Thursday, December 27, 2007

More cuteness that you're just going to have to deal with reading about

Our boy is growing so fast and he's doing so many fun things that it's hard to keep up. Every day he does a cute new thing that I try to remember or jot down so I can write about it here, for those of you who are into reading about cute baby things.

More Elijah cuteness:

The other night I was taking him home from daycare and I kept hearing a deep, exhaled grunt coming from the backseat. It sounded like he was at the gym, grunting and exhaling with each push of the bench press. I looked back and Elijah was trying to sit up in his car seat. He was doing stomach crunches, trying to sit more upright, but his straps kept pulling him back down. He did it over and over and over, and every time, he'd let out a giant EERRRRrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Lately when I feed him, I can't get the spoon out of his mouth fast enough. He bites down on the spoon and I have to wedge it out of his mouth.

He does this cute silent giggle that is adorable enough to melt my heart into a giant puddle. He's never really been a big giggler. He giggles when Dan tickles him and lately he giggles when I play peek-a-boo with him, but otherwise he's always been kind of a tough crowd when it comes to getting him to giggle. Lately, when he has found something worth being amused by, he will squint his eyes, scrunch up his face and with his mouth open and different sized teeth spilling out, his lower jaw slides over to the right a bit and he just holds it there. No noise, just a scrunched up, lopsided happy face.
It's similar to this face, except more scrunched and lopsided:

I mentioned before his love for his favorite Veggie Tales silly song, Larry's High Silk Hat, right? His love for this song grows with every viewing. He now loves it so much that when the song that comes before this song ends, he gets VERY EXCITED and does spins and spins and spins in his exersaucer and looks back and forth between Dan and me like, Do you KNOW what song is next? Do you UNDERSTAND, guys? Do you? Do you? Then when HIS song is about to end, he starts crying. It's the end of his song! How can it end? It must be the end of the world, too!

Last night Elijah was a little more tired and crabby than usual so I gave him my cell phone, which is usually a last resort. I looked up to chat with some friends and when I looked back down I saw that we were Connecting to someone. Uh oh, who are we calling...Elijah had pressed DAD's speed dial number (Grandpa, to him). He must be excited about seeing him tomorrow! We are headed to North Carolina to visit Grandpa Dick and Grammie Paula and Uncle Joel early tomorrow morning. It will be our first plane trip with a baby, so I'm praying for a smooth day. We are very excited about warmer weather (MN is really just ridiculously cold and snowy this year) and about getting some quality time with the Weiss'.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas!

Elijah was such a good boy in church last night at the Christmas Eve service. He loooooved all the music and lights and when the music stopped he kept the singing going all by himself.

Elijah (solo): BAAA. BADA. DA. BA. BAAA. MMAA. HHAAHA. BAAA. BABAA. MABAMABA. HHAAA. (repeat 20 times.)

We didn't try to shush him because who can shush a talking, happy, funny, cute baby? We let him talk and sing and hopefully everyone in church thought it was as cute as we did. Oh well if they didn't.

We spent Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's house with the Porta side of the family. Our little man sat at the table with us for his first big family meal. He was a very good boy. He even got to try some of Great Grandma's famous homemade ravioli. Yummmm! He was overwhelmed by all of the activity (oh my, all those cousins trying to kiss and hug him!) but he did really well despite his mama-dada-clinginess lately. He went to bed later than he ever has in his life. 9:00! (I wish this meant he slept in past 6:00 this morning, but it doesn't work that way. At least not with our man.)

Today we are relaxing at home, enjoying our first Christmas together as a family. I am so very fortunate to have these two wonderful men in my life. Dan and Elijah are the best Christmas gifts a girl could get.

Quick cute, bragging story, and then I'll upload a few of the billions of pictures I've taken over the past few days:

Yesterday while I was changing Eli's diaper, I was singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider to him. Now, I have not sang this song to him in MONTHS. As I was singing it yesterday, I wasn't doing the actions, just quietly singing the words. As I was singing through it the second time, I noticed that during the part where the spider WENT UP THE WATER SPOUT, Elijah would move all of his fingers up and down really fast with his hands together and then during the OUT CAME THE SUN part he'd throw his hands over his head. I couldn't believe it! It has literally been at least two months since he has seen me do the actions to this song, and he remembered them and DID THEM HIMSELF. I guess he retains more than we think he does. Smartypants.

