Friday, March 28, 2014


Two.  My baby boy is two.  Sigh.  He is a goof ball.  He is so utterly cute.  He has been through so much in his short life.  My hero.  I love him.

He's all boy.  I love it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Birthday Is Near

How is it that this little rascal is going to be TWO this month????  Ahhhhh!!! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I was finally able to take my girls to see "Frozen" over the weekend.  Only two months later than everyone else. :)
Needless to say, my girls absolutely adored it!  They have been begging (well, mostly Emma) to get the movie.  She started crying when we left the theater because we couldn't take the movie  Well, since then, they have been begging me to watch and listen to the soundtrack on You Tube.  I don't want to use up my data on my phone.  Emma was really starting to get mad.  I told her she would just have to wait, that's what life it all about.  Well today, I ended up purchasing it on Itunes.  I can't wait to tell her!  She will be so excited!
We went to eat at IHOP.  My girls loved all the syrups you can choose from.  We got the all you can eat pancake deal, but we weren't able to eat anymore than one plate each!!  :)
Couple of pictures of the girls soaking their pancakes in syrup.  I am surprised they ate any at all!

Doesn't Emma look old in this picture????  My babies are growing up!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Is anybody out there?

Is anyone out there?  I have been keeping up with everyone's blogs, but I haven't kept up with my own!  I hope I still have some friends! :)
Will be doing a revamp of my blog and updates to come.  I miss blogging!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eli Turns One (Again)!!!!

Elijah Brandon,  you are one!  You have grown into such a happy little guy.  You are always smiling!  You certainly know the meaning of being happy!
What kinds of things are you impressing us with these days?
-You are in a size four diaper
-You started whole milk about a week ago and you love it!  In fact, you have pretty much turned your nose away from all of the other things you were eating because you love it so much.  I have been having to leave you in your high chair longer than usual to get you to eat your food.
-You still love Cheerios and pasta
-Your favorite baby foods are squash, sweet potato, applesauce and apples/cherries.
-You still turn your face away (literally) from any kind of big people food we try to give you-including your birthday cake and ice cream.
-Speaking of turning away-this is what you lift you head up, turn it to the right, shut your eyes and put your right hand up to say no.  Then you shake your head back and forth-it is hilarious.  And it is EVERY TIME!!
-You finally started to crawl correctly.  You have army crawled for about two months now, but just last week, you got up on your knees and started crawling.  You realized how fast you can move like that, so you are on the move now.
-Totally random but, your fingernails grow like weeds.
-You wear mostly twelve months clothes, but can still fit into some nine months pants.
-You weigh around 21 pounds and you are 27 inches long.  You are going to be short and stocky I think.  You are growing so well for a "sick" child though!
-You were taken off of your antibiotic at your last urology appointment-you have been on an antibiotic since you were born, so I am very excited for your immune system to catch up now.
-You wear a size two shoes-almost size three.  However, your feet are almost too fat to wear size two tennis shoes!
-You love going to your baby-sitters house.  She is like your third grandma :)
-You love to look at books.  Your favorite ones are any ones that have cars/trucks in them and you love a Winnie the Pooh book that we received as a gift when Emma was a baby!
-You are starting to transfer over to a sippy cup and you seem to like it.
-You love to have your teeth brushed.
-You have "six" teeth.  I quote six because you have your bottom two, and on the top you have the middle side ones coming in before your middle ones.  The middle side left one is really coming through and it is hilarious-you look like a snaggle-toothed man :) 
-You actually smile when I come at your with your medicine.  You take half'an aspirin/once a day and 1.5ml/twice a day right now.
-You love all your toys.  You got a lot of great ones for your birthday.
-You love your green blanket with the monkey on it that I bought for you when you were still in the hospital.  I bought it at Meijer on an impulse buy-the best one I have made! :)
-You love to watch your sisters.  They love to show off for you too.  I think you all are going to be great friends.  They love you so.
-You have a great laugh.  I tickle your armpits and you give me a great belly laugh.
-You love to be hung upside down.  You are an adrenaline junkie just like Maddie is.
-You LOVE Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  When the theme song comes on you stop what you are doing and watch it.  You then pay attention to some of the show.  You also love The Disney Junior Channel.
I love you so much Elijah.  You have brought such joy to our family and now I know it is complete.  Thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy.  I will always be proud of my one and only son!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eli Turns One!!

