Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Know Her}: "Our Thrill Seeker"

My Girl, Vienne, looked like a beautiful dainty flower and she really truly was.  But, amazingly, she found a way to balance that fragility and beauty with a passion for adventure and thrills.  She surprised us with her immediate love for fast and high rides, for fun animals, for adventurous outdoor name it.  I don't remember any adventure or event that she didn't like.  She truly was such a blast to be with.  Over her four years, we were able to take her to many pumpkin farms with rides and animals, sledding, boat rides, Oaks Amusement Park, Sesame Place, Ocean City Boardwalk amusement park, downtown Portland waterfront events, The Enchanted Forest, The Zoo, The Children's Museum, local fairs...and always the park a few times a week.  I am glad that we were able to offer her so many fun opportunities to enjoy.  

(fall 2010 ~ a pumpkin farm while visiting Mark's family in Washington)

(fall 2010 ~ pumpkin farm roller coaster.  She is in the second car back from the front, with Daddy.  She was the only girl on the ride and all the boys kept encouraging her to raise her arms up.  On the last round, she finally did!)

(Christmas 2010, Cle Elum, WA ~ LOVED the snow and was out in it every waking moment of the day, everyday)

(Christmas 2010, Cle Elum WA ~ sledding at Lake Cle Elum again and again.  She loved it.)

(summer 2011, Dino Exhibit at the Zoo ~ a dream come true for her.  Unfortunately, it freaked her little girlfriend, Emily, out.  Emily's mama, Kristel, had to run Emily out of the exhibit.  But, then our girl had to visit every single dinosaur.  I remember that Mark and I were not so impressed - we did think it was too scary for most little kids.  Not ours.  But most.  ;) )

(see, she's even waving at this guy.  I remember clearly, that after waving, she turned to us and said "he's cute!".....ummm...OK)

(T-Rex ~ a major favorite)

(summer 2011, Enchanted Forest ~ I was so impressed that she jumped right into this boat, without hesitation, and drove it all over the pool)

(summer 2011, Enchanted Forest ~ happy to ride all by herself while her two other girlfriends rode together in another car!  Crazy)

(summer 2011, Ocean City, NJ ~ boardwalk fun with cousins, Luke and Ellie.  Vienne wanted to go on EVERY ride.  Of course)

(summer 2011, Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA ~ a full day of super fun at this amusement park while visiting Mark's east coast family)

(water park fun at Sesame Place)

(she was the smallest kid to ride on these rides...but they had life vests for her and she was allowed.  She wanted to go again and again.)

(October 2011, Pumpkin Farm ~ her first pony ride...she was a natural and totally addicted!  This pony's name was Abby.  This was Vienne's favorite picture of herself, which she kept in her room, by her bed.)

(We fondly remember how she was waiting so patiently yet excitedly in line to ride the ponies.  When she was second in line, the little girl in front of her started to freak out when it came her turn.  This girl was older but eventually had to give up her turn because she was too nervous.  The moment the attendant looked at V and asked if she was ready, she plowed through the gate without hesitation!  The lady had to run after her to keep up and direct Vienne where to go.  We were cracking up over her enthusiasm and bravery.)

(going to the park was a weekend family ritual.  Oftentimes, it was a special date for Mark and Vienne.  Vienne loved the swings.  "Higher!  Higher!" she would always gleefully shout.)

(Vienne surprised us on her first day of swim class by immediately jumping into the pool, without hesitation, when it was her turn.  Then, when we took her swimming as a family, all she wanted to do was "dive" [as she called it].  She would "dive" in and then swim to the ladder, climb out, and do it all over again.  She was the youngest kid at this BBQ and all the other adults kept commenting on how "fearless" she was.  We were proud!)

(Vienne's first day of swim class, June 2012.  She was a champ.  I remember tearing up with pride)

(jumping into the pool at a friend's BBQ this past summer, 2012)

Of course, like any child, Vienne had specific things that she was afraid of or intimidated by.

She didn't like most bugs, though when gently coerced, she would take interest in caterpillars, lady bugs, ants, and butterflies, of course.

Here is a great video from when she was 2.  She is on the counter and scared of a piece of fuzz.  She thinks it's a bug.  ;)

Vienne did not like to sleep in full many kids.  She slept with her door WIDE open, propped open by her "guard dog" "Dooby" (Dooba's replacement).  She also required a nightlight in her room as well as the bathroom light on, next to her room so that it would shine in.

As much as she loved thrills, it always perplexed me that she wouldn't dare to go inside the Bounce House at our local Play Boutique, nor would she go down their high slides.  But, she loved to try and climb the rock walls at parks and different play structures.  Hhmmm...silly girl.

The vacuum used to severely frighten her.  Not until the last year was she comfortable with it.

