Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!!


That's right, we celebrated her 2nd birthday this month. It was a fantastic day. Ben and I put up some streamers and a Happy Birthday banner in her room the night before, so that everyone would know that it was her birthday. I wanted to spend every minute of the day with her, and I was able to sneak over while Ben was at school for some one on one Birthday girl time for about an hour and a half. When I walked in the room, she was all smiles. I told her "Happy Birthday!" and got a HUGE grin. She knew it was her very special day. I pulled her out of her crib and was able to rock her for her nap. It was super special. I had to leave to pick up Ben from school and get everything for her party that evening.

This was her cake! It was made out of cupcakes, so cute!

She loved it when Grandma put her in her Bumbo seat on the table so that she could be in the middle of things!

Here she is checking out her cake. She has a very strong aversion to food, so I couldn't even get her to touch it. But I think she liked that it was Little Mermaid. Have I mentioned that The Little Mermaid is one of her favorite movies at the moment? Yeah. She's so cute when its on. She gets very tense and anxious whenever Ursula is on, and loves Ariel. I think she likes Flounder and Sebastian too, she smiles and claps a lot when this movie is playing. It's fun!

She's pushing my hand away because I was trying to get her to taste the frosting. I smeared it on her lips. :) She made it known that she did not appreciate it! Silly girl!

Of course once the frosting was on HER fingers, she didn't seem to mind too much!

She liked opening presents. I think she remembered Christmas with all the wrapping paper and tissue paper. Ben picked out a Little Mermaid toy for her. She's giving it "kisses". :)

It was a very fun party. We held it in the day room at South Davis. Her roommate Sherlynn (you can see her in the picture above) and one of the other patients, Caroline, came in and joined the party as well. She was so happy the entire time. I don't think I've seen her smile so constantly before. Don't get me wrong, she smiles A LOT, but these smiles just didn't seem to stop. It was a very special day, for my very special girl.

Back in bed after the party with her new Cookie Monster. Still smiling and happy!

Elaina has come so far in these 2 years! She weighs 22 lbs! She rolls over like crazy. She still isn't crawling, but she's constantly on her hands and knees rocking back and forth. She can nod her head "yes" and claps when she's happy or likes something. We're working on teaching her some signs, so that will be fun to see this year. She's starting to bear weight on her legs and can sit unassisted for several minutes at a time. We still have a lot of catching up to do, but she is such a miracle that I am excited to help her reach these milestones.

Happy Birthday sweet girl! I love you!!!!!!

p.s. I have more birthday pictures on my Facebook page. If you'd like to see them, click here
I will be adding some more to Facebook next week that my parents took, so feel free to check back if you'd like!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Catching up and the Holidays!

WOW! So much has happened since my last post, and the days just seem to get away from me. So let's see if I can do a "quick" catch up. Ha!

Since I last posted:

Elaina had a cardiology appointment. It went well. They told us to come back in 6 months! She had an echocardiogram (not sedated) and was a very good girl. She held very still as long as I was holding her hand and she had her pacifier. She kept sneaking little looks at me, and would smile, as if she knew she was being good. Too cute. The results of the echo were EXCELLENT! In fact, the cardiologist said that her heart function looked to be in the NORMAL range for her stage of heart repair!!!! WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!!!! What a tremendous answer to many, many, many, many, many prayers offered by many people. Our Cardiologist was unavailable due to an emergency, so we got to see one of the many cardiologists that took care of Elaina during her long stay in the PICU. In fact, it was the same doctor that performed her coil occlusion in July of '08. He hadn't seen her since her discharge from the PICU, and at that time, there still was not much hope for her recovery. He was amazed by her color, her saturations (from 80-90% on 1 liter of O2), and her overall state of health. He said that they weren't able to get a very good look at her pulmonary arteries, and that the best way to determine their function would be in cath lab. He thought they "might" be able to stent them open at this point to allow better blood flow and help her become eligible for heart transplant. This is still a big IF, but at least it's something that's on the table. We'll discuss it further at her next appointment. All in all, he was very impressed with Miss Elaina! Way to go baby!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family. This was the first time in over 10 years that I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. It is really wonderful that they now live 5 minutes away from me and that I'm able to spend time with them! After the amazing dinner, I was able to go pick up Elaina and take her to Grandma's for the rest of the evening. She loved it! She was able to roll all over the floor and got lots of loves! She actually had a couple "stranger anxiety" moments, that's new! But in a good way, it means that she's finally reaching some developmental milestones.

Elaina with Grandma on Thanksgiving.

CHRISTMAS!! We had lots of fun the month of December. Santa made it to South Davis 3 times, the kids there were super spoiled. Elaina wasn't scared of Santa in the least. Ben was pretty nervous the first visit, but by the 3rd time, he was a pro. It was so cute. He's at that age when he's hearing things at school and trying to figure the whole Santa thing out. Going in for the 1st visit, he was trying to convince himself that there was no Santa, that it was all a hoax. He was pretty shy when he saw Santa, but sat on his lap and asked his little heart out. Then, as we were leaving it was starting to snow. He looked at me, and in a the voice of true Santa believer said "He IS real Mom! It's snowing, he brought the snow with him from the North Pole! Mom, the Jolly Guy is real!" Hahahahaha! He makes me laugh. So, the big news for Christmas? Elaina got to come home for 3 whole days! Yay! I brought her home the morning of the 23rd and got to keep her until the afternoon of the 26th. We did lots and lots and lots of "normal" things. Played (and napped) on Mommy's bed, lots and lots and lots of floor time, even baked cookies together on Christmas Eve. It seems like it took forever for Christmas to get here, but once I got her home the time just flew. The first night was a little rough, she was unsure of her new surroundings, but by day 2 she was loving being at home. I didn't even mind that she wanted to be awake and play at 6 am. It was precious time together and I will always cherish it! It really was good to have her home for those few days and it makes me anxious for the time that the doctors feel she can come home for good. It will be a lot of work for this Mama, but having her here made my home feel complete. Here are some pictures from our Christmas season. I have more posted on Facebook. If you want to see them, simply click here.

Ready to visit Santa


Snuggle time with Ben after visiting Santa.

Hanging out in her crib while we put up the tree in her room.

Pictures from HOME!

Coming home was lots of work! After playing on Mommy's bed for a little while, it was time for a nap!

Floor time!

Christmas Eve
Ben got Operation from Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Don and Elaina got a dolly.
It was lots of fun to have visitors at our house!

Christmas morning.
Playing with some of her new toys in her exer-saucer.

I took this one when we were loading up to take her back to South Davis. I love how she has her hands folded up and the sweet look on her face. I wish we could have kept her home, but the time will soon come!

I just need to say what an incredible Holiday Season we had. There were so many things to be thankful for, so many blessings to count, and so many miracles to witness. It was magical. We truly created some priceless memories and I am so grateful! I love my children and I love that we were able to celebrate the birth of our Savior together as a family. I don't know what's in store for this next year, I only hope that we will continue to see miracles and that our love for each other will strengthen and grow.

Lots of fun going on in January, but I think I want to give it a post of it's own. :) This milestone deserves it. Also, it's really late and if I don't post this now, it won't get done! Look for a new post in the next day or so! (I've got all the pictures ready!)