Thursday, September 1, 2011

August Update

We spent the month of August taking things slow but trying to gain a little bit of normalcy back in our lives...
We took some unused wall space in our kitchen and thanks to our little helper...she now has a magnetic chalkboard to call her own...

Exactly 4 weeks post open heart surgery, we had a nice little play date with two of Elle's favorite little friends....Maddie and Kayla. It was at Kayla's house and SO nice to get out of the house! This was Elle's first time to leave the house since surgery...
Elle and Maddie playing in the kitchen
On Thursday, August 11, 2011 (5 weeks post surgery) we went back to see Dr. Wolfe, Elle's cardiologist. This was her post surgery visit. After he did the echo, Dr. Wolfe walked into our room and gave us the most amazing news. He said that everything looked great but more importantly, we are surgery free! This is the first time since I was 20 weeks pregnant that Elle doesn't have any impending surgeries. While Elle will have to eventually have her pulmonary valve replaced, that date is WAY in the future. According to Dr. Wolfe - it could be in 5 years or maybe 10 years...only time will tell. It was such an awesome visit and then we officially got moved from his "see every month" patient list to the "see every 6 months" patient list which was huge! During this visit we also got the all clear to resume all of Elle's therapies so that was exciting too! Whoo hoo!
No, my loyalties have not wavered...but we sure do have some amazing Aggie friends and when Ms. Jill saw Elle decked out in her UT shirt - she rushed right out and bought her some maroon and white!

Elle relaxing and watching Mickey Mouse...complete with Minnie Mouse shades...she's an accessory girl!

August 24, 2011 we started going to a new gym for a mom and me gym glass. At this gym all the little girls wear leotards so Elle got to choose what color leotard she wanted. The girl in the office pulled out a multitude of brightly colored leotards...purple, pink, red, black...and Elle looked right at the orange one and said "I want orange." I questioned her choice, "are you sure you want orange?" Her reply was a definite "yes." The pictures don't do this leotard justice...it's safety cone orange...safety vest orange..high liter orange. It's pretty bright but Elle seems to love it...and I'm sure her Uncle Benny does too!
August 25, 2011 Elle and I made a day trip over to see our very favorite twin girls (Natalie and Claire) and a chance to see my friends Lala and Amy. We painted with Natalie and Claire and Elle just had a blast! It is so hard for me to believe that we are 7 weeks post surgery and already out and about visiting friends and getting back into our daily life!

When we got home, Elle wanted to wear the turtle she painted as a hat...I'm telling you...she's an accessory girl!

We started back with Physical Therapy on August 23 and resumed our normal 2x a week with Michelle, Elle's PT. After Elle's first open heart surgery when she was 6 months old, she came back to PT a different baby. She started wanting to sit up on her own and was initiating more developmental skills than prior to surgery. It seems like that same situation may be happening again with Elle. Pre surgery, she wanted nothing to do with the horse swing and in only her second session back, she climbed right on the horse and started trying to make it swing. This is huge for her! Not only is it a great test of balance but also core strengthening and getting her knees to bend!

We ended August with a birthday lunch for a very special 1 year old, Elle's cousin, Stella. I use the term cousin loosely because Stella is my cousin's daughter - but whatever - we're family!

We have so much to be thankful for! Elle is just doing great and we are so thrilled with her progress. She is even starting to eat more and more foods by mouth and maybe one day we won't have to depend on the feeding tube! She is growing stronger and stronger every day and never ceases to amaze us! To God be ALL the glory for her amazing recovery and continued growth!

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