My baby boy turned one yesterday.  I can't even believe that I know have three toddlers at home.  Well, one is pretty much a big kid, but I only call her that if she asks me to...ha.
What a year this has been with my third child.  So many ups and downs and ups and downs during the first two months of his life.  I think I will use this post to tell his birth story and his life in the hospital for the first two months of his life. 

On March 22, I was put on bed rest because I was feeling dizzy and my blood pressure was slightly elevated.  I went to see my doctor and she wanted to wait until I was 39 weeks to induce me.  I had not been induced before-both of my girls came on their own so I was just waiting for that to happen.  Little did I know that my baby boy was not coming on his own!  He was pretty comfy in my belly.
Fast forward to Monday, March 26.  I arrived at the hospital at 6:00AM.  I was stoked.  Awake.  Scared.  Excited.  Every emotion you can think of.  We had the IV hooked up by 6:30 and the pitocin started soon after.  The contractions were very light I wasn't feeling most of them.  My nurse was a bigger lady and she came from the Czech Republic.  She was very loud and intimidating, but I got along with her just fine.  I really liked her.  By 9:00, I still had not really felt any strong contractions so I was just talking and laughing with my parents, in-laws and hubby.  About half an hour latere-BAM.....I had two strong contractions back to back.  I told Brandon that and he went to find Liba ( my nurse) and that I wanted an epidural.  Liba comes walking in and telling me that I didn't need one yet-I was just at a three the last time she checked me.  I told her that I needed one now because the contractions were killing me all of a sudden.  Well, she checked me and I was suddenly at a seven!  She called anesthesia and they said they would be there in 15 minutes-longest minutes of my life!
During that time, I had one contraction on top of another.  I couldn't talk or anything.  Liba told me she just kept upping my pitocin because I was so happy and just joking around.  Well, it was up to the highest setting!  Holy poop! 
The anesthesiologist finally got there and was explaining to me what he was about to do.  I could barely breathe at that point.  I kept moaning and screaming....I had to sign a consent and Liba had to grab my hand so I could "sign" it-it looked more like a squibbly line. 
Once the epidural was in, Liba tried to lay me down and I told her I wasn't moving.  Well, she pushed me down on the bed because I wouldn't lay down!  It was quite comical!  She then checked me and I was at TEN!  I could have just had a NCB, but that's okay.....
Dr. B. then showed up and I was ready to push.  I pushed for about 45 minutes.  They ended up putting an oxygen mask on me because Eli's heartrate kept dropping slightly during my pushing.  Finally, out came sweet Eli.  Crying, crying, crying.  Did not stop.  Loud as can be, pink as can be....looked as healthy as a baby is supposed to look.  I held him for about 30 minutes while Dr. B. delivered my placenta and while we let the cord stop pulsating.  The nurses then took him over to wipe him off and weigh him.  It was during that time when they noticed his heart murmur. 
While the nurses were listening to his heart, they heard something else besides the murmur.  They came over and told me that they were a little concerned so they were going to take him to the NICU and have him checked out as a precaution.  While he was in the NICU, a nurse put the tip of her finger in his mouth to let him suck on it and my baby turned blue and his O2 sats dropped into the 50's.  Something was wrong. 
During this time, I was stuck at my bed because I was still numb.  Brandon and our parents went to go see Eli, but I had to wait-that was very hard. 
While I was along, I finally announced on Facebook that our son had been born.  Everyone was asking for pictures, but what did I have to post?  Nothing except that my baby's life is in danger.  How depressing those moments were. 
Finally, I was able to be wheelchaired to the NICU.  A doctor met us there and she told us that Eli had Pulmonary Stenosis.  That was the lesser of the evils of all other scenarios we had been given, thank God. She told us this was treatable, but he would need to have a surgery to correct it.  That was hard to hear, but we were grateful that he had a good chance of recovering from this.  Eli was then transferred by Lifeline to the Children's hospital about a mile away.  I had to stay at the hospital I gave birth to overnight, but my sweet doctor discharged me the next day so I could be with Eli.  Brandon went and visited him throughout the night so Eli would have someone with him.  That helped me deal with him being away from me a little better.
When I went to be with Eli the next day, we learned that they were going to do a heart cath.  This was done on March 29.  This procedure did not help Eli improve at all. 

