Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tis the Season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Well, it certainly is the Season for Celebration! I can't believe how quickly time passes! This time last year I was blissfully unaware of the challenges that lay ahead of me. Last Christmas I was on bedrest with Elaina, but anticipated the best conclusion for my pregnancy. Little did I know that this wonderful, scary and blessed journey would begin a few weeks later. In a way, I'm glad that her heart condition wasn't pre-diagnosed, since I was able to enjoy the holidays in ignorance of the journey that awaited me. However, now that I am well into the CHD journey, I must express my gratitude. As Christmas gets closer, I am so grateful to be able to celebrate my Savior's birth. I know that it is through the prayers and faith of many that we have survived this year intact! What a beautiful time of the year to reflect on the many blessings that I have in my life. I am so grateful for Ben, for the way he makes me laugh, for his perseverence during this tremendous trial, and for his never ending hugs and kisses. I know that God sent him to me for a reason, and he really is a wonderful, kind, loving, and strong boy. I cannot imagine what my life would be like now if I did not have my sweet little Elaina. She is truly a miracle. Her eyes are wise and filled with love and happiness. It seems that she is always smiling when you gaze into her beautiful brown eyes. She has taught me so much and I will be forever indebted to her for the lessons I've learned this year. She continues to grow and get stronger.

I just found out this morning that they are planning a GJ tube surgery for the 7th of January. She goes in on the 6th for a pre-op workup, the same day that Ben has his neurology follow up. I hope I'm able to juggle both appointments! Holy Cow, I never seem to be able to get a rest! As I mentioned in a previous post, my move to Bountiful has been delayed. I think that I've been able to work out a solution, and I'm hopeful that Ben and I can be settled in soon after the New Year. (Fingers Crossed!!!!) Ben hasn't had any more seizures, at least while awake, that I'm aware of. I still don't know the results of the MRI, so I'm hoping that no news is good news. Otherwise everything is still as crazy and out of control as usual! My jobs are going well, and I am very hopeful that the 2nd job I took on will soon allow me to have some of this financial burden lifted off my shoulders. My car is still on the outs, and with colds and sniffles abounding, I've been a little limited in my ability to be with Elaina as often as I'd like. It's a good thing that her love is so unconditional. She lights up every time I walk in the room, and the sound of my voice will wake her up from her naps when I get there. She's really getting big and is really a happy little girl. All the nurses and aides at South Davis are in love with her. Every time I go to see her, she has had her hair done, or nails painted and is all dressed up and content. They've really taped her NJ tube well (tons and tons of tape!), and so they're letting her have lots more hands free time, with her no-no's off. She loves to suck on her fingers and play with her tongue. She's not very verbal yet, some coo's and growls, but she's a smiler. She's got a room-mate that is 18 months old, and they sit and stare at each other. It's too cute! He loves to watch Disney movies, and she's started to become interested in them. Her favorite is Nemo, she smiles and kicks the whole time it's on. What a sweet-heart!

Well, I'm a Super Slacker, not only in the Blogging department, but in the Christmas Card department as well. So, instead of gathering addresses and all that jazz, here's your Christmas card! These are some of my favorite pictures from the last several weeks. Happy Holidays!!!

All dressed up in her Christmas dress!

On Santa's lap at South Davis!

Ben was so nervous that he forgot to ask Santa for what he wanted. It was hilarious once we got back to the car, all of a sudden he remembered all that he'd forgotten and wanted to go back for a 2nd trip!

Elaina loved sitting on Santa's lap!

Back in her room, still in her pretty dress.

Watching Mom put up the Christmas decorations around her crib.

Playing with that crazy tongue! :)

Kicking her feet at the garland above her crib, she loves the decorations! I even tied some bows on her mobile!

Trying to "talk" to Mom!

"Please take off these No-No's!"

Blowing bubbles at Mom. She was so stinking cute that day!

I just barely missed her smile. She was still happy though!

This is one of my favorite outfits. The pink leopard pants just make me smile! She's getting so chunky! Go Girl! Not bad for a heart baby!

I hope and pray that everyone has a safe and wonderful Holiday season! Give all those sweet babies a kiss from us and I hope you all know how much I appreciate your friendship and support!
Happy New Year too!

Hollie, Ben and Elaina

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I need more hours in my day!

Well, life continues to be hectic. It seems that there is never enough time to get everything done that I need to. Elaina is doing very well. She's not throwing up as much the last several days, and her NJ tube has stayed in for over a week now! She's happy and smiling and cooing and growing, growing, growing!!! She will be 11 months old on Thursday! Holy Cow!!! When she was born in January and I was told about her heart condition and then with the events of the summer following her Glenn, I didn't think that I would be able to celebrate her 1st birthday. Now that day is just a little over a month away, and it's looking like we'll be able to have a fun Birthday celebration for her! Still no word on when they are going to schedule her g-tube surgery, but I keep asking. She's still struggling with a runny/stuffy nose, but it doesn't seem to be affecting her saturations or her happy disposition. She is just the sweetest thing and I'm thrilled to be able to plan her first Christmas this year. South Davis allows decorations (including small trees) for 1 week before Christmas and 1 week after. I've got the cutest little tree ready to go and a couple of wrapped presents as well as other fun decorations for her room. I'm so excited!
Ben is doing okay. We got the results of his EEG back, and it shows some abnormal activity in his left frontal lobe. We've met with a neurologist and he is somewhat concerned. He told me that the type of seizures that Ben is experiencing usually occur when the child is sleeping. His 1st two seizures did happen in his sleep, which would be expected according to the EEG and neurologist. The fact that he has now had two more seizures while awake is very concerning. The doctor started him on some medication and ordered a sedated MRI. The MRI results are not back yet, so I'm still on pins and needles wondering and worrying about him. I've had such a hard time sleeping. I keep checking on him throughout the night because I am so worried about seizures. He seems to be his normal self though. He's SUPER excited for Christmas and has already mailed 3 letters to Santa! It's so fun to watch his enthusiasm.
Well, that's about all the news. I've been burning the candle at both ends. I'm working 2 jobs, taking 2 kids to doctors appointments and still juggling my time between Ben and visits to Elaina. My move has been delayed a couple of weeks, but I'm still hopeful that I will be in my new place by Christmas. I'm excited for the move, mostly because I'll be so much closer to my ElainaBug, but I'm dreading the packing, etc. I've got lots of helpers lined up, so hopefully it will be an easy move this go around. Things really are looking up. Deciding to take on my 2nd job is really going to benefit my family in the long run, so it really is worth all the lost sleep and stress it's giving me right now. I am so grateful for all the blessings that my Father in Heaven has given me and I am looking forward to celebrating the birth of the Savior this Christmas.
All my love!
Hollie, Ben and Elaina