Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cutest boy ever

Elijah continues to tease me with his almost-crawling...Is that face not the CUTEST?

Remember, the day he crawls, we are having a huge party! And when he walks, we're having an even huger party!! I'll be such a proud mommy when both happen.

Elijah is doing much better today. He spent half the day at daycare with Carrie and he didn't get a fever all day. He was almost back to his normal self. Probably more like 90% Elijah. Give him another couple of days and I think he'll be 100% Elijah.

I've been worrying a lot lately about his (lack of) progress in some important areas. I'm trying not to focus on those things and remember that my baby boy is ALIVE and slowly progressing. Being the mama, though, it's hard not to worry. I love him and I want the very best for him.

Thanks for checking in! We have a fun weekend ahead. I may even be able to skydive..woohoooo!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cheese curds, yum

Elijah had another fever this morning, but again, it was only 99.5 degrees. Dan called the surgeon's office and talked to a nurse. She said that since Elijah has had a cold, the fever is most likely related to that. As long as it doesn't get higher than 101 degrees and he doesn't start throwing up, we shouldn't worry (ha!). His surgical site looks great. It is healing up very nicely and it doesn't look like anything is out of the ordinary there.

We had been planning on going to the state fair tonight, but we weren't sure if it would be in Elijah's best interest, with him not feeling 100% yet. This afternoon we decided just to do it. If we had to come back home, then oh well. This is the only night we'd be able to go this year, so we went. Dan and I pigged out on some yummy greasy food and about half way through, Elijah started to get fussy. If only we had known at the very beginning that Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies cured everything! We gave him 1 1/2 cookies, and he didn't fuss the entire rest of the evening. Not even on the way home or as I was putting him to bed way late, at 8:00. Good thing we brought home extra cookies!

Whoa Mama, look at the huge cow!

I'm just going to sit here and scratch my belly.

Not liking the Oink Booth crown too much. I think this was the beginning of the fussiness. Maybe it was just the smell in the pig barn.

Minnesota's largest boar. 1240 lbs.!

Mmmmm, chocolate chip cookies cure everything!

Cookies and milk!

Elijah was IN LOVE with this statue. We were waiting for Dan as he got us some garlic fries (I can still taste the garlic, gross) and Elijah started pointing his finger at something. He was pointing at this cute little man. I took him out of his stroller and walked over to him and he was just in awe. He checked him out for ten solid minutes.

Reading a book on the way home.

So tired, but being so good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Recovery continues

Just when I thought things were looking up for our little man, he decided to come down with another fever. It's still low, 99.1, but should he still be getting fevers, almost a week after surgery? We may call the doctor in the morning to see what they think. He is still just super fussy, too. He keeps grabbing at his diaper, so I'm sure he's itchy and uncomfortable. I'm not sure what I expected going into this, but I did not think he would struggle so much post-surgery. I noticed that he sneezed about a million times tonight, and that is usually a sign of a cold for him. NOOoo! I'm just feeling tired and blue and I want my baby to feel good. Please say some prayers for healing for him.

Here are some pics from our trip to the park on Sunday. Look at that happy face.

There are three reasons for me to share this pic. 1. So you can see my messy living room, 2. so you can see Elijah's cute pants with the baseball on the butt, and 3. so you can see him up on all fours, sooo ready to crawl. We've seen him try it a couple times, but he falls over and then just scoots to where he wants to go. He's getting there!

Thanks for checking in! Please continue to keep Johnny's family in your prayers. They are going to need a lot of prayer support in order to deal with their baby's passing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prayer please

I started today off feeling frustrated. I wondered WHY Elijah couldn't clap his hands yet and WHY he couldn't really say any words. I focused on the fact that he really acts more like a baby who is 12 months old and that there are many things that he SHOULD be doing that he's not. Then I checked Johnny's blog. And I cried. And I reprimanded myself for being upset about my son's lack of progress. Elijah is alive and well and doing his best. Johnny passed away. He is gone.

My heart is breaking right now. I cannot fathom having my child die in my arms. It is inconceivable. My heart goes out to Johnny's parents and his big sister. I wish there was something we could do to relieve their pain. I cannot fathom the pain they are feeling.

Please, say some prayers for these very sweet and special people. Dave and Lea are amazing and they have just endured the most difficult thing any person can endure. They lost their child. Pray for them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Today was definitely the turn-around day, but we still had some difficulties. Last night I was feeling overwhelmed with all the things Elijah's little body needed to do to be healthy again, so I decided to focus on one of those things and pray hard for it. So I prayed for poop. And wow, that prayer sure was answered today because I changed TWELVE poopy diapers! I'm not joking! Tonight I'm focusing my prayers on fluid intake because he is still refusing to drink much. Hopefully tomorrow he will be chugging down his water like he usually does.

