Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why I Love Spring in Texas

I love this time of year (despite my terrible allergies)! Lee and I were married in the Texas hill country during blue bonnet season. It was the basis for planning our wedding. Our colors were blue and cream and we even passed out blue bonnet seeds to our guests as favors. This time of year reminds me of my grandmother. She lived on a farm and to me - she epitomized spring. She was vibrant and full of life and made people smile. When you asked her how she was doing she would say "I'm happy, healthy, fit and energetic; loving caring and filled with the spirit!" I think that far out weighs "oh I'm fine." Her farm was a magical place - an old farm house painted yellow with a green roof and a huge red barn. Just thinking about it makes me smile. This time of year the fields would be filled with blue bonnets and Indian paintbrushes. When you would walk into her kitchen, there would always be a vase filled with fresh blue bonnets. I miss her so much and especially this time of year - I wish she could have known her great granddaughter. I know she is watching us from heaven and every so often, I get a little reminder that she is still with me. Last week, I was thinking about her while I was pulling into the driveway. I got out of my car and on the lamppost there was a mockingbird singing his little heart out. I instantly teared up and smiled. I just sat on our porch until he flew away - knowing the whole time that was my grandmother's way of saying "hi - I'm still here." Mockingbirds are my link to my grandmother. When Lee and I were on our first anniversary trip, we were walking around Savannah, Georgia and I told him that I wished grandma was here - she would have loved Savannah. She had passed away 4 months prior to our trip so the wounds were still very fresh from losing her. We were standing in front of a beautiful church and on the fence post there was a mockingbird singing his little heart out. At that moment, I felt peace. She was there. She was right beside us - enjoying the views of Savannah alongside us. So I know she will always be with us. She impacted my life in so many ways and I pray that I can instill some of her teachings in Elle.
Over Easter weekend we took a drive into the hill country - just like we were going to visit grandma. It's less than an hour drive from our house before you begin to see the bluebonnets coming out in full force on the side of the road. I think Elle enjoyed our little photo shoot - I know Lee and I sure did! We even brought props! A couple hundred pictures later....we managed to snap a few good ones! I still haven't downloaded the pictures from Easter onto our new computer but we did a blue bonnet photo shoot on Easter Sunday too. Once those get downloaded I will share!

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's a Very Special Day...

when APF is the same day as Elle Belle's Birthday! Our little lady is 13 months old and we are so incredibly blessed by her little life. So what is going on with our little lovebug?

- She's weighing in around 19lbs...we just made the switch from formula to pediasure because she needs more calories with each meal. Her gastro dr. is hoping this will help boost her weight gain and growth
- She is super active and her amount of liveliness increased about 100% when we started the pediasure! Sucrose (sugar) is the second ingredient and I am not loving that fact. We're going to try is out for a month to see if she adjusts to the new ingredients.
- She is still being fed via the feeding tube but we switched to a new kind of pump. It's called a Zevex and is so small that Elle can wear it in a little backpack while she is being fed - which is awesome for us because we no longer have to figure out ways to keep her still for the entire hour long feed.
- This past week she has made huge strides at both physical therapy and occupational therapy. She loves carrots so I have been boiling carrots like crazy to soften them up so she can eat them. We are starting to experiment with other table foods too. We've tried apples and pancakes - all pureed. Carrots are still the hands down favorite. In pt - she got up on her hands and knees and took 2 small crawls on Wednesday!
- She is a super army crawler and can go from on her tummy to sitting up with no problem. She is pulling up on everything and even taking a few small steps while holding on to the furniture. In pt, one of her exercises is to stand against the wall. She is doing so well!!! We still want her to crawl so we are still working hard on getting her to get up on hands and knees rather than army
- She is a talker! Her vocab is expanding daily. Aunt Shay painted her a growth chart for her birthday that has these huge flowers on it. She points to them everyday and says "wowers." It is the cutest thing. If we say something and emphasize the syllables - she will mimic the syllable sound. I am always so impressed with her talking...and so is her sign language teacher. She calls Elle her little genius! - Sign language is going so well! I attribute a lot of it to my mom working with her everyday and signing everything she says to Elle. Elle will not only watch your mouth as you talk, but she will also watch your hands. She knows milk, drink, eat, more, all done, bath, brush (hair and teeth), no, yes, mom, dad, smart, girl, pretty, frog, dog, horse, cat, cow, ball, pig, mouse, elephant, bear, monkey, hat, fan, light, and Witt.
- She has started pointing at everything. Our goal now is to get her to point to pictures/objects and do the sign. She started doing it last night while we were making dinner. We had a few stuffed animals out and we would ask her where the monkey was or where the dog was. She would look at it and finally by the end of our little practice session - she was pointing at the animals and doing the signs. She is such a smart little girl!
- She is getting in to everything! Especially when she is in her walker - yesterday is figured out how to open our cabinets all the way to start pulling out the pots and pans. Guess we will be baby proofing our kitchen this weekend!