I guess we all have our "things", don't we?  The things that thrill us and the things that...well, um...don't.  ;)

I miss the adventures and excitement over small things.  I also miss comforting her when she was scared. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Revised "Results"

This is an addendum to the previous post titled, "Results" which explained the lack of results found from her toxicology tests.  We were told that nothing had been found.  We were told that they could not find the reason why she slipped under the 6" water and didn't fight for her life.

Well, this past Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, Mark received another call from DHS telling him that we should call the coroner's office because there was some newfound information.  I don't know all the details as to why this new information just presented itself...but, at this point, it really doesn't matter.  Well, now, they have found something.  They discovered a mild swelling in the right ventricle of her heart.  They called it 'ventricular myocarditis' - an inflammation of the heart which is typically caused by a viral infection.  Usually, symptoms include chest pain, fever, listlessness...etc.  The only symptoms Vienne showed that morning were a mild fever and a mild tummy ache (which was remedied once she ate breakfast).  They explained to Mark that it was something that a doctor would not even normally discover immediately.  They explained that there was no way we would've been able to know and the swelling was so mild anyway.  But it was there.  And, they explained that that infection and inflammation can cause restriction of blood flow, which in her tiny body could've caused her to either pass out or have a seizure...which explains why she quietly slipped under the water and remained there.  All during the f*%&ing 20 minutes that I decided to go downstairs!  Not before, while she was safely laying in bed...not after she could've gotten out of the tub...but while Mama was out of the room and while she was in the bath.  The anger is obviously still staggering.  We are just angry that we were never even given a chance to fight for discover this heart infection and to help her.  We were cruelly blindsighted.  We were never given a fair chance.  We got nothing!  Nothing but a dead daughter.

The heart infection still was not the cause of her death.  If she was out of the water and passed out or had a seizure, she most likely would've lived.  So, it is still called an "accidental drowning".  Has anyone even heard of such an infection?!  I mean, doesn't it sound like a bad "House" episode...of strange and bizarre illnesses?...except in "House" they usually save the patients.

Of course, one answer leads to 20 questions such as these.  How did her heart get infected?  What kind of a virus?  Was it something I exposed her to?  How does the heart get infected anyway??  Has anyone ever even heard of this?!  Why did it cause her to pass out in the tub?  Why while I was away?  Why does it seem like it was sooooo orchestrated for her to die from such a strange and unheard of cause?!  Why us??  Why us?!!!  WHY US??!!  

So, there's your uplifting news for the day.  Doesn't really help anything.  She's still gone.  We still suffer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

{Know Her}: "Our Silly Goose"

I'm going to start a small series of posts, themed around getting to know Vienne's personality and fun characteristics.  These posts will mostly contain photographs and videos. (no, this is not in response to the "mean lady's" comment...I had already been preparing these posts.  Not here to please anyone...but hope you enjoy getting to know her more and more!)

(9-10 mo. old - silly faces started early)

(19 mo. old - auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance"...)

(I remember this face cracking us up)

(almost 2 - I had asked her to get a hat because we were getting ready to go.  She put on Daddy's cap and one of his gloves)

(the hair...the glasses...she rocked it)

(age 2)

(age 2 ~ she put on my shoes, but kept OFF her pants, stuffed a kitchen towel in the watering can and was ready to go outside to water the plants)

(I remember I took this pic because it was about as messy as her face EVER got from eating)

(oh man, this was a favorite...yes, she dressed herself in the boots, helmet and all and then went outside with Daddy to play ball)

(the "puppy" phase)

("hello, sweet Puppy")

(she called these Duplo pieces "skates")

("see my dragon face painting?!")

(eating ice cream in the backseat...wild crazed look!)

(hide and seek in dress up tulle)

(tough girl!)

(pretending to sleep next to a newborn Ivy...are you convinced?)

(I don't know why, but this was how she wanted to wear her shirt that morning...she is showing me a glass turtle in the palm of her hand)

(on the evening of her 4th birthday, after the party, we were eating pizza and watching a movie...she decided her dinner needed to be eaten with her feet.  It was her birthday...we let her.  I mean, how could we not?  Look at how accurate she is!)

(I fed myself with my feet!)

(putting her shorts on upside down, intentionally)

(dressed herself and ready to go for a walk!)

(ready to go fishing in her jammies and a candyland dress over top)

(had to line the bottles up perfectly in a line.  The hand on the hip was her new "pose" this past summer)

(new boots and a new dinosaur towel made for a great super hero costume)

(I remember this and the next picture - we were playing around with the camera together, being goofs)

(she decided to pretend to eat my face)

(new goggles and new floaties - she was so excited she had to wear them all evening)

(my girls are the best)