorites at the hospital. It was a flashback to the Pacers game (which was ALSO vs. Miami Heat) back in 2005 while she was on the Berlin Heart. This was quite different though. The only Berlin Heart in attendance was the cake.

We had such an incredible night - being able to spend the evening with those who collectively made the whole difference in the world to Bailey and our family was quite a thrill. Bailey has made leaps and bounds over all sorts of hurdles these past 4 years, but with each hurdle there seemed to always be another (sometimes bigger) hurdle up ahead so we never did really get a good solid time to celebrate. That's what Monday night was. Not only celebrating Bailey turning 16 (wow!!!), but celebrating every little and every medium-sized and every large hurdle she's busted through in the past recent years. Everyone was so full of smiles and hearts bursting with celebration. It was a night that none of us expected and all of us were so completely thrilled to be there.

Thank you, Terry and Conrad!

Bailey's actual birthday was Thursday. We celebrated with dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. Bailey's favorite meal EVER is the snow crab legs. We did our best to try to get the sodium content of the meal, but they are in the midst of re-doing their website and their menus and didn't have the information. They did however, tell us how they prepared the meal - they're steamed. I'm sure since they come from salt water that there's some level of sodium, but we decided to try it out. She continues to do an incredible job on her low-sodium diet. Every single meal she's taken in in the past 5 months has been scrutinized for sodium. I'm very, very proud of her. And! no sign, so far (and it's been 2 days) of any weight increase that might be due to the sodium in the birthday dinner. Yay!!!

I took her shopping last night to use some of her gift cards. I couldn't believe the energy she had walking around the mall! She didn't start getting tired until after we'd been there 3 hours. What a difference! Absolutely, truly joyous!!

We're off to Brown County this morning for some more shopping and lunch at the Artist Colony. For some reason, she's been wanting to eat there. I don't know if they'll have nutritional information, but we'll do our best!

Enjoy the Pics!!

Happy Spring everybody!

Some favorite nurses - Nancee and Amanda.

The best sodium-explainer EVER - Dr. Bramlett, and Micah.

Singing Happy Birthday!

The Americal Idol tour is next.

Bailey's surgical nurses - she saw a lot of them last year!

Bailey teases Dr. T with a not-so-low-sodium hot dog.

Bailey's echo team - Alisha, Nancy, Jennifer and Sarah.

Isn't Vickie pretty? I don't know what happened to the other two.

Good, good friends, Brian and Conrad.

Bailey's favorite camera guy EVER - Steve.

Steve . . . with hair!

Bailey's friends from the Riley Foundation - Katherine and Kevin.

Bailey's favorite med students EVER - Peter and Matt.

Bailey's night nurses - Jenny, Dave, Tanya and Billie.

Bailey with Donnie Walsh.

The Cake! Isn't this fun?!