- She loves to wave and blow kisses and she is always smiling. I love that little smile!!
We are so blessed by this little lady and are so excited to see how she grows up! I just can't believe that she is already over a year old - time just goes by sooo fast!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It Feels Like Home to Me

This past Saturday, Elle and I went and visited Lee while he was helping Austan and Mel move their furniture into their renovated house...all in preparation of Witt's homecoming. We walked in the front door and were blown away at the beauty of their home, a beauty that was made even better today with Elle's sweet cousin's homecoming! Witt and Elle are exactly 5 months apart and yet, they have only met each other once - and it was in the hospital right before we were released after Elle's first heart surgery. So, these cousins haven't seen each other in 11 months. Despite not meeting, I know one little lady that is in love with her "Gwitt." Every day she points to his picture in her room and says "Gwitt" while doing the sign we made up for his name. We all love that little man so much and are so excited to see him finally at home! We are so excited to see him grow and flourish in his own home!! ** Read Witt's latest post with a box of kleenex! His other aunt, aunt annalee, wrote a post that made my happy tears flow! Praise the Lord for this wonderful day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's good to be back

Immediately after my last post, I turned my computer back on to post something else and up came the dreaded "blue screen of death" as the IT guy at my former employer would say. The BSOD was caused by a terrible virus that basically brought my trusty laptop down. We had a good 5 year run, but after doing tons of research, Lee and I decided that we would have to purchase a new computer. My old one will have to be completely wiped clean if it is to ever function again. Thankfully, Lee had backed up everything on our computer a few days before the dreaded BSOD. So, for the past few weeks I have been using my blackberry for emails, facebook and research on our soon to be new computer. Lee and I finally narrowed all the laptops down and decided to go with a Sony. I'm pretty pumped about it and can't wait to see what all this thing can do! So much has happened since my last unfortunate post. Going back to that post, I keep thinking about the pictures that are on that camera and I hope that there are some gruesome ones of Elle post surgery(pick a surgery....any surgery) on it. I know that sounds terrible but karma is hell and I want whoever took that camera to feel terrible about breaking the law....and taking that camera! I can forgive them...but I want them to feel bad! We had a wonderful Easter weekend and as soon as I can, I will get them posted. We were able to take some great pics of Elle in the bluebonnets that I can't wait to get posted. Other news in our house is that it is officially official that I am now a full time stay at home mom. I know I already blogged about it, but for a few days after my supposed last day of work, I worked contract work tying up loose ends. My official going away lunch was this past Thursday. It was put together beautifully and I even took Elle. I was a mixture of emotion going in to the lunch and then leaving the lunch, I was pitiful. An emotional wreck would have been a perfect way to describe me. Last week was Elle's appointment with the opthamologist. She has a coloboma (hole) in the retina in her right eye. Thankfully, Dr. S told us that even though Elle does have vision loss if she looks up (straight forward and peripheral vision is not affected), she will never know the difference and her left eye will compensate for the blindness in her right eye. That was great to hear and we don't have to go back for another year! A few weeks prior to the BSOD I briefly mentioned a not great visit with the cardiologist. The last time we saw Dr. W we were expecting great news. Unfortunately, the echo showed otherwise. Elle is growing and developing great which is why we didn't think there would be any problems. The echo showed that her pulmonary valve has narrowed quite a bit in the 6 months since her open heart surgery which means that another open heart surgery to replace her pulmonary valve is coming soon. We were expecting years to decades before her next surgery so to hear that it could possibly be before the end of the year, that was tough. We knew it was coming, we just weren't expecting it to be so soon. We go back in September for another echo and to discuss scheduling the next surgery. As always, we pray for God's perfect timing and for his healing of our little Elle Belle. I have so many thoughts running through my's no wonder I can't sleep and keep a note pad next to my bed to write thoughts and to do items down! Playing catch up is going to take a while!

Friday, April 2, 2010

There really are bad people in the world

Just a warning - this post is out of pure anger - anger at myself and at the low life that helped themselves to some of my belongings. I was at Sonic on Monday and went to pull my change purse out of the console - it wasn't there. I texted Nicole and asked her if she remembered seeing it and she said I had used it while they were in town and had put change in it and then put it back in the console. So - my car is the traveling trashcan so I thought nothing of it and knew I would eventually find it. This morning it suddenly hit me what else was missing out of my console - my small digital camera. I had put it in the console a few weeks ago because the battery died while I was at the park with Elle...and in my own stupidity....just forgot to take it out of the console. During Elle's birthday party some jerk helped himself or herself to the contents of my car while it was parked on the street. The thief was pretty gutsy because there were people coming in and out all day long. I just can't believe I was so irresponsible and that someone else would steal from us. I feel violated. While our guests were enjoying Elle's party inside - some jerk was robbing us! I am tempted to make flyers and go door to door warning our neighbors to NEVER let your guard down....even on the day of your daughter's first birthday party. I'm an idiot but I never would have thought someone would have the guts to break into my car while there were 70 people coming in and out. If you were one of our guests and you saw someone other than myself or Lee opening the car door to the navy blue suv that was parked in front of our house, please leave a comment and let me know....or you can email me. I know it's a long shot - but I just want my stuff back.