Sunday, November 29, 2009

So Thankful

We have so much to be thankful for in this wonderful time of the year. We are so thankful for our beautiful daughter. She has been through so much but she is the light of our lives and continues to do great! We are so thankful for all of our wonderful friends and family that have supported us these past eight very difficult months. We are thankful that we live so close to our family. We are thankful for our parents who want to watch Elle and help us out in every way possible. We are so thankful for all the love that our little girl receives. We are so thankful for our friends who have helped us smile in some very dark times, have held our hands or just listened and who love our little Elle. We are so thankful for the Wee Dream Foundation and gifts we have received from the foundation. We are so thankful to everyone that donated to the foundation - whether it was to play golf, an item for the auction or a monetary donation. We are so thankful for our companies that have been so supportive and helpful while we adjust to having a special needs child. We are so thankful for Dr. M and his surgical team that performed Elle's heart surgeries and we are so thankful for all the wonderful doctors and nurses that became not only our friends but members of our family during our stays in the hospital. We are so thankful for Texas Children's Hospital. We are so thankful for the wonderful families we met while we were in the hospital and became friends with. We are so thankful for our wonderful occupational therapist and our physical therapist who we get to see every week. We are so thankful for all of our out patient doctors. We are so thankful that Ole Miss beat LSU because our next appointment with Dr. E(Elle's audiologist) will be very interesting to say the least!! We are so thankful for all of the prayers we have received - the prayers that have truly lifted us up on the most difficult times. We are so thankful for kindness of strangers. We are so thankful that we serve a benevolent God who has held us for so long and continues to carry us.

There have been so many moments when I have just stopped and said a prayer of nothing more than "thank you." Elle and I spent the weekend together while Lee went hunting. There were so many times when I would look down at Elle playing on the floor and just smile and say "thank you." She is making progress everyday on getting stronger and developing to where a "normal" 8 month old baby should be. We started off our Thanksgiving weekend with a visit from one of my bffs from Alaska.

Kristina and Patty meeting Elle for the first time (KCJ is due in March with a baby boy!)
She and her mom came over and while I was uber embarrassed that they had to see my dirty house, I was so glad they got to see Elle for a little bit. After their visit, Lee and I took Elle over to his brother's house where we got to visit with Lee's wonderful cousin, Katie and her husband, Andrew.

Katie and Elle
They are in from New York and it was so great to spend some time with them - catching up and seeing them love on Elle. We haven't seen Katy and Andrew in over a year so we spent some time with them on Wednesday and then went back to see them on Thursday evening. We had a very low key Thanksgiving day. We didn't want to get Elle out and around large groups of people so we kept her at home. Of course, we did dress her up in a "My First Thanksgiving" t-shirt. What a cute little pilgrim!