He was pretty tired and crabby for most of the day today. Thank goodness for Veggie Tales. What did people do to console their sick, tired, crabby babies before television? I can't imagine! He was so ready for bed by 5:00, but I managed to hold him off till 6:00 and he's been totally zonked since then.

His temp fluctuated a lot again today, but it never got higher than 99.2 degrees. I think those antibiotics are doing their job and fighting something off. I'm hoping for no elevated temps tomorrow. The area that was worked on in surgery is looking much better, but it's still hard to look at. Poor little man. He's been through so much.

We did manage to make it to the park today for some swinging. He looooves to swing. When we turn the corner to the park, he sees the swings and starts to flap his arms and kick his legs like a crazy man. He's so funny. Other than that, we just hung out at home and did lots of playing and reading books and watching Veggie Tales when he got really fussy.

I decided it wasn't in Elijah's best interest to spend the night at the dropzone, so we are at home right now. We miss Daddy! It's hard spending weekends away from him now, but it will be good to have the extra money. Dan has been so focused on this goal all summer and I'm so proud of him for making it happen and doing everything he can to contribute financially. My job provides us with unbeatable benefits, so me leaving there is not an option for us. With him substitute teaching throughout the school year, he has been able to be with Elijah through some critical times. He has had the flexibility to stay home with him when needed, and he has never complained about our situation. He is such a good daddy. Elijah and I love him so much.

One last thing. It is my stepmom's birthday today and I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her! She has been such a huge support for us. She has been so wonderful to my dad and to me and to my family. We all love her very much. She treats me as her own daughter and I'm so thankful for that. Paula, we love you! We can't wait to see you in November!

Thanks for checking in. Sorry, no pics tonight. Tomorrow!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Up down up down

Phone's for you, Mama!

Today was a bit of a trying day. I came home for lunch and Elijah seemed miserable. He was burning up and he was as tired and crabby as ever and he was still refusing to drink liquids. He was just a mess, and I was pretty upset about seeing him like that. I decided that I needed to stay with my baby for the rest of the afternoon. That was the very best thing for both of us, so I didn't go back into work. I got him to take a nap and he slept well. After his nap we had a few hours of happiness before he started to get hot again. Finally the thermometer was reading a temperature. He was 99.5 degrees when I put him to bed. Not bad, but still elevated a bit. We're not supposed to call the surgeon unless it gets over 100 degrees, so we will PRAY hard that we won't need to do that.

This furrowed brow face is new this week.

C is for Cookie....

Even though it was a tough day for me emotionally and we experienced some icky lows, I was also able to see some goodness for the first time since surgery so that was reassuring. We will keep a close eye on his temp throughout the night and we will pray and pray that nothing bad comes of this.

I was just telling Dan that if Elijah were a "normal," healthy child, this would be tough. But it wouldn't be THIS tough. I just can't stop thinking about his heart and how much harder his body works to accomplish things, and his solitary kidney and how much harder it has to work to process just goes on and on. If only he were just a typical, healthy child healing from a typical surgery. If only!

Kissy face

Wanna play with my toy, Mama?

Feeling my big belly! Lately he has been touching his belly and belly button a lot. He will even touch his scars and look down at them like, What are these things??

He loves to share. If he has a cracker in his hand, he'll offer it to whoever is near. Now he will pretend share with me. He'll put his fingers together like there's a cracker there and he'll pretend to feed it to me.

Ronda and Andrew, look at his legs! Crossed again. :) He loves to be comfy. He crosses his legs all the time, whether he is sitting, lying down, on his tummy, on his back.. He is definitely my child!

Another new, cute face.

Dan came back home from the dropzone today because I was a wreck, but he'll be heading back in the morning hopefully to work for the rest of the weekend. I'm hoping and praying and praying and praying that Elijah doesn't give me any more scares so we can have a calm, relaxing, healing, healthy weekend.

All of your prayers for Baby Johnny have been paying off! He is doing much better now. Please continue to PRAY hard for him and his sweet parents. Stop by and leave them an encouraging comment on their blog if you get a chance.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting better from here, we hope

Our little man just didn't feel well today. Understandably so. If you could see his incisions and stitches and swollen, bruised skin, you would understand. He was exhausted all day, he was a pretty crabby guy, and he didn't act like himself at all. I came home for lunch to spend some time with him and noticed that he felt a little bit warm and had flushed cheeks. I took his temp and surprisingly, he had a normal temp. I was shocked! Dan said he took his temp again after his nap this afternoon and it was still normal. When I got home from work he felt even warmer than he did over lunch so I took his temp again and...nothing! I don't get it! I even used two different thermometers. I'm a mommy. I know when my baby is warm. Elijah was WARM. But the thermometers weren't reading anything above normal. Weird??? I put him to bed early because he was totally exhausted, and he has been sleeping peacefully since. I keep praying that today was the worst of it. That after today, things will start to get better. That there will be no fevers or scares. That this surgery was the right thing to do and the right time to do it.

