So... we have a new look.
I will tell you - it was not easy to even THINK about changing my blog header. Adding Hope's photo was the easy part (I still need to write her story behind her name) - but changing the last header I made when Gavin was alive... that part was pretty dreadful. But change is necessary in life... even when it's painful. Actually - sometimes the painful changes are the ones we need to confront the most. I know this for sure.
I still need to update the text that is behind each of our names... and I will. Another painful change I need to confront. Baby steps.
Are you wondering who the masterminds are behind my header? A HUGE thank you goes to the compassionate and patient Susie Conrad of Susie Q Designs. She's a stay at home Mom and loves to create with graphic designs. You can find her HERE. Or you can just get to know her and her adorable children over on her blog, which you can find HERE! And thank you again to Caitlin Domanico for taking the silhouette photo of me and Hope... and Lauren Naldzin for the family portrait that was taken the very day we brought Hope home from the hospital.
There's another big change, too. After careful thought and consideration...and a few tears shed...we decided not to send Brian to the Kindergarten Center. May not sound like a big deal if you don't know the whole story, so here it is in a nutshell. The Phoenixville Area Kindergarten Center was the first school that Gavin went to along with Miss Sara as his aide and buddy on the bus. He was in a special education pre-school that used one of their classrooms and did SO well there. Gavin was embraced by everyone - the kindergarten students in the building and the staff. We were really looking forward to him starting Kindergarten there before he died. He was going to be mainstreamed with a regular-ed Kindergarten class with an aide of our choosing. It was all picture perfect...but then, well, you know the rest.
We always knew that Brian would attend the Kindergarten Center, too. Not because of Gavin - not to place him in his "shadow" in any way - but because it's a wonderful school with a loving staff and a strong academic curriculum. We knew he would be cared for there...and do well there.
The main reason we changed our mind? Consistency. Since Gavin died, we have tried to keep Brian's world as consistent as possible (not counting the complete disruption of a baby sister - which he is handling beautifully!). The school we decided to send him will be where he will stay from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. Not only that, but several of his friends from pre-school will be going to the same school!
I contacted the principal of the Kindergarten Center personally to tell her of our change of heart. I wanted her to know how carefully we thought about this...and how grateful we will always be for everything they did for Gavin and our family. We really love that school - and the staff. This wasn't easy for me at all. She was nothing but gracious and understanding.
Ed and Brian had the day off today so the four of us went on a personal tour of the new school with their Principal. I had gone there a couple weeks ago and had a great tour with two of the teachers and I fell in love. Today I had everything crossed that Ed...and especially Brian...would too. Just as I suspected, they did. Brian is very excited to start there in the Fall. Hope was thoroughly unimpressed and slept through the whole thing.
After the successful tour, Ed took us to Dim Sum in Chinatown to celebrate!
It was Hope's first time in Chinatown... but once again, she was thoroughly unimpressed and slept through the whole thing.
Funny story - when I first met Ed, I told him I didn't like Chinese food. He said that was because my only experience was "Mall Chinese food" (and he was right). "Card carrying Asian people don't eat 'Bourbon Chicken', Kate" he always told me. It was in Chinatown - for Dim Sum - that he introduced me to authentic Chinese food and I've been hooked on the food...and the man...ever since.
We stopped at the grocery store before we headed home so Brian could get his favorite Mango and Lychee puddings. He was psyched! And, as usual, Ed got all kinds of things that I can't pronounce and wouldn't know what to do with. He definitely knows what he's doing in the kitchen, thank God. And boy, can he cook. (Trust me - I know how lucky I am!!)
Hopefully, Brian will pick up the cooking skills from his Daddy. He'll make a woman very happy someday if he does!!