Friday, January 29, 2010

A Day in the Life of...

A few of the pictures of Lee's photo shoot with Elle
A 10 Monther...
Since I was out of town on Elle's 10 month birthday - here is a little snap shot of what our little lady is up to...
- weighing in at 17lbs 8oz
- we think somewhere around 27 inches - cant' keep her still enough to measure!
- LOVES her grandmas - if they are in the room - forget mom and dad - she only has eyes for Granna and ViVi
- Says dada non stop - I sign (and say) to her "momma" and she just smiles and says "dada"
- Waves, claps and says hi - cutest little chubby handed wave EVER
- signs smart, eat, more, girl - recognizes milk, i love you, momma, dadda, beautiful, no, God bless you
- still hates her hearing aids and tolerates them for about a minute before she pulls them out
- Loves to dance, dance, dance
- she has three little fraggle teeth on the bottom - she looks like a little bulldog!
- Has just now started to be leery of strangers or people she doesn't see everyday - she will study the new person for a while before she warms up to them
- LOVES Hobby Lobby and getting out of the house - even if it is just for a few minutes or a walk around the neighborhood - LOVES LOVES LOVES trees
- We have a little steam roller on our hands but we are trying to work on getting her to crawl - not roll....easier said than done
- can sit up for longer periods of time un assisted - i think her record is about 5 minutes before she gets tired and falls over
- EATS everything - well - everything goes into her mouth...paper towels, menus, shoes, table cloths, blankets, toys, books, cell phones, jewelry, keys....
- does really well with her Ole Miss sippy cup and straw sippy cup. every time she takes a big swig she gets a huge smile on her face - kind of like "look what I did!"
- working on the baby foods...isn't going as great as the sippy cups but each time she is taking a little bit more
- down to 4 feedings a day with the feeding tube...each feed is 240ml and take an 1.5hrs to run...needless to say...I hate feeding time!
- LOVES her daddy and will generally only fall asleep in his arms - sleeps in her pack n play until around 2am and then won't fall back asleep unless she is next to her daddy
- still loves her exersaucer, jumper and walker..and so do I!
- We are so blessed by this little lady!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Unintended Blog-cation

I have been MIA for the last week or so and it was due to pure laziness. Last week I moved my laptop to our study to create and print some super cute baby shower invitations and left it there. It's not like I don't pass by the room 20x a day going into and out of the front door but I would just look at my computer and keep on walking. I was waaay too preoccupied with the Twilight Saga to even begin to think about documenting some pretty important events in our life! And yes...I did finish all 4 books - the first 3 in 3 days and then Breaking Dawn in two days...and...I am totally obsessed and can't wait to read them again!
Wednesday, January 13 - Elle and I went and had lunch with one of our most favorite nurses EVER (and former sorority sister). Elle showed Steph her dance moves which I think totally impressed Steph! Then we were off to see Dr. E - her ENT. He checked her out and we scheduled surgery for Thursday, February 11. He will be clipping Elle's frenulum, opening up her nasal passage ways (again), draining some fluid out of Elle's ears (maybe have tubes put in), and he is going to check out Elle's voice box and back of her throat to be sure there isn't anything hindering her breathing/eating. I'm praying this will be the last of her surgeries for a very long, long time!

Friday, January 15 - Animal Print Friday Elle took an ounce of water from the straw sippy cup during Occupational Therapy. She is doing so good! Every day she seems to improve a little bit!

Saturday, January 16 - Elle attended her first birthday party and was around children for the first time! She was absolutely mesmerized by all the kids at our friend Adelaide's birthday party. It really was her first time to be surrounded by kiddos and her normally big eyes were wide with amazement. She had so much fun taking it all in and being held and loved on by Adelaide's grandparents and Miss Adelaide!