I spent the afternoon with my family at my parents house while Lee spent the day with Elle. Friday morning, I had every intention of waking up early to hit the super deals - but I just couldn't pull myself out of bed early enough. My mom and I eventually ventured out and found some super buys. Thankfully, the crowds weren't too terrible and we made it to every store we had lists for. Saturday morning, Lee and my dad left way before sunrise to go down south to go hunting. Elle Belle was a perfect angel all weekend. She is such a lively little girl and we had so much fun hanging out - just us girls. The only time I get nervous with her is during feeding time. She literally is rolling all around now - and every time I hook her up to her feeding tube, I get so nervous that she is going to roll and pull her feeding tube out! I walked into the den the other day after leaving for a second to get something from the kitchen and found her on the other side of the den - still attached to her feeding tube - with it stretched out as far as the tubing would go. It's hard to keep a 8 month old still for 1.5 hours while the feed runs! I pray that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving - filled with family and friends. It's hard to believe that it is almost December 1 and then Christmas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Yesterday our little princess celebrated her 8 month birthday! Everyone always said to enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast. Oh my - how true it is!! As a growing 8 month old - Elle Belle is:
- 16lbs 4 ounces - she has gained over a pound since surgery
- 27 inches long
- in the 75% for length and 20% for weight
- able to roll over from back to tummy and tummy to back
- can sit up un-supported for about 10 - 15 seconds
- holding her head up like a big girl!
- sitting/standing in her exersaucer for over an hour at a time
- reaching for and grabbing on to EVERYTHING (this morning it was the dishwasher handle - she was holding on so tight I thought I was going to pull her out of the exersaucer!)
- Chewing on EVERYTHING (but no teeth yet)
- tolerating tummy time and can lift her head off the ground during tummy time
- putting a little bit of weight on her arms and pushing up with her arms during tummy time
- eating baby food once a day - more for the texture than the nutritional value
- kind of taking a bottle - about 10cc each try
- recognizes signs like "i love you" "eat" "hungry" "milk"
- gets 3 ounces of milk and 4 ounces of formula with every feed every 4 hours 5x a day
- sleeping through the night - usually wakes up around 2am to cry but as long as she is held - she goes right back to sleep
- talking to everyone and everything - with or without her hearing aids in
- STILL eating her hearing aids!
- all her doctors describe her as "very interactive" on all their reports - she loves all her doctors and therapists (and so do I!)
She is our precious precious angel and we are so thankful and blessed to have her in our lives!
We had our re-evaluation with our wonderful physical therapist, Michelle, today. Michelle put Elle down on the mat and within minutes, Elle had rolled over and was on her tummy - holding her head up - reaching for Michelle's papers. It was awesome to see her reaction to Elle's progress. I couldn't help but smile when she said that Elle is like a new baby now post surgery. Pre surgery - she would scream when you put her on her tummy - now she rolls over by herself AND holds her head up! After the evaluation, Michelle told me that Elle is functioning at about a 5 month old level. This makes perfect sense because of the 3 months she spent in the hospital. I am so excited to be back in physical and occupational therapy. I know Elle will benefit so much from all her wonderful therapists. We have round 2 of our ECI evaluations the first week in December and in the mean time I am trying to get in touch with someone regarding deafblind services. Elle qualifies for the services because of her hearing loss and coloboma (hole) in her right eye. Trying to muddle through all these different agencies and programs is a full time job in itself. They really need to have a "How to Work The System for Dummies" book!! Where ever our course leads us, I know that our precious little Elle is in good hands and is loved by so many people! We are so thankful for all of our friends and family and blog friends that have prayed for our family and our little baby girl. Thank you all so much!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

White Shirts....Yellow Britches...

I won't finish the rest of the chant but you can better believe I was screaming my little heart out on Saturday as Elle and I watched our Ole Miss Rebels barely beat the LSU tigers!! It's a good thing Elle is deaf because if she wasn't already - she would have been after that football game! Elle was decked out in her most current red and blue - courtesy of Aunt Eldy and Uncle Matt. I think if we lived in Mississippi, Elle's wardrobe would be mostly Ole Miss paraphernalia...we live in Texas and she wears a new Ole Miss outfit every Saturday. It's a good thing football season is almost over because I don't know that they make too many more Ole Miss outfits that we don't already own. I guess we're moving to custom orders next! Speaking of custom orders, a friend of a friend has her own monogramming business and if I do say so myself - i am in love with all things monogrammed. So is my mom - which shocks me that Elle doesn't have too many things sporting her adorable initials. You can check out My Little Pumpkin Designs here! I'm such a huge fan of all things homemade. God has blessed all you talented people out there and I am just amazed at the creativity and gifts you have! Like my friend Shannon - I wish I had 1/10 the talent she has - she just never ceases to amaze me! Shannon donated a painting for the Wee Dream silent auction. The custom painting brought in over $100.00 and I can't wait to see what she creates for the lucky winners!! I happen to be best friends with the winner's daughter - so I'm pretty sure I will get to see the Shannon Jex original!
I spent the morning helping my friends get ready for a baby shower for our wonderful far away friend from Alaska. Technically, she from here but as her blog says..."Home is Where the Army Sends You" right now, Alaska is home! We had a lot to celebrate - not only getting a chance to see her but also getting a chance to celebrate the little baby boy that is coming in March. This baby shower meant so much to all of us because K and her hubs have been trying to get pregnant for a very long time. When it finally happened, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, K's hubby was in Afghanistan. The Lord works in the most mysterious and gracious ways because a position became available back home in Alaska - her hubs interviewed for it - and got it! So instead of being deployed up until the due date, he is now getting to enjoy being with his beautiful wife while they welcome their first child. The day I found out about K's pregnancy - I had to pull over because I was crying so hard. I cry a lot these days - but mostly from things that touch my heart and this truly does. I am so thrilled for them and they are going to be the best parent's to their little Alaskan Army baby! It was so much fun to get to visit with everyone and see people I haven't seen in a long time. Never in a million years would I picture my beautiful friend living in Alaska with her Army hubs...but I guess all that fresh air has done them good because she was beautiful...and (of course) glowing!! I have 3 friends that are all expecting in the month of March - and this was the first of many more showers for all my girls (and the soon to be little girl and 2 little boys)!

