Monday, November 29, 2010

Elle saying her ABC's

I saw sitting with Elle signing and saying the ABCs to her when she started to join me. I just love that little voice!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Quick Trip

November 19 Lee and I packed Elle up and headed to Baton Rouge, LA for a shower for one of my besties. I was so uber excited about the trip - not only were we getting to bring Elle along but it also meant spending some quality time with my friends from college and their families. Lee was pumped to get to see all my friends but he was more excited about seeing their dads and hubbies/fiances. Those boys always seem to get in trouble together! However I expect something to go - I should just think that the opposite will happen because nothing ever seems to go as planned. Elle got sick in the car once we made it in to Louisiana and the trip that should have taken us 4.5 hours, took us 7 hours because of 1) a puking baby and 2) massive and terrible traffic in both Texas and Louisiana. By the time we finally made it to our hotel, Elle was exhausted so I took care of her while Lee went to the nearest drug store to get some pedialyte. An hour later, he returned - traffic was that bad (did I mention the store was about 2 blocks away?). I was able to get dressed so that by the time Lee got back to take care of Elle, I could leave and make it for the last few minutes of the shower for Lauren and her fiance, Madison. I am so glad I got a few minutes to spend with my friends. These girls are my heart and although a few of them were missing, they were still there in spirit!

Corey, Me, Laura D, Shannon and the future Mrs. Lauren Turner
The shower was beautiful and in case you can't tell by the pictures - we all had to wear our school colors. Oh I love the look of red and blue! It sure beats the nasty color combination of purple and gold! The scarves were a gift from my mom to each of the girls since she and my dad couldn't be there for the party. I loved the few minutes I got to spend with my wonderful friends. It make the hellish 7 hour trip seem like a faint memory. By the time I got back to the hotel, Elle was asleep and Lee had her hooked up to a pedialyte feed. Thank goodness for her feeding tube!! Wouldn't you know that the puking princess woke up on Saturday morning blowing and going?! We thought for sure our day in Baton Rouge was going to be cut short and we would be heading back to Houston first thing....but nope. Elle woke up at her usual 6:30am and the first thing she signed was "Daddy bath stinky." Not sure if she meant that Lee needed a bath or that she needed him to give her a bath because she was stinky. Either way - we were so shocked that she signed "stinky." Neither one of us knew that she knew the sign or the context. She is such a funny little girl. Since she appeared to be feeling fine and was definitely not at a loss for energy - we all got cleaned up and went over to hang out with our friend's, The Miller's. Mrs. Sheila and Mr. Dan are Laura's in laws and have a beautiful house in Baton Rouge. It was absolutely wonderful to be able to spend the morning with Mrs. Sheila and Mr. Dan, Matt, Laura, their son Jackson, Corey and the other house guests they had. Elle made an instant connection with Mrs. Sheila and didn't want Mrs. Sheila to be out of her sight. Every time Mrs. Sheila would leave the room, Elle would start looking for her and crawl right on over to wherever she was. It was so sweet! This was also Elle and Jackson's first meeting. Elle kept looking at Jackson like "I'm usually the only baby here - who are you and why is my mom holding you?" Pretty funny!

Jackson

I love these pictures! Elle's facial expression says "great, another picture" and Jackson's says "get me outta this chair!"

Classic Elle - "really? another picture?" we really need to teach that girl how to say cheese!

Again Elle is looking at Jackson saying "who are you?"

Laura (Aunt Eldy) and Jackson - I just love this picture of the two of them
I promise Lee was there - unfortunately we didn't' get any family pictures. Shoot - we didn't even take any pictures! All of these came from Laura D - thank you Laura!

our little Ole Miss Cheerleader at the Cabela's store

After our morning with the Miller's, we took Elle to see the fish at the Cabela's store outside of Baton Rouge. The girl loves to look at fish. The store was amazing! Not only did they have some pretty large fish tanks, but they also had a wildlife museum and great displays with animals. Elle loved it. She was definitely the only Ole Miss cheerleader walking around the store!!

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After our adventures at Cabela's we met up with the rest of our friends for an afternoon of catching up, eating yummy mexican food and watching a really great football game as Ole Miss and LSU played. We had so much fun with the Jexes and the Richardson's. Elle got to meet Lauren's twin nieces for the first time. I show her their pictures from their blog all the time but she finally got the chance to meet Natalie and Claire in person. They were all so cute in their cheerleading outfits! We had such a good time and were so sad to leave but we had to head back to Houston. So around 5:00pm - we loaded Elle back into the car and headed to Houston. The trip back wasn't any better than the trip going to Baton Rouge. We barely made it into Texas before Lee and I both got extremely sick. We had to spend the night in a hotel because neither one of us could drive. It was awful - I wouldn't wish that kind of sickness on anyone. 10 hours of not being able to keep anything down later - we were finally able to fall asleep for about an hour before Elle woke us both back up. Lee and I were so weak and still not feeling great that the only thing we could eat were ice chips as we made the drive back to Houston. Thank goodness Vickie met us at our house and took care of Elle while Lee and I were able to sleep! The good news about being so sick...I lost 7 lbs....right before Thanksgiving...whoo hoo...bring on the extra calories!

Despite the traveling mishaps, it was so much fun to see all our friends. I wish we all lived closer, but because we don't - weekends like this past weekend are so much more special! I can't wait for March and Lauren and Madison's wedding! Whoo hoo!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Eldy, here's your post

My friend Laura told me that blogger should kick me off for not being a prompt updater of our blog. The guilt trip won me over and I finally sat down to upload pictures and make a re cap of our last few weeks.