Eating his first Christmas cookie

Look at my six teeth! All different sizes and shapes!

Eating. Is. So. Exhausting.

Opening his first gift!

Yummmmmy blocks

The Elijah Smirk

I could just gobble that sweet face right up

Sweet cousin Kayla moves in for a smooch, resulting in a SCREAMING Elijah. He's not quite ready for smooches, I guess. He better stay like that till he's 35.

Grandma feeding Elijah a bottle....and Auntie Christine and cousins James, Alyssa, ?? (in belly) and Kayla

Thursday, December 20, 2007

10 months old

A year ago, the information we had received about Elijah's heart was just starting to sink in, and contractions and bedrest were unknowingly on the horizon. We were in an in-between stage that was actually somewhat peaceful. Now, we are in an in-between stage again: the aftermath of Surgery 1 has (mostly) worn off and Surgery 2 is on the horizon. The peacefulness isn't present this time around, though. The thought of handing my chubby, happy, "healthy" baby over to the surgeons for Round 2 makes me shudder. This time around, it's much more personal. Elijah has a personality and he can show his love for us and he's an actual PERSON, not just a pooping, eating blob of cuteness. In a way, I want that surgery to come fast so we can begin to move past it. In another sense, I don't ever want it to get here and I want to gather up my boys and flee to the Bahamas. But, that's not what is best for Elijah, and that's why we are dutifully and patiently waiting, with the big black cloud hanging over our heads. It's easy to say, well, just enjoy this time you have and don't think about it! I try, trust me, I try not to think too much about it, but that is much easier said than done. We ARE enjoying this time with our son, but that black cloud is always somewhere near, ready to storm all over me when I get weak.

On a much more uplifting note, Elijah is 10 months old today! He has been so fun lately and I thoroughly enjoy every moment I get to spend with him. We laugh constantly at the cute things he does and the funny sounds he makes. It's so fun getting to know this little person.

We have kept Christmas VERY simple this year in an attempt to focus on what is truly important to us. We have donated our Christmas money to the Children's Heart Foundation, in addition to getting Elijah a little something and a little something for each other. I would really like to instill in my son the idea that GIVING is much more important than receiving. In a lot of ways, I think the Christmas season gets completely out of control, with kids expecting gifts and getting more than their share of THINGS. I'd love for Elijah to understand that THINGS aren't what makes life important and Christmas isn't about getting presents.

I hope everyone is having a stress-free (ha!) and fun Christmas season! Love to you all...

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Some of the cute things Elijah has been doing lately:
Making himself laugh.
He'll be lying on the floor, engrossed in a rattle, no one is talking (except him), the tv isn't on, the only stimulus he is getting is from his rattle and his own voice, and he'll just start cackling. It sometimes goes on for a few minutes. It's almost like he just remembered a funny joke and cracks himself up thinking about it. The lady who watches him a few times a week said she has never seen a baby do that before. 
Doing the funny hand-ooo thing.
He will put one or both of his hands in the air as if to say STOP, and at the same time he'll raise his eyebrows and do his funny OOooooooo sound. He does it mostly when he's watching his favorite Veggie Tales Silly Song, Larry's High Silk Hat. Here, you can see the cuteness for yourself... 

Constant arm flapping.
Pretend you're waving both hands with broken wrists. This is what he does constantly (see above video). Hours and hours of arm flapping take place in our house every day. I am pretty sure arm flapping equals happiness.
Getting excited about books.
Every night before we put him to bed, we sit in the loft with him and read books. Even if he is a tired crabbypants, he will show genuine excitement when we pull out a book. The arm flapping that occurs during story time accounts for half of the day's flapping activity.
Poop grunting.
He cannot poop without doing his poop grunt, even if he is sleeping, crying or eating. Dan and I can recognize that sound from the other side of the world. We'll hear it from two rooms away and say to someone else, "Oh...we have a dirty diaper to go change," and they'll say, "How in the world did you know that?"
Constant yapping.
The kid likes to talk. He is constantly blabbing to himself. Now that he has discovered a couple new consonants, there is so much to say!