Our little giraffe...her shirt has giraffes and hippos on it! Reggie was in love with Elle's socks...
Elle re started her occupational therapy on Animal Print Friday. She really wasn't too interested in taking the bottle - or eating baby food. She was super busy though...talking and wiggling the entire time we were there. I gave her a bottle the evening before while she was distracted in her exersaucer - and she took 30cc. Of course - a lot ended up on her face - but that was the most she has ever taken.

We are back with our wonderful therapist from pre surgery and she gave me a lot of exercises to do with Elle to strengthen her mouth/lips. I hate being so dependent on the feeding tube and I wish that Elle would take a bottle - or breast feed - but she just doesn't seem to want to do either one. I know that it will be in God's perfect timing as to when or if she ever takes a bottle. She is a very perceptive little girl and she now associates the feeding tube with being fed. She knows that when the milk goes into the feeding tube - it's time for her to eat. We sign "eat" and "milk" and "hungry"to her before each feed and I think she is now starting to recognize those signs. Her face lights up when you sign "eat" to her. This isn't shocking if you have ever seen her chunky monkey legs...she's a little chunk!

Elle working on tummy time - she loves tags so we tempt her with tags to get her to lift up her head!

Tomorrow Elle will be 8 months old. It's quite fitting that Thanksgiving is only a few short days away because we have so much to be thankful for. Angie emailed me on Saturday to tell us that she was sending us a check for a huge sum of money from the Wee Dream Foundation. It couldn't come at a more perfect time because I found out on Thursday that my company is dropping health insurance. Elle is covered under my insurance. Thankfully, we can add her to Lee's and the coverage is just about the same. So it's really not that big of an ordeal - but with new insurance, comes more bills and more ways of figuring out the system. It was nice with our current plan because I had a case manager I could call at a moment's notice and ask her all sorts of questions. When you spend as much time in the hospital as we have - you get personal service from the insurance company! I am really not looking forward to having to re-fill out all the paperwork from all our doctor's with our new insurance information on it. Oh well - guess this mean I should probably aim to be a few minutes early to all our appointments!!

We have a busy week this week with a few appointments before Thanksgiving. Lee and I still are on the fence about what to do about Thanksgiving but we are leaning towards staying here and keeping Elle away from large groups of people. My family is huge and so is Lee's and it still makes us both so nervous to even think about her getting sick. I know all our family really wants to see her in person and not in a photo but right now, the risk is just too great. She gets her second set of flu and rsv shots at the beginning of December so after that, I think we will both feel a little more comfortable taking her to Christmas celebrations with the families. It is still mind boggling that it is already Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Dixie Land and Back Again

It's hard to believe that it has been 7 days since my last post. Actually, it's really not that hard to believe because this past week has absolutely flown by...and it wasn't until today that I have been able to write anything because I have been so overcome with emotion. I will get to my emotional roller coaster later...but first things first...HOTTY TODDY!

Lee and I got to experience our first weekend away from Elle this past weekend. Maybe that is what started the emotions on overload?! Animal Print Friday, Lee's mom and grandparents came to our house to watch Elle until my dad got out of meetings to come and pick her up. It was so hard to leave her...which might have explained why we showed up to the airport with 20 minutes to spare...and probably also explains why our clothes never made it to Mississippi! That's right - an hour long flight and our luggage never made it on the plane. It was really ok because we had our hanging clothes with us - but still - it's the principal of the matter. I cried when the nice man behind the counter told us that since we were late checking in, and it was our fault for arriving late, they couldn't take our bags from Jackson, MS to Oxford, MS which is where we were headed for the football game. Bummer. I thought this gave me free reign to go and shop but then I felt guilty as I stood in DSW in Jackson holding a pair of snakeskin heels...considering the fact that the shoes that were in my lost luggage were snakeskin and looked almost identical to the ones in my hand. I thought better of it and put the pretty shoes down and we eventually made it to Oxford. It was a glorious weekend!

Pictures from the game...Laura D and Matt, and Lee and myself

My wonderful friends! I miss them so much!