Eli in the NICU
During this time, I was staying at the Ronald McDonald house-just me.  Brandon went home to be with the girls each night.  That was a really hard time too-hearing my other babies cry because they missed me.  I finally went home once that week so I could see them. 
There was a decision made that Eli was to have a valvotomy on Monday, April 2.  After that surgery, he was transferred from the NICU to the PICU-a horrible place to be.  Kids are so sick, kids are dying.  I hated it there.  The nurses were great, it was just a depressing place to be.  When Eli came out of surgery on April 2, my mom and I were there when he woke up.  My poor baby's eyes widened and he had a look of fear in him.  I couldn't hold him, couldn't help him.  I had never felt so helpless in my life.  They gave him some meds to calm him down and he fell back asleep.  I stayed all night again that night.  The next morning when I came in, there were a bunch of med students in his room.  He kept desatting.  All day long.  I remember there was a really horrible time around 11:45 when his sats dropped into the 30's.  I just sat there and cried.  The doctor, RT and nurse were very calm, just did what they were supposed to do.  They brought him back up and he was pretty stable the rest of the day.  I decided to go home that night since he was doing better. 
The next morning as I was getting dressed to go see Eli, I called the hospital to see how he was.  As I was calling, the doctor was in the room calling me and Eli's surgeon.  Eli had a horrible night and the conclusion had come that they were going to do another procedure on him-a BT shunt. 
I consented to that over the phone, threw my clothes on, woke Brandon up, had him take the girls to the sitter and told him to come to the hospital afterwards. I went and picked my mom up and we sped to the hospital.  We got there five minutes after Eli had been taken back.  We talked with his doctor and felt better after we spoke with him. Dr. Rotta was positive this procedure was what Eli needed.  He was right-it worked.  Eli showed massive improvement after this surgery.
Waking up after his third procedure-holding Daddy's hand!

Holding him for the first time after his three procedures-it had been ten days!!

However, now we had a new problem on our hands.  Since Eli had desatted so many times, his brain sent all the available air to his lungs and took it away from his GI tract. He then in turn developed NEC.  That is a serious condition to wear your intestines can leak, form holes, kink, etc.  Eli had a perforation on his left side and an abscess on his right side.  He ended up staying in the PICU from April 2 to April 22.  During that time, he switched rooms because our neighbor had many highly contagious diseases and they shared the same nurse with us.  Our surgeon then demanded that Eli be moved to the other side of the unit.  We stayed there for about a week until they discharge Eli to the Heart Center. 
The Heart Center is a completely different world from the PICU.  Even though you have your own room in the PICU, I had my own bed, bathroom-complete with shower in the heart center.  Plus, they turn off all alarms in the rooms so you don't hear the constant beeping of alarms when your monitors slip off or get in the wrong position. 
So now, we just played the waiting game.  If Eli had not developed NEC, we would have been home by now.  While you have NEC, you do not eat so you don't have food/poison leaking into your body.  Eli was on TPN which nourished him until we could feed him.  Basically, he did not poop for over a month.  His belly was measured every day.  He had upper GI's, Barium Enemas, a PICC line put in (and replaced), then taken out, a central line put in, replaced, then taken out--they both got infected. 