January 18-22 we had a pretty low key week. Elle did great at physical therapy - she is starting to army crawl. We are still working on getting her to crawl and not roll which is pretty tough to do. She starts to army crawl and then realizes that she is much more efficient at rolling (and faster too)! Thursday Elle was evaluated by Early Childhood Intervention for physical and occupational therapy. I was very impressed with the physical therapist that came and evaluated Elle. He gave us a lot of good exercises to do - ones that Elle hates because they force her to use her abs more than she is accustomed to but they will be extremely beneficial in the long run. The occupational therapist that came next fell in love with Elle. She kept saying "she is just amazing!" I couldn't agree more! At the end of both evaluations, I decided to keep Elle with her current physical and occupational therapists. ECI would only come work with Elle 3x a month and I feel that she needs therapy and interaction more frequently. I hate that you can't have private therapy and therapy through ECI - it's one or the other. Oh well. Animal Print Friday I forgot to take pictures of Elle dressed up in her little puppy dog outfit. I was too preoccupied with making my mental packing list becasue I left Friday afternoon for my first weekend away from Elle without Lee. My weekend was so much fun! I missed Elle and Lee so much but Lee is such a wonderful hubby that he sent me pictures of Elle every few hours to keep me updated on what they were up to. Saturday was Elle's 10 month birthday and while Lee was busy taking Elle to the park for a photo shoot, I was in pole dancing classes. Yes - that's right - pole dancing classes. It was for my friend's bachelorette party and I can honestly say it was so much fun and probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I am NOT graceful, nor do I have any kind of rhythm so the entire 3 hour class just made me look like an idiot but it was hilarious! It is now Tuesday and I am still sore! I have a new admiration for that chosen profession because it was quite the workout! It definitely took me out of my comfort zone! Lee and Elle had a great weekend together. I came home on Sunday afternoon and Lee had taught Elle how to wave and say "hi." Imagine my surprise when I walked in the door and Elle was waving and telling me hi over and over again. It was absolutely the cutest thing!
Other than our usual therapies, we have a pretty low key week...besides the fact that I am 2 days away from being another year older! I did text my brother at one point this past weekend and tell him I was too old to be out at 2am...his reply was "yeah - and you're a mom." Very true. I have a feeling that February is going to fly by faster than January did. We are gearing up for next week. Next week is the Girl Night Out benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. I am also going to a valentine making party that I am pretty excited about. Why is it that the days just seem to fly by? I now truly understand the phrase "they grow up fast." Oh my - how time flies!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Welcome to Holland

A sweet blogger friend had this posted on her blog and I couldn't help but copy it. It's not that I have been struggling with being a mom to a special needs child lately, I think the reality of our situation is just becoming more apparent. I have been going through Elle's medical records to get them ready for taxes and evaluators and I am already using my third binder. Just little things that are our normal - they are our "Holland."
Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland.""Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts!But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, very lovely things... about Holland.
Elle had quite the eventful weekend...and once I get my nose out of Breaking Dawn, I will write all about it! Darn you Twilight Saga! So far, it's only taken me 3 days to read the first 3 books but I have a feeling #4 is going to take a few more...plus...when I read the 3rd book, I bought it at 6pm Sunday night and stayed awake until 2:30 Monday morning to finish it. Needless to say, I was beat the next day and went to bed at 10pm last night, fully clothed and didn't wake up until Lee got me up at 7am. Poor Elle will probably be glad when I get finished with these books because she has spent A LOT of time in her exersaucer lately!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Checkin' Some Things Off

As part of my 2010 goals, I wanted to become more involved in organizations that we have come to find comfort in. In the last week, two opportunities have opened up to help support these worthy causes and I jumped at the chance to join in.
The first is the 4th Annual Run and Family Walk to benefit It's My Heart. It’s My Heart provides strength and support for those affected by Heart Defects. It’s My Heart exists to provide support to and advocating for those affected by Acquired and Congenital Heart Defects.