The sweetest picture of the weekend - Meghan and our friend Amy's daughter, Claire - fast asleep after a long day at the Grove

Lee, Meghan's mom Anita and Zach (Shay's hubby) - Lee and Ms. Anita showing off their crazy handshake skills
Most of my girlfriends from college and their families made it in town for the game and I spent the weekend laughing until I cried. I miss my friends so much and wish we all lived closer. We may only get to see each other a few times a year - but the moment we are all back together - it's like we have never been apart. Elle did great all weekend without us. She spent Friday night and Saturday morning with my parents and then the rest of the weekend with Lee's parents. My dad and mom dressed Elle in her Ole Miss Rebels smocked dress and had a red bow on her to cheer on those Rebs! The outfit must have worked because Ole Miss beat Tennessee - Hotty Toddy!!

We made it home on Sunday and rested up for our big day on Monday! I even made Elle her very own Wee Dream onesie!

Monday, November 16, 2009 - we had the Wee Dream Classic Golf Tournament at Longwood Golf Club in Cypress, Texas. I dropped Elle off with Lee's mom and grandparents and then headed over to the tournament. I pulled into the parking lot and that is when the magnitude of the event hit me. There were cars everywhere! I walked to the back of the clubhouse to check in and it was absolutely swarming with people. Friends, family members, friends of was truly a sight to see! We had 152 golfers and actually had to turn people away because there wasn't enough room on the golf course for everyone! It was such a perfect day - the rain cleared out early in the day and by tee off time - the skies were perfectly blue. It was so nice to be outside - playing golf again. It took about 4 holes to get warmed back up - but I got the hang of it and thoroughly enjoyed the day. I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day! I played with my dad, one of his clients, and Lee. We just had a fantastic day - one I won't soon forget. After the tournament, we all gathered for dinner - plus around 60 more people. I still get teary eyed thinking about how full the dining room was with our friends, family and people that came out to support us. Sean and Angie did such a wonderful job. At one point in the evenings festivities, Sean called Lee and I up to the front and presented us with a check for $10,000.00. (I am bawling right now by the way). I lost it - a check for $10,000.00 - made out to us for our beautiful daughter...and they gave one to Mel and Austan for Witt too. And Sean said that was just a bit of the money they raised. I checked the Wee Dream blog this morning and we raised over $60,000.00 for Witt and Elle. I still can't believe it. Lee and I are both so overcome with emotions. I can't even begin to put into words how i feel right now - joyous, humbled, amazed, inspired, thankful, blessed - just to name a few. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone that has supported us through our most difficult times. The poem "Footprints" comes to mind right now and it was during our most difficult times that our most precious Father didn't walk beside us, he carried us. I just am stunned at the outpouring of support for our families. Thank you just doesn't seem adequate! It was such a successful night, not just because on Monday alone, we raised $23,000.00 but because of the fellowship - everyone coming together to celebrate the lives of two very special and amazing little kids. We brought Elle up for the dinner for about 15 minutes. Lee and I walked her around the room so everyone could see the precious little life that they have been praying for and they were celebrating on Monday night. This isn't the end of the line for the Wee Dream Foundation either. We are hoping to continue the foundation and generate support for the causes that are near and dear to our heart - Congenital Heart Disease and CHARGE Syndrome. Thank you a million times over to Sean and Angie who started this wonderful event and Cindy for the AMAZING silent auction and everyone else that made Monday night a spectacular event. Thank you so much!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Almost Famous

Our interview with Channel 2 aired today at 5:00pm!! We had the actual interview yesterday and it went really well. It was so fun to have Elle out and among our friends. We only took her because it was only going to be Mel and Austan and Sean and Angie. She did so good and was a perfect little lady during the interview. Although, she did try to eat the camera once or twice and was an absolute wiggle worm while we were being interviewed...but considering that she is exactly 7 weeks post open heart surgery - she did great! You can see our full interview at:
About half way down the page under "Local Headlines" there is the title that reads "Heart Defects that Touch Brothers' Lives." Click on that and you can see our actual interview. While you are surfing the web - go check out the Wee Dream Blog. We are full to the brim with golfers!! This is amazing and we are so thankful for each and every person who has said prayers for our family, donated to the foundation, bought a raffle ticket, bought a bracelet, are coming to dinner, participating in any way for the Wee Dream Foundation. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You've Heard of the Bubble Boy

And here is the Bubble Belle!

