Thursday, April 24, 2014

New friends

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We had a nice day. We celebrated Jesus' resurrection at our wonderful Celebration Church, followed by dinner, an egg hunt and time with cousins at Grandma's house. Here was my favorite photo of the day. :)

Things have kind of been a blur since that warm sunny day last weekend. I have been working in Cannon Falls, which means a lot of time in the car and away from home. I had a nasty sickness yesterday that wiped me out beyond my already super-tired weariness that has been standard for me lately. Since Tuesday night, I've been trying to be a little gentler on myself...early bedtimes, hydration, more quality boy time and less unnecessary computer time. Working away from home makes me VERY appreciative of the time I have with my boys. I'm excited for the weekend!

Elijah has had a great week all around. He has had four "great" days at school and he is so excited about his new friendship with the cute little girl from his class who lives a few houses down from us. He's been over to her house a few times in the past week. It's a little bit tricky since he is still learning safety rules of sidewalks/roads/driveways. I don't feel totally comfortable just letting him run wild around the neighborhood, especially when Sammy insists on following his big bro everywhere. It's crazy, as this is totally new territory for all of us. I want Elijah and Sammy to form friendships, but can't they do it in our safe little yard? :) The other night I was trying to keep an eye on both boys as they cruised around in little cars with their friends. They were staying off the road and within the block we were on, but at times they would drive into the back grassy area where I couldn't see them. The one little boy who Sammy had been riding with came around the corner...without Sammy. I asked where he was and the little boy said, "Oh, I dropped him off way over there!" Cue me sprinting across the back lawn like a mad woman. I found my sweet little Sammy standing in the grass, sadly crying out, "WHERE'S MY MOMMY?!?!" A little boy from across the street had seen him crying and had come to comfort him. :( I scooped him up and vowed to not let him out of my sight again. This is stressful! But it is so nice to see the boys socializing!

This weekend will be one of our last together at home as a family in possibly a very long time, so I'm hoping to make the most of it. I hope you are all having a great week! Thanks for checking in.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunglasses and a friend!

A really quick post tonight! I was taking a bath tonight and Sammy peeked his head in to say good-night. He had sunglasses on. Of course he did. He looked at me straight-faced for three seconds and then: "G'night, Mommy," and shut the door abruptly. I laughed for an entire minute.

The boys and I colored Easter eggs tonight (pics to come!). In the middle of dunking eggs into orange and pink dye, there was a knock at the door. It was Elijah's little friend from his class who lives down the street. She is the CUTEST and kindest little thing, and she had stopped by a couple times last week, as well. Elijah was BEYOND EXCITED (times a million) that she asked him to go to the park with her. There was an "older" girl going along to watch them, but I felt weird as I watched him scoot away from me on his little blue trike. Dan and Sammy followed just to make sure the situation was safe. Phew...that made my tummy feel much more settled.

This sweet little girl is so Elijah and to his mama. It is the first show interest in wanting to spend time with him. He has been so incredibly excited and happy about her interest in him. I keep praying it will continue. And that his social skills will continue to improve. Thank you, God, for answered prayers!

Wishing you all a great Easter weekend! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Six years ago, two days after open heart surgery #2, Elijah was getting love from this amazing nurse! She had also cared for him after his first heart surgery when he was 3 months old. She is one of the INCREDIBLE ones. We will always remember her as one of the most loving and caring nurses we've ever had.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy heart day!

Oh my gosh! I cannot believe I forgot to write about this earlier. I thought I would never forget this day. But I did. Today is the sixth anniversary of Elijah's second open heart surgery (the big one). It was one of the most significant days of his entire life. We are thankful for his amazing surgeon and cardiologist and of course for the plan that Jesus has for his life. We are so grateful for you, Elijah! We love you so much and Sammy we love you so much, too! We are beyond grateful for the amazing medical care E has received. Happy 6th heart day!

Putting out fires

Dan and I burned our dinner to a crisp this evening. We put salmon on the grill, Dan ran out to the store quick and I got dinner ready for the boys. A few minutes later somebody was furiously pounding on our door. I turned around to see flames flying out the back of our grill. Yikes! The kind lady potentially saved our home from burning down, although I wasn't super impressed with the lecture. We've had this grill for a long time, so we are blaming its old age for the random fire. The flames were stretching so far that they warped our siding. Sigh. 

Aside from that, we have had a great past week! Elijah is sleeping later in the mornings, which is so super awesome. His behavior at home has not improved by a whole lot, so we are hoping a slight med dosage increase will help with this. Behavior at school has been mostly great. Today was a "so-so" day, which I'll happily take.

The little boys and I took our second trip to the library tonight. Sammy was VERY upset about having to say good-bye to his library book. He does not like change. He came around, though, and picked out a fun new book about the different seasons. Elijah went the fiction route this week and picked out a silly book that we are looking forward to reading at bedtime tonight.

I wanted to share this photo of Elijah with his kindergarten teacher's sweet, adorable little girl. It was my privilege to take her 1-year photos a couple weeks ago. We love Mrs. B so very much and miss having her as his teacher this year. She will always have a very special place in our hearts. I prayed for her since Elijah was a tiny baby, and I remember meeting her for the first time and just KNOWING she was meant to be E's teacher. We love her and we love her beautiful little girl! Elijah was my photo assistant for this session and did a great job!