We've had some emotional last few weeks (that I didn't mention in earlier posts). Lee's grandmother passed away on October 14. She is the wonderful woman Elle is named after. By the time I came into the family, Eleanor (Grandmother Lupher) was already battling Alzheimer's. The first time I saw Eleanor light up was when she met Elle for the first time. It was Elle's first birthday and as soon as Elle was put in Eleanor's lap, all traces of that horrible disease left and Eleanor was the vibrant, beautiful, happy, caring woman that I had heard stories about. Lee equated her reaction to meeting Elle as a little girl opening up the perfect gift on Christmas morning - that was the type of sheer joy Eleanor was showing when she met Elle for the first time. I will never forget that moment.

Eleanor and Elle meeting for the first time
March 27, 2010
Fast forward a few weeks and we received the horrible news that Elle's favorite nurse, Wendy, was leaving TCH. Wendy was an exceptional nurse and she will be greatly missed. I cried as we said goodbye for the last time. I'm sure if Elle would have realized what was going on, she would have cried too. To this day, she still looks over at Wendy's desk to see if she is sitting there. We were on the emotional roller coaster for a few days and then we were hit with the news that Elle's Occupational Therapist was also leaving TCH. This news came out of left field and I was completely thrown for a loop. We had been with her for 16 months so it was hard to receive the phone call that she was no longer with TCH. I hate change and all this happened within 2 weeks of each other.

Elle bored at the dinner table wearing her "Mommy's sugar and spice" apron.

I told my friend Meghan that ever since Eleanor's passing, I have felt like I am struggling to keep my head above water. I kind of feel that now, a month later, things are starting to calm down and we are getting back into our normal routine. Starting next week, Elle will be getting feeding therapy from her speech therapist. I am looking forward to this and hoping she can help come up with some new and exciting ways to try to get Elle to eat food.

Elle eating broccoli or cheesy trees as we call them to entice her to eat

Elle is still blowing and going. She is getting so brave now and will walk from the island to the kitchen cabinets and then to the hallway and will eventually make her way to our bathroom where she has successfully figured out how to turn on both the cold and the hot water in the bathtub. Her record for outfit changes in one day due to being soaked is up to 4.

The Bathtub Bandit caught in the action
Trying to get a picture of this go go getter is getting to be pretty difficult
Two weeks ago Elle had her yearly evaluation for ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). While her communication skills are through the roof, she is still struggling with fine motor and gross motor. She was actually "rated" as having the fine and gross motor skills of a 9 to 10 month old. That day, my mom and I headed to the re sale shop to load up on blocks and other toys similar to the ones the therapist used when evaluating Elle. We have so many toys and blocks and shape sorting things and you name, we probably have it but the more practice Elle has and the more stimulation she has, I feel that the better she will get at both gross and fine motor skills. The abundance of new toys did create a slight clutter problem in Elle's room. After finding a free small bookcase that someone was giving away and a few coats of spray paint, the bookcase is the perfect holder for Elle's new toys.

Elle's room after she discovered the bags of toys

Thanks to the free bookcase everything has a place! The angel picture was hanging in Eleanor's room and I am so glad we have it in Elle's room.
We have a fun filled weekend coming up and I am so excited that Elle will get to wear her new Rebels cheer leading outfit for the first time! Maybe it will help our Rebels beat the LSU Tigers! No matter how badly we lose, this is always my favorite game of the year...and can you believe it...next week is Thanksgiving and there are only 38 days until Christmas. Crazy how time flies.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Longest Yet....

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Longest signed and spoken sentence yet...

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Longest steps - 22 during physical therapy - the squeak are her weesqueak shoes

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October Wrap Up

The weeks leading up to the last weekend in October have been an absolute blur. We had a lot going on in our family and I am just now sitting down to finally post pictures and play catch up.

Elle in her Frightening Friday dress I made for her from 10-22-10. It was my first attempt at clothing for Elle. I made the pattern from 2 of Elle's other outfits that I liked. It crisscrossed in the back - super cute and something she will be able to wear next year too!

The girl is trying to stand up on her own...she's so close to walking and standing up on her own!
On October 23 we got to help celebrate the 2nd birthday of a very special little boy - a little boy we love so much and are so thankful for...Elle's precious cousin and our precious nephew, Witt.

My SIL had her house decked out in decorations that she made and had a candy bar that was just too cute for words! Pictures don't do it justice...and...she made everything for the party! I forgot our camera so I didn't get any pictures of Elle and the birthday boy. He was decked out too in his "2" outfit. We are so blessed by his little life!!
Frightening Friday on October 29 - I dressed Elle up in the super cute pillowcase dress my mom found at a craft show and we headed to the pumpkin patch. Another first for our little one.

Typical Elle poses - we can't take pictures of her because she is always trying to walk to us when we sit down to take the pictures!

This was Elle's initial reaction to the pumpkins...

I asked her in the car before we got out if she wanted to see the pumpkins. She was signing "all done" and "no pumpkins" before we even stepped foot in the pumpkin patch. I should have known that a major meltdown was going to happen...but I still tried. Good thing ViVi came and saved us all and Elle actually ended up enjoying herself...but only when she was pushing the wagon. She didn't want anything to do with those pumpkins! (if this was her reaction to pumpkins...I am dreading her reaction to Santa!)

We stayed in our pajamas on Sunday - all of us feeling run down. Lee from hunting and Elle and myself from having a garage sale on Saturday. We all slept a majority of the day and finally got up and got dressed to go to Trunk or Treat.

This was our first Halloween to be able to trick or treat with Elle Belle. While she had 4 outfit changes last year and I did get to play dress up with her - we were only 4 weeks post open heart surgery so needless to say, we kept Elle inside and away from all our trick or treaters. This year Elle got to experience "Trunk or Treat" at our church. She loved seeing everyone dressed up and kept asking to see the pumpkins. Pretty funny that was what she wanted to look at considering her reaction to the pumpkin patch!