Yep - that's Elle Belle underneath all that plastic. It's a rain cover for her stroller but also works as a germ shield! We spent practically all day at the hospital yesterday and with the outbreak of swine flu and seasonal flu - it is better to be safe than sorry. I don't want strangers breathing on her or touching her. I am always so surprised by the number of people that reach their hands in to touch her - even though she is usually holding or chewing on her tiny hands sign that says "please wash your hands before touching mine." It drives me crazy! When I was pregnant - it was perfect strangers coming up to rub my belly and now it's perfect strangers trying to play cute with my child!! I'm perfectly fine with smiles from afar but reach your hand into her stroller and you might come out with a nub!
We had 3 wonderful doctor visits yesterday. The first was with our fabulous audiologist Dr. E - I just love her! If I didn't have 2 more appointments follow our appointment with her (and if she didn't have an extremely busy schedule) I could probably stay and chit chat with her all day. Elle loves her too so that makes these visits something to look forward to. She adjusted the volume in Elle's hearing aids and put in her new ear molds. Elle really didn't seem to mind one bit and as we were leaving and getting on the elevator, she pulled the string on one of her toys that plays music and stared up at it in amazement - the same way she did the first time she heard music with her hearing aids in. There were 2 other people in the elevator and both were smiling and laughing at her wide eyed stare at the toy. I think they were just as excited and happy as she was! Our next appointment was with the Genetics doctor and Lee met us for this one. The last time we saw Dr. L was in the NICU - 6 months ago. I think she was pretty impressed with our crazy kid! Since Elle is now officially a mover and a shaker - she was going a mile a minute on the exam table. Lee was standing at one end of the table, Dr. L was at the side and then walls were on the other side and at the head of the table. Elle was a baby ping pong ball - rolling from Lee to Dr. L to the wall and back to Dr. L and then back to the wall and then to Lee...for an hour! She never stopped! At some point - she discovered the paper on the exam table - grabbed hold - and rolled - ripping the paper. She did that a few times until there really wasn't any paper left. At that point she started grabbing whatever she could to put into her mouth. Here we are, trying to have a serious conversation about Elle's issues and we can't stop laughing because of her antics! I don't think the smile left any of our faces (including the doctor's) during our meeting with her. The doctor didn't give us any news that Lee and I hadn't already read about in CHARGE Syndrome literature. Elle has now been officially diagnosed as having CHARGE syndrome - where as before all her paper work said "possible CHARGE syndrome." There's no "possible" about it now - she's official. This is actually a good thing because now that she has an official diagnosis, it means she can now get support/help from Texas Deaf/Blind outreach and various other entities. One of the things to watch out for in CHARGE kids is that they have a very high pain tolerance. We've already kind of noticed that in Elle. She doesn't cry when Lee or I accidentally bump her head on her car seat handle or when the dogs tails smack her in the face - she actually laughs. I was emailing some of my girl friends later in the day and i said " lee and I are going to have that kid that says "hey guys, watch this!" For some reason, that phrase sounds oddly familiar because I distinctly (or not so distinctly) remember saying it a few times right before sliding down the staircase in the KA house in a trashcan lid (and at our own house in laundry hampers) or using cookie sheets to slide down the massive hill we had in our backyard in one of the houses I lived in in college. White house girls - that little memory is for you! Dr. L also gave Lee and I the talk regarding future children. There is a 2-3% chance our next child with also have CHARGE. Just like the birth rate of kids with this syndrome is 1 in 10,000 - there will always be that risk. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine if our next child with have the syndrome since both Lee and I already tested fine. There may be a possibility of mosaicism in either Lee or myself. Mosaicism is a condition in which cells within the same person have a different genetic makeup. This condition can affect any type of cell, including blood cells, egg and sperm cells, and skin cells. If I do get pregnant again, we will do a lot more testing to determine if the baby with have CHARGE. Although, it's not going to really matter...just like it didn't matter with Elle. We go back to see Dr. L when Elle is about a year old. She wants to see where she is developmentally and track her progress. Our last appointment was an impromptu appointment with our favorite pedi surgery nurse, Kathy. It's time for Elle to get a new button (in her stomach for her feeds) and since we were at the hospital already, Kathy worked us in. Unfortunately, the button that was sent up to her was the wrong kind - so we go back next week to have it replaced.