Doing the ventriloquist act.
His new sound this week is to say "Agoo-goo" repeatedly while his mouth is closed.
Even if there is no music, he will randomly start his side-to-side head bobbing, like he's trying to touch his ears to his shoulders. If you say, "Elijah, are you dancing?" the head bobs will become more vigorous and he'll give you a giant, heart-melting grin.

If you look close, you can see his new teeth

Cuddling with my snuggly man

Feeding yourself cereal is exhausting

Friday, December 14, 2007

New look

The tabs at top of the page aren't active yet, but I'm working on it.

Quick Elijah update: he woke up this morning with a HORRIBLE cough. UGghghghhghghghhhh!!!! But some good news, he can sit completely by himself now! Like, I can actually walk away from him and go get something done while he is sitting and playing.

That's all for now. I have some really cute video to share from last night. I'll get to that this weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Totally useless information

It's always interesting to see how some people get to this blog. Here are some of the keywords/phrases people have typed into google that brought them here.

open heart surgery crabbiness
congenital heart Christmas cards
1st percentile
baby sounds wheezy after bottle
MAPCAs on baby
baby dimples kidney
when to replace a leaky pulmonary valve in tof repair
breathing treatments baby video clips
infant with viral infection gross motor delays
Christmas wish for baby
MAPCAs success story
helmet for 6 month old
pulmonary atresia vsd MAPCAs
chylo thorax
tetralogy of fallot won't sleep
parents that skydive

thankful prayer for what i have right now

mom and dad are weird
cute helmets
Baby Poroto [maybe someone thought he was from Mexico?]
baby congenital double chin
chubby thighs
chubby thigh photos
Eli's Coming

has Elijah Wood got abnormal big eyes [not sure which is more unique, the question itself or the grammar]
furry skydiving
nebulizer treatments for dogs

steroids are making me hallucinate
nasty nurse story [left some bad words off of this one]
red heads are more fun

There were actually much more disturbing things than these, but I will spare you those details.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


After some serious photo retouching, I finally got Dan's baby picture ready to upload. Twenty nine years later, Elijah is now wearing the same cute outfit that his daddy wore. I cannot believe the chub Dan has hanging off his neck (yes, that skin hanging underneath his double chin is indeed a third chin)! Soo cute. After seeing this picture of Dan, I'm not sure that Elijah still looks like him. They obviously both have the same neck, but other than that, I'm not so sure. What do you all think?

Elijah has been doing a lot of experimenting with sounds this week, particularly the B and M sounds. He said "Mama" earlier in the week (yesss!!!) and now he is saying all kinds of things. He literally has been talking non-stop. Here are a few things I've heard him say today:

blah blah

His cold is slightly better and he's sleeping a lot better now. He still has a horrid cough that just will not go away. Other than that, we don't have much to report. I just heard a long string of mamas coming from downstairs, so I better go nibble on that chubby neck...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