It might look like he is in pain, but this is actually his flirty face. So cute.

The deeply flirting face

We didn't NEED to do this surgery right now. It was different from his heart surgeries because those were absolutely necessary in order for him to survive. This wasn't. I keep wondering, if something were to go wrong, if he were to get an infection, how guilty would I feel about that? But I really shouldn't go there. We are just looking out for him. We don't want him to remember these surgeries, so it is best to get them done now, while he is very young. All we can do now is pray that everything turns out ok and that he starts to bounce back.

Mmmmmm, cookie

Preoccupied with Veggie Tales

Dan is planning to be at the dropzone all weekend, and Elijah and I are going to play things by ear. We'll see how tomorrow plays out and go from there. If he is feeling better, we might spend Saturday night at the dropzone as well. If he isn't feeling better, we'll hang out at home. Please continue to pray for our sweet boy. We want no complications and for him to start feeling better soon. Thanks! And thanks for the prayers for Baby Johnny, too. Have a good weekend! Thanks for checking in on us.

Tired and sore

We had a much better night than I anticipated. Elijah woke up at 1:30 in pain, so Dan gave him tome pain meds and they seemed to work well. He was awake yelping in pain a little bit here and there throughout the early morning hours, but for the most part he seemed to get a decent night of sleep. When I got him out of his crib this morning, he wrapped his arms around my neck really tight and would not let go. He looked around the room, probably to make sure we were not in the hospital, but still wouldn't let go of me. I sat down with him and talked to him and held him close for a while and that calmed him down a little bit. He's not himself at all, but I don't think I would be either if I had just had such an icky surgery. He's super tired, grumpy, sore and clingy. When I left for work he looked at me like, MAMA! How could you leave me right now?! and started to cry. It broke my heart. Dan is home with him today, so he will get plenty of Daddy loves.

Please keep baby Johnny in your prayers. He had a very rough day yesterday and a scary night. I was able to quickly stop by the ICU and see him yesterday while we were at Childrens. His mama is just so sweet. My heart aches for the roller coaster ride his parents are on right now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We are home,

but it certainly didn't come easy. We just experienced possibly our most frustrating hospital departure yet. Surgeon said we could go if we got cardiology and anesthesiology approval. So we got cardiology and anesthesiology approval. We were told we could leave at 4:30, after Elijah's last dose of IV antibiotics. At 4:15 the nurse came in and said that Surgeon wasn't satisfied with the cardiology approval because HE didn't hear the words himself (personally I think it was because it was a WOMAN who approved it...). He wanted to hear it with his own ears and wouldn't let us leave till he did. By this time, practically everyone was gone from the clinic, so we sat and waited for a cardiologist to call this man. And we waited. All because Surgeon didn't trust what he had heard apparently?? Finally, a(nother) well-respected cardiologist (who happened to be male) called to say, YES, Elijah can go home now, and Surgeon was satisfied. It most definitely would NOT have been in the best interest of Elijah to spend the night there, and everyone knew that. Dan and I were closer than we've ever been to removing our son's IV ourselves and running from the building. We were both on the brink of totally losing it and exploding.

After he woke up, he was a crabby man. He cried for quite a while but we knew he wasn't in pain. He just wanted those people in blue shirts to leave the room. Once they did, we set up the laptop with Veggie Tales and he was in heaven. Veggie Tales pulls through again!

Despite that drama and stress, Elijah did an amazing job, and we are home, and all in one piece. Thank you, GOD!! Elijah is really sore and really really swollen and bruised, but that will heal. He is still gunky and coughing and congested. When I put him down to sleep in his crib he refused to let go of my neck. Stupid hospital, scarring my sweet boy. I'm pretty certain he will be rolling around on his very sore spots through the night, so it might be a sleepless one. Dan and I got little to no sleep last night, so I'm sure we'll be even worse off tomorrow. Oh well, that's the price we pay for making sure our precious little boy is well cared for. It's so worth it. I'd do it over and over again every single day if I had to. That kid amazes me. His strength, his tolerance of...everything, his endless happiness, his resiliency, it all amazes me.

Ok, so we were told after his last heart surgery not to EVER expect high 90s sats. They thought he'd settle right around 90-95% because he still has a tiny residual hole between his atriums that is mixing a tiny bit of blood. Well...look at the monitor! 100%! It was at 97-100% all day. This makes me so happy! I think a tear rolled down my cheek when I looked up and saw 100%.