Waiting for her nurse Kathy - about to use the wall as a starting point for some major rolling across the table

By the time we finally made it home, I was exhausted but Elle was totally refreshed because she slept in the car ride home. Since she had been cooped up for part of the day in her carrier, I put her on her stomach to work on tummy time and she shocked me by putting weight on her arms! It was the first time I have seen her do that! She also used her head, arms, and feet and scooted her way across the blanket I had her on. It was pretty funny to watch - but she was only doing it to get to the remote. I definitely would not call what she did "crawling" but I know that when the time is right - she is going to be one active little girl (she already is!).
Our interview with Channel 2 news is in the morning. I am so nervous about it. I would not be one bit surprised if my Texassippian accent comes out. Living in Mississippi for 5 years, I somehow acquired a very Southern accent that only comes out when I'm really nervous (and maybe after a weekend with my friends from the deep south!)
Only a few more days until the Wee Dream golf tournament! Lee and I are actually going to play in it - it has been 8 month since I last picked up my clubs. I stopped playing when I was 8 months pregnant. Maybe I should get out there and practice a little bit! Thank you so much to everyone that has shown their support for this amazing foundation. I received an email today that put both my dad and myself in tears. The overwhelming support is truly, TRULY amazing. Thank you all so much!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Watch Out World

Watch Out World - Elle Belle is on the MOVE! I put Elle down on her pink play mat this afternoon while I went into the kitchen to clean out her feeding pump and get her milk ready. Our house is open concept - so our kitchen opens to our den where Elle was. I turned my back for literally 2 minutes to talk to my mom on the phone and when I turned back around - this is what I found!

Elle Belle rolled off the mat and probably 4 feet until she came to rest on the sofa. Her little legs were propped up against the sofa and she had a huge smile on her face - she was so proud of herself for her big move! That teaches me to turn my back on her ever again! We've had a really great weekend. Even though our interview with Channel 2 News got postponed, our Friday was definitely exciting. Of course Elle woke up bright and early. I was really hoping and praying she would fall back asleep but that never happened (woke up at 5am and stayed awake ALL DAY LONG)! I have discovered some truths about myself now that I have been a mom for a little over 7 months. The one thing I have discovered is that I can't sleep for just an hour. Elle gets one late night feeding - generally somewhere between 11pm and 1am. If the feeding is supposed to be around 1am -i generally try to stay awake - but sometime I tell myself "it's only 11:30 - I can sleep for about an hour and then wake up and feed her." Yeah - I don't think I have actually ever been able to sleep for just an hour and then wake back up to feed her. Oh well - it seems that I automatically wake up at 3am anyways!

Our little birdie
Animal Print Friday - we had appointments with both the cardiologist and gastro doctor. Our cardiologist took an x-ray and then came in to deliver the good news - everything looks great - we don't have to go back until she is a year old! He also said that since her scar looks pretty good - we no longer have to scoop her up - thank goodness because she is getting too big to scoop up and not just pick her up under her arms!! And...drum roll please...we are officially out of quarantine! Yeah!! I write that we are out of quarantine with a bit of hesitation because since it is flu season - and Elle is a high risk kiddo - we won't be going out in public all too often....and we are still being very selective as to who can be around her. Our appointment with the gastro doctor went well too. I'm afraid that my milk isn't going to keep up with Elle's demands so we are going to start supplementing and trying out different types of formula to add to her milk. We are also lining up another swallow study. I just want to be 100% sure that the breathing tube didn't damage anything in her throat. She still isn't taking a bottle like she did before surgery. Pre surgery she would take anywhere from 20 - 30 cc by bottle. Now - she barely takes 10cc. She isn't interested in breast feeding either. We go back to see her in a few more weeks just to make sure Elle is on track with her feeding. She also wrote the orders to start back up with PT and OT. Yeah for progress!

Elle covered up and ready for her walk on Friday morning

Elle and Lee playing on Friday evening
Saturday morning, Lee woke up super early to go hunting. I had to go and drop some prescriptions off at the pharmacy and on the way back to our house, I noticed a huge sign for a community garage sale in the neighborhood across the street from ours. So - Elle's first foray into the public post surgery were garage sales!! I had the hour to kill before her meds were ready, so we visited a few. I picked up a ton of 18 month clothes - all in pretty good shape for $10.00! Saturday afternoon I dropped Elle off with Mark and Vickie and I headed out to do some shopping. I have held out long enough on buying clothes to fit my current body type. After watching a few too many What Not to Wear marathons and hearing Stacy London and Clinton Kelly say "dress your current figure - not your intended figure" - I bit the bullet and took some of my ones money to the mall. Thankfully, Ann Taylor Loft was having a huge sale and I found some really good deals. It was kind of nice being out - alone. The drive to the mall was so peaceful. Elle has really started to not like riding in the car - at least not when she is the only one in the back seat. Our drives anywhere generally consist of her screaming and me making a few trips to parking lots to pull over and comfort her before getting back on the road. I think it might be because I take her hearing aids out when I put her in the car since she usually pulls them out to start sucking on them. Plus she can't really see me - so the combo of not seeing me and not being able to hear puts her into a mini panic. She hates being alone now so I can only pray that this too shall pass.