I had a work opportunity come up for the next 10ish days, so I'll be super busy with that. Dan will be manning the crazy Porta fort for a while. Thanks for checking in! Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week of words

The little boys and I are having a fun week! We miss Dan, but we are making the most of our quality time together in this BEAUTIFUL weather (finally!). On the drive home from the airport the other day, I looked into the backseat to see Sammy's head in his hands. I asked if he was ok and he sadly said, "Yeeeaaah. Just finkin' about Daddy." It sounds like Dan is having a great time showing kids around DC, so we are excited to hear all about the trip!

Elijah has been sooo interested in reading lately. He has always loved reading, but lately even more than ever. He gets up in the morning and starts reading right away and he reads for at least 20 minutes before bed every night. It's great! I suggested we take a trip to the library (our first ever, sadly), and the boys were super excited! Sammy picked out a silly book that he has carried around with him just about everywhere, and Elijah picked out a book about the caterpillar-butterfly transformation. He told me at the library in a hushed voice, "Mom! I love non-fiction books and learning about REAL things!" Yes! I love it! He has read the book front to back at least five times. He can tell you about every little part of a butterfly's development.

I chatted with Elijah's sleep doctor yesterday and she told me to increase the dose of his meds by a teeny tiny bit more. I THINK he has been sleeping a lot later in the mornings! I think. I'm pretty sure. This morning I didn't hear him until the 5:00 hour, which is a HUGE step in the right direction. So far, his full days back at school have all been in the "great" behavior category. Yay!

And he has started showing much more interest in his peers and what they think of him, which is awesome. There is one little girl who is not in his class, but who he sees at recess every day. He is drawn to her, and keeps approaching her out of a desire to be with and play with her. At first he told me that he was asking her if she would marry him, which resulted her in running the other way. :) Then he told me that he was showing her his "bunny dance." Oh boy. I have started coaching him a bit, telling him that if he really wants her attention that he needs to ask her questions that she would enjoy answering...and to say them clearly and loudly. He was proud to tell me yesterday that he had clearly and loudly asked her to play with him. But she still ran away. Today he said to me, "Mom, I don't think she wants to be my friend. I think she thinks I'm a preschooler." :( I am so excited for the day when he finds a little friend who loves and appreciates him and wants to spend time with him. In the meantime, I will continue to do social coaching! And I am SO thankful that he is showing genuine interest in wanting peer acceptance. This is huge! It's been a long time coming, and it's a big step for him.

Sammy gets to spend a few hours at daycare tomorrow with his sweet little friends so I can get a bit of work done. It is always amusing trying to work with him at home. He sits on my lap as I type and tells me story after story, while driving toy trains up and down my arms and legs. I love that silly boy!

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of your week! Thanks for checking in!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cardiology check-up

Today was Elijah's first day back at school after a long spring break. He had an "awesome" day! Wooo! We picked him up a bit early and scooted downtown for his bi-yearly cardiology visit. My tummy always feels a bit "off" on cardio-visit days, and today was no exception. All was well, though. In fact, everything looked GREAT! Dr. G had told us last fall to expect another heart cath this summer. Well, guess what! His heart function and pressures looked great (for him) today, so no heart cath for another 6-9 months! This will be the longest stretch between heart caths EVER!

We asked Dr. G about a timeframe for the next valve replacement (open heart), and he said it would be a minimum of two years. Maybe more. Elijah has some big growing years ahead of him so the faster he grows, the sooner the next big surgery will need to happen. We're thinking 2016 might be The Year.

I know E's sleep doctor has conferred with Dr. G about the new meds he is taking to help improve sleep, but I couldn't help but ask him about the meds myself. He had ZERO worries about these meds adversely affecting his heart function in any way. Phew! It always feels good to get the Dr. G endorsement firsthand. Love him.

By the way, we have been verrrrry gradually increasing Elijah's sleep meds over the past 10ish days and we really have no idea if they are working. I think he is sleeping a bit later in the mornings, but his behavior at home hasn't been ideal. We will continue with the meds for a bit longer, increasing the dosage by a bit, and see how things go. THANK YOU to the commenter who suggested the baby video monitor to keep an eye on his sleeping during the night. What a great idea! It's on my list for this week so I don't have to wonder for hours during the night whether he is asleep or wide awake.

Literally while we were at the doctor's office today I got a call from the neuropsychologist's office. They had received our paperwork and were ready to schedule an appointment. Yay! It is much sooner than I anticipated, so Elijah will have a FIVE-HOUR evaluation done on April 29th. I know this will provide us with even more valuable insight into how Elijah works and thinks. I'm genuinely giddy about this visit, whatever "news" we receive. The puzzle pieces keep clicking into place!

Dan leaves for a five-day work trip tomorrow, so the boys and I will be flying solo for a while! Our agenda includes: a bit of daycare time for Sammy so I can get some work done (he is NOT happy about this), a visit to the library (Elijah is very interested in Abraham Lincoln lately), trips to the park, pizza-movie night, GREAT days at school and lots of boy-Mama time! Please pray Dan's trip goes well and that the boys and I have a healthy, fun week. Wishing you all an incredible week, too!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Out of the mouths of the silly Porta boys

A couple Porta boy funnies to end your day...

Elijah asked what would happen if somebody stole a valued possession and I did my best to explain the concept of insurance to him. I explained how insurance can sometimes cover the costs for stolen items. He gave me a super quizzical look and said, "Uhhhhh...that doesn't make any sense, Mom. Just find those mean people and punch them!" 

Dan: Sammy, are you going to say good-night to Mommy?
Sammy: Yes! She is the prettiest girl in real life!