Monday, February 20, 2012

My Funny Little Valentines!

I love Valentine's Day. Most likely because I love red and pink heart tights and dresses, little pink sprinkles scattered ALL over our kitchen floor (well..maybe not), and because it is a normal day that we get to make a little extra special. This year I started a new Valentine tradition adapted from one of my sisters. I made each member of our family their own home-made valentine. On each I wrote a personal letter to them telling them all the things I love about them and they ways they are uniquely special to me. Kev read each valentine out-loud while they ate a very special valentine breakfast (a doughnut)! I loved watching each of their faces light up as they heard them. Definitely a new valentine tradition we will keep!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

7 Months

I have been a lazy at updating my blog, but I have a good little reason.  Little man has been SICK!!!  About three weeks ago he was sick with a cold.  It wasn't a bad cold but just one that caused him to be congested.  Just as he was getting over it I noticed that it seemed that he was taking another one.  It didn't take long for me to realize that it just wasn't another little cold.  He began coughing and wheezing a lot.  He was SO congested and just plain miserable.  We saw our pediatrician several times as the wheezing was a bit scary to me.  He was on both steroids and the nebulizer every four hours.  We thought he was turning the corner last Wed. and Thursday as RSV usually gets worse around day 3-4.  On Thursday night I was nursing him and he began vomiting like crazy.  He couldn't stop.  He wasn't just milk, but tons of mucous.  It was pitiful.  He was laying on our bed while we were cleaning things up and we noticed that his color was off.  He was pale and very limp.  We pick him up and of course we were making sure he was okay.  We noticed his lips looked bluish and he just was so so pale and weak.  We decided to take a little visit to the children's ER.  I am not an alarmist and that was the last thing I wanted to do at 8pm on a Thursday night, but I was getting pretty worried about my little guy.  Of course the ER was packed full of sick kids and I we tried our best to keep Eli isolated as much as possible.  They got him back pretty quick and he was still throwing up and choking on mucous (sorry if you feel a bit sick by this post).  Once they got his vitals they used their vacuum thing to clean out his nose really good.  Let me tell works way better than my bulb syringe.  Once they did that his oxygen levels began coming back up to normal.  They said that most likely some mucous was obstructing his airway.  Of course they also wanted to keep him and observe we spent the night at the hospital.  He was fine after that and we got home around 10pm the following night.  Kev and I both were climbing the walls and so ready to get home.  We both said we had no idea how we had stayed 34 nights there this summer.  It was only by God's grace that we made it.

Okay, so back to my little man.  It has been a rather slow recovery.  It is taking forever for him to get rid of all the congestion, which we have been told is normal.  I am trying to be patient, but I am really really ready for him to feel good again.  I am also ready to pack up the nasal aspirator, nebulizer machine, and for Eli to sleep through the night again.  When a little one is sick, it really throws everything off.
Poor buddy!
Eli is now 7 months as of this past week.  His adjusted age due to his prematurity is a little over 5 1/2 months.  Writing that each time makes me feel a little better.  It has been hard for me as he has turned the corner from 6 months.  I know the next six months will be more defining for Eli and his disability.  He will no longer be a little snugly baby in a carrier and the milestones ahead are going to be HARD!

This has been the first month that he has noticed his sign!
Everything goes in the mouth!!

I feel like my life is very much consumed with working with Eli.  My days are busy and every free second I have I feel like we are on the floor working on sitting, rolling, and his goals.  I really took for granted how easily my girls learned to move and reach milestones.  They just did it!!  I want Eli to be all that he can be and so I am committed and focused to help him as much as I can.  It is a balancing act between letting him just be a sweet little baby and enjoying him, and then working to help him get stronger. 

We started some solids just before getting sick...we've stopped until he is completely better.
This is his play mat!!  It has scripture embroidered on it and it provides lots of encouragement for this momma.
We are doing e-stim therapy at home 3x a day for 15 min. each time. 
Our Pt loaned us a unit to use at home and programs it each week.  All I do is add the electrodes and turn it on.
Speaking of getting stronger...little buddy learned how to roll from his back to belly this month and is also sitting much better independently.  I will tell you that both of these things have been hard for him.  We have worked a ton on sitting on a big exercise ball to help strengthen his core and we have practiced rolling again and again.  I honestly do not know if Kevin and I were ever more excited about anything than when Eli rolled form his back to his belly!!  I am talking the whole family was jumping and cheering!  While each milestone is so much harder...each one is so much more celebrated!
True love!!!

Eli continues to be such a sweetie and we are so proud of him.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It is hard to believe that it has been six years since that life-changing day at the very end of January.  Six years since I last held my firstborn.  Six years of grace, blessings, tears, triumphs and trials.  Six years without our big boy.

Ella wanted to bring her pom poms and do a cheer for  Samuel. 
I did something yesterday that I hadn't felt like doing in a few years.  The house was quiet as the girls were at mother's morning out and Kev at church.  It is kinda strange how you can long to look through something and yet hate too at the same time.  I got out his little box filled with all the memories of him.  His little blood tinged hospital blankets, his tiny newborn hat.  The hankie my sweet friend made me that I used at his funeral.  I looked through his pictures and stared at his tiny strands of hair that were taped securely to a paper for safe keeping.  I held my sweet Eli and thought about my sweet Samuel.
Every year we release balloons on his birthday.

It is hard to picture him now!  I often wonder what he would look like as a six year old.  I wonder so often how it would have changed our family dynamics for the girls to have had an older brother.  I try to imagine having 4 children and I am sure life would be different and busy.

Eliza didn't want to hold hers...I think she was scared of flying away with it!
I am not totally sure why God has allowed us to struggle so much with pregnancy loss, birth defects, and difficult pregnancies, but I know for some reason this has been a huge, huge part of our last 6 years.  I pray God will continue to use our journey to encourage others.

At four Ella is understanding more about heaven and that she has a big brother there.

Beautiful flowers given by Kevin's parents.
So for today, I will remember those sweet little footprints that left such a huge impression on my heart.