TEAM W-ELLE (for Witt and Elle)

FEBRUARY 20, 2010

SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK

sign up to walk, cyberwalk or give a general donation to Team W-Elle and It's My Heart

http://www.itsmyheart.org/

And then there is this little adorable invite! Girls Night to benefit the Ronald McDonald House..or the Ro Ho as it affectionately became known as while we were in the hospital with Elle.

www.rmhhouston.org

I'm super excited about both of these events...and they couldn't come at a more perfect time! I constantly re-read my blog about my goals to remind myself what I want to accomplish! I'm praying for great turn outs at both events because they benefit such amazing organizations and ones that have helped us out so much in the last 9 months!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dance, Dance, Dance

My poor hubs has been sick since Wednesday. He hasn't even touched Elle since Thursday morning and poor little Elle is seriously craving her daddy's attention. I think that when Lee gets over his crud - he is going to be a Elle hog and not put her down!
This past Animal Print Friday Elle had a great day at therapy. She has one sippy cup that seems to be the magic cup. Of course, I love it because it just so happens to be an Ole Miss sippy cup!

our little giraffe and her cool winter boots!

Elle's Ole Miss sippy cup

This past week Elle learned how to not only "dance" but also clap her hands. It was quite an eventful week! I probably gave her a head ache this weekend with all the dancing I made her do! She watches us "dance" (which is really just shaking our heads) and then she will do it - the same with clapping. I just love seeing her learn new things - it makes me so excited to see what she will pick up next!

video

I had my phone a little too close to the speaker so please ignore my very annoying voice telling my poor daughter to dance!

This morning we had our evaluation with the Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP). Our prayer now is for the pieces to fall into place for Elle to be approved for the program. We're in a holding pattern for the next 3-4 months now according to our social worker but the end result will be super beneficial for Elle! We have a super busy week with doctor appointments everyday. We see her ENT on Wednesday and I'm thinking we will be scheduling surgery to clip Elle's frenulum and for her to undergo another nose surgery to open up her blocked nostril. I could be making all this up but I do know that her frenulum is severely hindering her eating skills. What my (not so secret) prayer is that Dr. E will snip Elle's frenulum and within days she is a baby food eating, sippy cup drinking pro! How awesome would that be if Dr. E decided to go ahead with the surgery before Elle's birthday and by her birthday she is eating like a "normal" 1 year old?!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2K10 Goals