My garage sale finds
This morning I was tempted to take Elle to Target to pick up some necessities. I thought better of it and decided to go on a walk instead. Elle had a little photo shoot before our walk...

After Lee got home from the lease, I headed out to do some errands. I picked up a Jenny Jump Up while I was out. Jury is still out on if Elle likes it or not. She looks so tiny in it!

This week we have a super busy week! Tomorrow is a big day at the hospital - filled with appointments. One of the appointments is with the Geneticists. Both Lee and I are anxious to hear what they have to say. Whatever they say, we both know our little Elle is truly a blessing and we are so incredibly lucky to have her in our lives!
Only 1 more week until the Wee Dream Golf Tournament. Thank you sooo much to everyone who has donated to the foundation! Monday, November 16 is going to be one exciting day!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Change of Plans

Due to the horrible events of this afternoon at Fort Hood, our interview with Channel 2 News has been postponed. All of the reporters and crews at in Fort Hood. Please pray for all of those soldiers and their families at Fort Hood and those others that are affected. I'm just in shock about the events of this afternoon. What a tragedy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This morning I put Elle down on her pink mat to play. After a few minutes I heard her start to whine so I went into the den to see what she was up to and I found her on her tummy. Technically, she isn't supposed to be on her tummy just yet but the doctors told us if she rolled over on to her stomach and wasn't screaming out in pain - she was fine. So I let her stay on her tummy for a little bit and enticed her with the camera. She was doing so good! She even reached out for the camera with both hands and was lifting her head up! I just sat there with tears streaming down my face because 6 weeks ago she had open heart surgery and prior to surgery - she couldn't/wouldn't do what she did this morning.
Everyday she gets a little stronger - I know before too long she is going to be sitting up on her own and doing awesome on tummy time. We will hopefully get the ok from the doctor on Friday to start all her therapies back up. Yeah for progress!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Big Girl Walk

It's just too pretty outside not to take advantage of this wonderful weather. After Elle was finished eating this morning - I decided to load her up and go for a walk. This wasn't just any walk - I decided to let her face forward in her stroller. So the four of us headed out for our walk - Reggie, Duchesse, Elle and myself. I think I was the only one that didn't enjoy the walk! Reggie and Duchesse do really well walking beside me (thanks to all the hours Lee spent training them) so that wasn't the issue. Elle had her toys to keep to occupied and she had her legs propped up on the drink holder - so she was perfectly content. I just hated it that I couldn't see Elle's adorable little face looking up at me! Not to mention - I kept having to readjust the shade to keep the sun off of her. I don't think I'm ready for her to be looking forward just yet! Plus - she's pretty little and I had the arm straps as tight as they would go and she still managed to wiggle her way out of them a few times. We're still working on head control and sitting up - she isn't quite there yet so she just kind of lounged in the stroller more than sat up like a big girl.

We have a pretty busy month in November. This week we have appointments with the pediatrician for the RSV shot, a follow up appointment with her cardiologist, and a follow up appointment with her gastro doctor. Not to mention, on Friday we have an interview with Channel 2 News! How exciting is that?! They are doing a human interest piece on the Wee Dream Foundation and are going to interview us, Austan and Mel and Sean and Angie (the founders of the Wee Dream Foundation). We will officially be 6 weeks post surgery on Thursday so I think Lee and I might take Elle to the interview. It will be her first time out in public so needless to say I'm already freaking out about it. The interview will be at Longwood Golf Club which is where the golf tournament will be on November 16. I'm trying to decide on outfits for our little princess and I think I have it narrowed down to two - but I have a tendency to change my mind a lot so who knows! It will be animal print Friday so I'm trying to dress her up in animal prints. We'll see though! It may be a toned down animal leopard ears or anything like that!

One very happy little girl!
one very silly little girl!

Dear God, please let me be a Phi Mu when I'm older