Monday, November 19, 2012

An Eli Update

Our little guy is now a few days shy of being 16 months, and I thank the Lord about 20 times a day for choosing me to be his mama.  There were so many days when I felt like God had surely forgotten me. So many days full of tears.  Many, many days when I questioned "why" us.  Days when I wondered why God had not answered my many prayers for a "healthy" baby. 

Yet, deep in my heart I knew one day we would get here.  I knew we would get to the place where life once again feels good.  I knew I would be so crazy in love with my little boy that nothing about his disability would is him that I would love.  I knew life would settle into a routine and all the busy appointments and therapies would begin to feel like normal life.  I knew that God didn't make mistakes and I knew He would direct our path.

I feel like we are there.

Eli is the sweetest little boy with such a fun little personality.  He is super friendly and blows kisses and waves to everyone.  He lights up the room wherever we go.  He has learned to give fist pumps with his daddy and gives two thumbs up and has even started yelling "Kev" from across the house.  (I have no clue where he might have learned this.)  He can hear an airplane from miles away and points to the sky and says, "air-plane."  He also has a great uh-oh and thank you. He can say Mama, Dada, Ella, Li-za, Papa, All done, stinky, I do, baby, and tries to mimic "I love you." He is trying to repeat a lot of what we say.  I love hearing his sweet little voice.

Eli loves to color and to make messes with the toilet paper.  He will climb on the dishwasher if we leave it down and loves to hide out under our foyer table.   Yesterday I asked him if he wanted a blue or green Popsicle and as clear as day he told me, "green."  He enjoyed every bit of his green Popsicle!

He loves his sisters and they love him.  Every morning they pretend that they hear him awake, so that they can run and climb in his crib with him.  He loves it.  Some mornings we are all so ready to see him that we wake him up!  He always wakes up with a smile.  He is such a blessing to our family.

At 16 months he is still crawling everywhere and is pulling to stand.  It isn't always pretty as he his feet tend to turn in too much when he pulls up, but he is learning how to take a step and fix them himself.  He is learning how to walk with his little walker.  We are trying to incorporate it into our daily life.  We walk to the table for breakfast.  We walk to the stairs when going back upstairs.  He has almost mastered climbing the stairs (with supervision) and he is learning how to walk by holding onto our hands.  This of course is an easy way to get some practice in each day.  He loves being able to stand up and play at our kiddie table and also play at our play kitchen.     It wasn't very long ago that I really didn't know if he'd ever be able to independently pull to stand and now he is like crazy!! His future as far as long term walking is still unknown, but for now he is trying so hard and making progress, and for that we are so thankful.

Eli is still shunt free at 16 months and yet we are still not out of the woods.  We will go back to the neurosurgeon at the end of November and we are praying that we will be cleared for another three months.  It will be very close and we will pray that his head growth will slow as it should. This waiting to see if he will need surgery for his head has been such a walk of faith.  The longest we have gone without seeing the neuro has been this last time which was 3 months, and during the waiting I pray and measure his head and pray and pray. 

God has been so good to us on this journey.  I am thankful that even though he knew there would be suffering for our family, he knew that we would get here.  I am so thankful for my Eli!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Princess Ella turns 5!

Ella turned 5 at the beginning of October.  It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that she is already 5!  She wanted a princess party and had discussed it frequently for about a year, and so we celebrated in true princess fashion! 

Daddy took one for the team and wore his tux.  He greeted the little princesses and served them during the party!


Little Bubs! 

Mimi and Princess Lou Lou reading and acting out the story of Cinderella!

Princess Eliza

At age 5, Ella remains full of life.  She is a leader, strong-willed and artistic.  She loves to be in charge...heaven help us, and is making some big strides lately in obedience!  (I should know better than to write that but I am proud to see some growth there!) She loves to play and she loves being outside and going for bike rides.  Whatever Ella does she does!!    I have no doubt that Ella will do big things one day!  We pray that she will use her leadership and her big personality for the Lord!

  Ella loves taking care of others and is very compassionate.  She really is a great big sister.  Eli calls her name all day long!  Ella and Eliza spend their days playing together!  I love how they watch out for each other and love each other.   

She loves to color and create things. She is reading beginning readers and is beginning to write words.  I love watching her learn. 

I can't believe my big girl is 5!

5 Candles on her cake!

A sign of true love, when they share blowing out their candles.

My favorite picture of the party!!

The tired Mommy and Daddy, who were very happy to have birthday season over for 2012!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Eliza is 3 and my 500th Post

My husband asked me last week, why I was no longer blogging.  It makes me smile to know that he follows my blog! 

Two weeks ago our little Tinkerbell turned three.  I can hardly believe it.  Her babies days went all too fast and her toddler days got lost somewhere in the midst of a crazy, terrible pregnancy with her baby brother.  It seems like I blinked and now she is a big girl.

Eliza is such a blessing to our family.  She is sweet and laid back.  She is our best sleeper and just cooperates.  Can I get an amen??  She doesn't like to get in trouble and has sensitive little feelings.  She approaches new situations with caution and is happy to go along for the ride.  God knew we needed a sweet little Eliza in our house.

Eliza is a girlie little thing.  She daily coats...lets me says that again, COATS her lips in lip gloss. She loves jewelry, sparkles and babies...oh and Tinkerbell.  She is scared to death of dogs and most animals, but asks to get one when she gets older.  And although she is three, she still loves her tiny, pink blankie square.  The poor thing is very, very loved by now. 