I liked how Kelly from Kelly's Korner organized her goals for 2k10 - so I'm going to do the same.
FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR FROM 2009:
1. I am thankful for our beautiful Eleanor Crosby. She has endured so much in her first 9 months of life yet she is a thriving! She is a happy, healthy little girl and we are so truly blessed! She went from...
to....
How can I not be thankful for this precious little one?!
2. I am thankful for my wonderful husband. I have always loved my husband but these past 9 months have made me realize just how much I truly LOVE my husband. He is my rock and my best friend. We weathered a lot in 2009 but we stood side by side for the whole journey. I don't know what I would do without the love and support from this wonderful man...this wonderful father. I am so thankful that he helps me with Elle. I am so thankful for the way she looks at him when she first sees him walk in the door from work and the pure joy they both share when they play together. I am so thankful God brought us together all those years ago.
3. I am thankful for our family. I am so thankful for the many dinners that were brought up to the hospital, all the visitors and all the prayers for our sweet baby. I am so thankful for the dinners we still get brought to us here at home!!! I am so thankful for the evenings spent in Elle's hospital room with all of our parents and grandparents - all of us secretly wondering what life would be like out of the hospital...and now...I am thankful for all those nights out of the hospital! I am thankful that we have both sets of parents living within 30 minutes of us. I am thankful that I see my parents on almost a daily basis and Lee's parent's as well. I am so thankful they are both such a huge part of Elle's life. I am so thankful for my mom and dad who watch Elle while I continue to work and for all of Vickie and Marks help with Elle so Lee and I can still be a part of society! I am thankful for our extended families - most of whom also live in Houston. I am so thankful to be a part of such loving families!
4. I am thankful for our friends. I am so thankful for our wonderful friends that send gift cards to the hospital to help pay for parking and for friends that brought me Starbucks and for friends that email or call everyday just to see what's going on. I am so thankful for friends who pray for Elle as much as they pray for their own families. I am thankful for friends that donate not only their time but also their energy to create a foundation to help raise money for families that go through hardships. I am so thankful for the Wee Dream Foundation. I am so thankful for friends that supported the Wee Dream Foundation and supported us as we traveled down a rough road. I am thankful for friends who want to continue the work of the foundation to help support other families that are in need. I am so thankful for friends that make us laugh and who know when to not say anything and instead send a funny email. Lee and I are so blessed to have such wonderful support!
5. I am thankful I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am thankful I can say that out loud. I am thankful for the moment Lee and I found out that our precious little baby was going to be sick. From that moment on, we truly gave our lives to Christ. I am thankful for December 16, 2008 - the date we found out that Elle has Congenital Heart Disease. It was so shockingly tough to hear but yet somehow we were both comforted. I am thankful for that moment - the moment of knowing that she is in God's hands. I am thankful Lee is a strong Christian and will raise Elle in a way that will glorify HIM in all things!
FIVE THINGS I WANT TO IMPROVE IN 2K10:
1. I want to improve my health. I am lugging around an extra 30 pounds of post baby weight and I can feel it with every step I take. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, my back hurts...all signs I need to put down the box of junior mints and take a walk. I want to exercise on the golf course! I have taken a 10 month hiatus and I am itching to play golf again! I want to improve my self image which will only happen if I make the commitment to myself to get back into shape in 2010!
2. I want to improve being a wife and mother. I pray daily for God to make me into a better wife and mother and I am going to do my best to work very hard to improve in this area. I want to improve my house cleaning abilities and cooking abilities. I want to be more organized when it comes it our home. I want for Elle to grow up knowing what it's like to live in a clean house with meals prepared at home and not bought from the nearest fast food restaurant (at least not EVERY meal...). I want Lee to come home from work and not worry about what to make for dinner or doing the dishes or cleaning but to instead come home from work and be fully devoted to Elle until she goes to sleep. I feel I have a lot of room for improvement in this area.
3. I want to improve my letter writing habits. There is something so nice about getting a letter in the mail and I want to improve my letter writing/sending skills. Pre baby, I was great at writing thank you notes. Since Elle was born, I have gotten into the very bad habit of writing thank you notes in my head. Literally, I will see a toy Elle is playing with and realize I haven't yet sent a much overdo thank you note and I will write the note in my head but never put my thoughts to paper! Another area where I feel there is a lot of room for improvement!
4. I want to improve our home. This may fall under the category of being a better wife and mother but it also has to do with actual home improvement projects. I've had my home improvement list on the refrigerator for 6 months now - but hopefully this year, we will get to them. I bought Lee and miter saw for Christmas with the hopes that he will want to put it to good use and put up crown molding and build custom built ins. We will see how this improvement goal goes...
5. I want to improve being a Christian. I have never read the Bible cover to cover and this is the year to start. I want to KNOW God, not just know him. I want to improve going to church. Granted, we've been in quarantine for a long time, but we are now out. I want Elle to experience the nursery at church so Lee and I can begin going to church together again. I want Elle to grow up knowing and loving God and all his wonders but I want her to hear it from everyone that surrounds her - not just us.
FIVE WAYS I WANT TO GIVE/HELP OTHERS THIS YEAR:
1. I want to support the Wee Dream Foundation and it's goal of helping families that have traveled down dark paths with their little ones. I want to have other people experience the feeling of pure gratitude as they see people gathered together to support them. I want others to know what it is like to be truly humbled by the support of perfect strangers. We have already begun the planning of the second Wee Dream fundraiser - a poker/casino night.
2. I want to become involved with organizations that help support children with special circumstances. I want to help "It's My Heart" for Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease and be a part of the Charge Syndrome Foundation and Texas Chargers. I want to meet other parents who are dealing with similar circumstances as to what we deal with and I want to help raise awareness and support for these wonderful organizations.
3. I want to spend more time with my friends and make new friends. I went to dinner tonight with some girl friends and it was long overdue. Friendship helps in all ways - I want to be a better friend. I want to go out with friends more and want to make more friends. Perhaps this goes back to being a better Christian too
4. I want to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. The RMH (RO HO) was our escape during all those horrible months at the hospital and I want to support it. I have an idea as to what kind of capacity I am going to support it, but there will be more details later on that.
5. I want to continue to blog about our daily walk. This is kind of far fetched but I truly believe there have been readers touched by our faithfulness during Elle's first 6 months of life. I know for a fact that our strength during Elle's first hospital stay affected one person. I pray that Elle's story and my recanting of it will act as a testimony and help bring someone closer to Jesus.
whew...glad I got that all written down because I had it written in my head for the past week!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The First of Many