Little man with a tube in his nose to drain out the gastric fluid in his belly

The drain in his belly
 They finally just had to do manual blood draws to make sure he had not bacteria in his system.  He also had a drain put in his stomach to try and drain the fluid out.  Finally, finally, finally, after being on antibiotics, TPN and waiting, the decision was made that he would not have to have any risky surgeries to fix his intestines--they healed on their own-thank GOD!!  We then gave him a bottle-he took it.  I breastfed him-he did that like a champ. 
Gastric tube out-NG tube in giving him my breast milk :)
Eli was discharged on May 22. 
 He went home on a Joey Pump that fed him through an NG tube through his nose.  I pulled it out for good two days later.  He kept pulling it out and I would have to put it back into a screaming baby.  He was eating good and had no issues, so I pulled it out and left it out.  Mommy knows best in that situation!   
Eli will have to have a few more surgeries to replace his pulmonary valve because it is not widening at all.  We are hoping to wait until he is three to do the first of the series.  He has developed more leaking in his valves and now has an ASD as well.  Hopefully once we replace his valve, his ASD will mend itself.  Only time will tell.
I am just thankful for every day I have will my sweet Eli!!

One Month
Two Months
Three Months-back in the hospital again for a UTI-discharged after four days
Four Months
Five Months
Six Months-along with his first black eye.  Courtesy of a kid at day care-it was his first AND last day!
Seven Months
Eight Months
Nine Months
Ten Months
Eleven Months
Twelve Months-yesterday on his birthday!
I will do a post tomorrow (mostly for myself) talking about all the things Eli is doing now! :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pop Culture

So when did my four year old and two year old become such One Direction fans?  One day about a month ago, we had all the kids in the car and were going to get something to eat on a Friday evening.  The radio was on and I wasn't really paying any attention to it.  Suddenly, I noticed that my girls were singing along with whatever song was on.  Now, let me digress for just a moment......
In our household, we haven't really introduced a lot of "radio" music to our kids.  It's not because we don't want to, it's just because it's not something that I thought was that important.  They love music, but the kind of music they love is found on Nick Jr., Disney Jr., nursery rhymes, etc.  That is what their age group is appropriate for. 
.......back to the present.  I do know that Emma has liked a couple of Taylor Swift songs that she heard-especially "Never Getting Back Together"--she likes the ever, ever, ever part :)  In fact, I heard her singing that in her room the other day.  No one around, no music playing, just her singing this song that is about a girl and boy never getting back together-my sweet, innocent four year old.  Now I know she doesn't understand that song whatsoever, but it just shows me how much my little girl is growing up.  I don't think I am ready for this.
The kids at the baby-sitter's house have an Ipod that they listen to music on.  There are a few 10-11 year olds there that come after school and so there are some age appropriate songs for them on there.  That includes Taylor Swift, One Direction and whatever else there is that kids that age listen to.  I try to plead ignorance in that category right now!  Since they listen to that so much, my girls have learned the words to "Kiss You" and "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" by One Direction.  I found that out as they were singing to "Kiss You" in the car-I had never even heard it before then!  So now when we are in the car, Emma asks me if she can see my phone and if I will put the songs on for her.  After I previewed each of the videos for each song she wants, I agreed to it.  The videos are cute and innocent enough so I thought she would be okay to watch them.  She just likes to sing along, but she has a million questions about why the kids are doing what they are doing.  It's cute.  She is so not into boys yet (thank God), so she just doesn't get this whole "I have a crush on you", "I want to date you" thing.  Of course, she understands that mommy and daddy got married and the reasons for it, but she hasn't yet realized that will happen to her someday (provided she wants to get married, which I think she does!).  Even Maddie sings along to these songs-which I will admit, is very, very, very cute!!
I am just amazed that at this young age, kids are already into this kind of music.  I was hoping to keep them into nursery rhymes forever, but once again, my plans have to be altered...