Eliza is a great little sister to Ella.  She lets Ella be in charge and they generally play well together.  I am so thankful that they have each other.  She is also a great big sister to Eli.  She loves on him and calls him her baby.  She wants him to call her sissy...instead of Eliza and he loves her to pieces. 

My girl on her third birthday!

I am so thankful that God knows what He is doing. I love everything about this special 3 year old from her tan little legs to her sandy blonde hair. We are so thankful for her!

Lots of sweet family and friends came to celebrate!

Please tell me that I am not the only crazy mom that likes for us all to coordinate
our clothes to the party color scheme.  Lord help me!

The cutest Peter Pan I have ever seen!

The big sis loving some Pixie Sticks! 

Aunt Lou Lou surprised Eliza and came as Tinkerbell! 
What a labor of love!  I am sure she will never forget this!

Sweet Sisters!! 

We pray this will be a healthy and blessed year of growing and learning for our sweet Eliza Anne.

And I cannot believe this is my 500th post on the blog.  I just saw that when I logged in!  Thanks to anyone other than my husband who is still reading!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happenings...this and that

We have had a fun and busy summer.  We began the summer beaching it as much as we could.  It is a great way to wear out two busy girls and a little boy!  Somewhere around mid July I began to feel beached out.  We haven't been back!  Somewhere around January I will probably regret that!

 We have stayed very busy this summer just getting to all of Eli's therapies.  Most weeks we have had at least 3.  It does dictate a lot of what we do each day, but I am so thankful for great therapists. 

Right now PT has gotten really hard for Eli.  He has decided that standing and trying to walk is for the birds and that crawling is so much easier.  PT has turned into a crying/screaming fest most days.  We have upped it two twice a week in hopes of getting past this soon.  I love our PT.  Everyone tells me that she is the best pediatric PT in the area and I absolutely agree.  She is not afraid to push Eli and mommy.  Even on days when it is rough I trust her knowledge and experience. 

Eli is wanting to pull to stand.  He has recently been trying, but it is hard.  He is now wearing his AFO's most of the time.  He has to have them on to stand.  I will be glad when it cools down and his little feet won't get so hot.  There are sooooo many challenges ahead, but with the Lord's help we will get through them.

I am beginning our journey as a home school family.  The former teacher in me is excited.  The mommy in me is a bit terrified.  Ella will be 5 in the beginning of October and she is really ready for more "school."  Eliza will be 3 at the end of September and I am going to be doing a letter of the week curriculum with her.  It will just be easier if they are both busy during that time.

I have been working like crazy turning out playroom into more of a school room.  I have spent lots of late nights piddling through curriculum's and lesson planning.  The teacher in me has a hard time writing lesson plans without a state standard correlated.  I keep reminding myself that Principal dad will not be checking my lessons each week.  I am sure I will get things more simplified as we get things going.

I really think having more structure in our morning will be good for both of the girls.  Thankfully, Eli takes a good morning nap so that should give us time to get most of our work done.  The girls will also be attending Preschool at our church two mornings a week.  I can't wait to be able to grocery shop with only one child (and one who doesn't beg for anything yet)!   I also try to use this time for Eli's therapies and appointments. 

Kev has just began his FINAL semester of seminary!  He is set to graduate in December with his Master's of Divinity with an emphasis on Pastoral ministry.  I am so proud of him and we are both counting down the days until he will done. 

We are also repainting most of the interior of our house.  I have been trying to pick a paint color for almost three weeks now.  The Sherwin Williams man surely thinks I am a crazy lady by now.  10 paint samples (some were shared from a friend) and I still am confused.  I know what I like, but we are trying to just go neutral for resale purposes.  We hope to sale before we have to paint again...who knows when that will be though!

So that is what has been going on while I have been avoiding the blog. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

He's ONE!!

Last week my little baby turned one.  I have said more than once that this has felt like both the longest year and yet the shortest year ever!  I have been trying to think up the words to summarize Eli's first year and yet the words seem too deep down to draw up! 

All I know is that God has never forsaken us and has given us grace for each step of the journey this far.  It hasn't been fair, easy, or normal, but each time I see that sweet little smile I know it is worth every tear. 

Eli Matthew,
              How did you go from that itty bitty preemie to a big boy in just one year?  I will never ever forget the my first glimpse of you.  I was scared to death at the challenges that were ahead.  You have been the sweetest baby ever.  You are so happy and content.  You have gone through a lot this year from casts, MRI's, lots of bracing and lots of therapy.  You have met every challenge with a smile and I love that about you.  You are such a special part of our family.  Your sisters are still crazy about you and so is your mom and dad. 
                 I know this next year is going to be hard. We have lots of big boy milestones to work on and once again mommy is scared about what is ahead. I want you and the rest of the world to know that no matter what you achieve in this life you are greatly loved. Whether you ever learn to pull to stand, or if you ever take steps, or if you ever achieve what comes so easily and naturally for all of your friends, you are loved completely just as you are. We will love you if you are a wheeler or a walker or both.  We will love you with extra gear, extra appointments and extra challenges.  We will love you through the challenges and continue to trust Jesus to guide our path. We know God has good plans for you and we are thankful He chose us to have a front seat on this journey! Love Always,


Eli had a whale party!

Big sis

Little sis

Can you tell that the sisters were not happy about taking a family picture?

Daddy's little look-a-like!

"Hey mom, you sure this is okay?"

Eliza thought he needed some help!


He loved it!  I was not a bit surprised!  I finally took it away because I was afraid he'd eat it all!

Thankful for all his new big boy toys!