Pictures from the first Animal Print Friday of 2010!
I can't think of a better way to start off the new year than with a new outfit!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

End of the Year Update

It seems that life has settled down just enough for me to gather my thoughts. Elle, Lee and I are all lounging in bed and I am catching up on blog reading. Lee calls blogs a real life soap opera but he loves to hear what is going on in all our friends lives. Christmas this year was a whirlwind adventure. We started off the festivities with Christmas Eve celebrations at Lee's aunts house with his dad's side of the family. This was our first time to take Elle out to a family function so needless to say - we were both a little scared. But as soon as we got to the party, our nerves started to relax. The sight of Elle with her namesake (Lee's grandmother, Eleanor) made my night. Grandmother Eleanor doesn't remember things too well but the sight of Elle instantly turned her into a different person. She was holding Elle in her lap and kissing her fat little hands. It was such a special moment for me to watch the transformation in Eleanor as she met Elle for the first time.

I don't think I ever stopped believing in Santa Claus so I was awake at 5:30am on Christmas morning - excited to see what Santa brought! I let Elle and Lee sleep until around 6am and then woke them up too. I think the phrase "I'm too excited to sleep" pretty much sums up Christmas morning for me! We had our wonderful first Christmas as a little family. Elle wasn't too sure what to think about wrapping paper. She really just wanted to eat it. I got her a few little things but Lee wins best daddy of a daughter award for buying her the sweetest bracelet with her birthstone. It fits her chunky little wrists just perfectly! The rest of our day was filled with Christmas morning at my parents and Christmas lunch at Lee's parents and then Lee and I headed up to the hospital to spend the evening with Mel, Austan, and Witt. I couldn't think of a better way to end the evening - getting to love on that precious little guy!

Elle in her new giraffe jacket

All the festivities went by way too quickly. I'm still in disbelief that Christmas and now New Years are behind us. The week between Christmas and New Years was a blur and this past weekend we celebrated not only the beginning of a new year, but we also rang in the festivities with my cousin getting married. The rehearsal dinner was on New Years Eve and the wedding was on the 2nd. Lee and I weren't planning on taking Elle to the reception but so many people asked about her at the wedding that we went and picked her up from Lee's moms house and took her to the reception. She was just amazed at all the people. At first I was nervous for her to be around so many people but she did so good and everyone at the wedding has been praying for our little lady for the past 9 months so they were all excited to get to meet Elle for the first time. All the excitement wore the little princess out because she sure did sleep until 10am this morning.

Elle with Uncle Benny and Aunt Paula at the wedding

I've been thinking a lot about my New Year's resolutions. I really liked how Kelly on Kelly's Korner broke her goals for the year down. Hopefully I will get all our Christmas stuff put up today and I will be able to sit down later and actually write down all my goals for 2010!