To: Daddy, From: Elijah

Dear Daddy,
Today is your 29th birthday! 
I know I'm just a young fella and I haven't been around for very long, but from what I have gathered so far in my first nine months of life, this has been the most challenging, stressful, sad, strengthening, crazy, yet happy year of your life. You have endured more than your share of ups and downs this year, your 29th year, yet you haven't faltered for a second when it comes to loving Mama and me.
You started your 29th year off by finding out some hard news about my heart. You were Mommy's rock during that time. She always says that she couldn't have gone through that initial, uncertain part with anyone but you.
When I was wanting to come out of Mommy's tummy early, you did what you could to make sure I stayed in there for as long as possible. For seven weeks, you took care of Mommy so she could rest. In addition to going to work every day, you were Mom's nurse, chef, cleaning lady and errand runner. You prepared every single meal for her. You didn't care that she ate spoonfuls of peanut butter straight from the jar and watched Dr. Phil every day. You kept the house clean and kept up with the laundry and garbage and dishes and you did all the grocery shopping. Your efforts paid off because I was born only four weeks early and I didn't have a single prematurity-related complication.
Mommy had a painful recovery after I was born, and you helped her get through that. You wheeled her back and forth through the hospital hallways in her wheelchair numerous times so she could come visit me in the NICU. You made sure she was always as comfortable as possible. You helped get her to the bathroom when she could hardly walk. You made Lactation Tea for her three times a day. You even slept on that horrid chair-bed thing so you would always be near if she needed you. You came and sat with me when she wasn't able to. 
Once Mama was feeling better you were able to spend more time with me in the NICU. You never left my side other than to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom. You sat with me and held my hand and talked to me and prayed with me and told me over and over that everything was going to be ok. You were strong for Mom, too. Your strength during that time was amazing and vital. 
After getting home from the hospital, you allowed Mommy to gradually ease back into things. You got up to feed me two to three times every night. You still made dinner every night. You made sure Mommy had everything she needed, including lots of hugs and love. And, thoroughly exhausted and sleep-deprived, you went to work every day.
During my recovery from heart surgery a few months later, you sat with me in that dreaded Intesive Care Unit every possible second of every day until I was ready to come home. You combed my hair and rubbed my head and wiped my tears when I cried. You held Mommy's hand and comforted her when her heart ached so much she thought she might die.
After my surgery and recovery, your 29th year became a little bit less hectic, aside from that no-napping phase I went through from about Month 3 to Month 5 (sorry about that). The last part of the year may have slowed down a bit, but there was still plenty to do and you kept up with it all. You never missed a single doctor's appointment (and there were a lot). You worked with me every single day to help strengthen my muscles. You stayed at home with me for a large chunk of that time since Mommy couldn't leave her job and since I needed a little extra attention. You dealt with a whole lot of poop and vomit. You were extremely patient with Mommy as her body and emotions healed from the events of the year. You gave me lots of whisker rubs, which make me giggle uncontrollably. You sang to me and played with me and snuggled me and comforted me and read me books. And you still made dinner every night.
So, Daddy, I know your 29th year has been trying at times, but you've taken it all in stride. You have done so much for Mommy and me and we are both very thankful for you and we love you more than a zillion pounds of strained sweet potatoes and corn. You are a strong, loving, selfless, respectable man and I'm honored that you chose me to be your son.
Happy 29th birthday, Daddy. I love you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pics from our weekend at home

Bath time

This is an old outfit of Dan's. His mom has a picture of him wearing it when he was around Elijah's age. I'm hoping to get it from her so I can scan it in and post both of them side by side.

He was so happy and smiley when we were taking these pics. You'd never know he was trying to cough out a lung five minutes before this was taken.

There is little that I enjoy more than nuzzling my nose in that juicy, soft neck of his and smelling his sweet baby scent. I'm convinced that Heaven will be one giant Elijah neck roll.

Yes, our boy is sitting! On his own! He's not a totally independent sitter yet. He still needs some assistance, but he is progressing very rapidly and can sit by himself for a few minutes at a time.

Daddy trying to get Elijah to put weight on his legs.

The boys watching football

Is there a sweeter face than this?

p.s. I swear I heard "Mama" come from Elijah's mouth tonight. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I'm pretty sure...

The snot is going to eat us

We had a weekend filled with record amounts of goopy Elijah snot. Thank goodness for our recent purchase that extracts ten times more gunk than those weak blue things.

Elijah actually didn't sleep too bad this weekend, but he napped poorly, which made him pretty tired and crabby most of the time. His cough is just horrible to listen to, the poor kid. We've increased his nebulizer treatments to four times/day.

Dan and I both woke up this morning sick ourselves. Lovely! This week happens to be the busiest week of the whole year for me at work, so it makes things interesting. Dan's birthday is on Wednesday, so I'm hoping I have enough time and energy to make it a nice day for him. Such a young sprout he is. He's going to be 29! Next year is the big one.

We took some cute pics this weekend during the few moments when Elijah could breathe freely through the snot mountains. I'll post them later..