We are going to chill for a bit and then head to bed. We're treating ourselves to Chinese food tonight. Yummmmm.

Please pray for no infections, and a continued good recovery for this sweet little boy of ours. Oh, and good rest!! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers today.

p.s. Despite my harsh words and feelings toward Surgeon, I AM grateful for the excellent work he did on our son. I just find myself wondering why everyone can't have wonderful knowledge AND bedside manner, like the rest of our doctors do. Oh well, what can we do.


The surgeon just came in to tell us that everything is finished. He said, "Oh. I am tired," and sat on the floor. He ended up doing a lot of reconstructive work, and was able to get everything done that he wanted to. We should be able to see him within an hour, and then we will gauge how he feels, eats, etc.. We asked if there was ANY possible way to go home today and he said as long as cardiology approved it, then we could. We'll see how he is doing once he gets in here and then we may be making a phone call to cardiology. The thought of sleeping on this cold floor does not sound appealing.

Thanks for checking in! Hopefully our next update will be from home.

In the OR

We'll see if this works.. Suddenly the hospital is blocking blogger, so I have to try to make a post the hard way.

Elijah did great this morning, starving and all. He was a good boy as we waited for the doctors and nurses to make their rounds. Now that he's more mobile, we had a hard time containing him in our little room. He wanted to scoot everywhere!

We got our favorite anesthesiologist again, Dr. Altman. He took care of Elijah for his last heart surgery and he is wonderful. He assessed E's upper respiratory cold and felt comfortable going ahead with surgery since his oxygen sats WERE AT 99% (!!) and since he hasn't shown signs of being fatigued.

We asked the surgeon a few questions (uggg, have I mentioned how incredibly arrogant this man is?) and we feel totally comfortable with him repairing our baby. Arrogant, yes, but he certainly knows what he's doing.

Anyway, we got to go into the OR and hold Elijah as he was put under anesthesia. That was the first time we have done that and it FREAKED ME OUT. I'm not sure I'll be doing that again. Dr. Altman just peeked his head in and said that so far, everything is going great. We are for sure spending the night (booo!) because they are being extra cautious about his heart. Dan and I will be sleeping on the floor, as there is not even a couch in this room. Fun!

I'll update again when we hear more. Thanks for the prayers. Keep them coming.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here we go again

I never thought I'd be so happy to announce such a thing, but SURGERY IS ON! We took Elijah to the doctor for a quick check since it wouldn't be very fun to be sent home from the hospital in the morning for being too sick. The doctor said his lungs sound great and that it's just his nose and throat that are gunky.

We will get to the hospital at 7:00 in the morning, and surgery is scheduled to start at 8:30. We haven't talked to his surgeon in months, so I can't remember how long the surgery will take. I think I remember hearing somewhere around 2-3 hours. We are planning on spending the night tomorrow night since that is what we were told to expect. Hopefully Elijah will show everyone that he doesn't need to stay overnight, but I don't want to get my hopes up too much.

Elijah has about a billion trucks, but I just couldn't resist getting him another one to give him after his surgery for being such a brave, big boy. He's going to love it. Now, no more trucks till at least Christmas!

I know this surgery is much less risky than some he has been through, but I still don't like it. It's still not easy. I still have a tummy full of knots and a desire to flee to Nassau. But it will be good to put behind us. One more thing to check off the list. We know God has this under control, so we will put our focus on that.

Please pray for our munchkin. Pray that his lingering cold doesn't interfere with his intubation/surgery, that the surgery goes as planned, that he doesn't get too emotionally traumatized by any of this and that we won't need to spend a night in the hospital. Thank you!

Also, please say a prayer for Johnathan and his sweet family. Baby Johnny is having open heart surgery right now, as I type, at Children's-Minneapolis. He is four months old and his heart was in serious need of correction leading up to today. Our very own wonderful surgeons are working on him, so we know he is in good hands. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fun things & not fun things

Once Dan got home from his Man Weekend today we spent some time with friends on Prior Lake (Elijah's first boat ride! Thanks, Lisa!), but most of the rest of the day was a difficult one. I think Elijah is sick again, on top of his recent sickness. He ate barely anything all day, which is very unusual. He was pretty grumpy and whiny and tired for most of the day, and did lots of coughing and had lots of goopy boogers. Poor little man, something is going on in that little body. We tried to feed him a little dinner when we got home from the lake, but he tossed all of his food on the floor, so we put him straight to bed and he hasn't made a peep since.

His surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday and I'm praying that some miraculous healing happens before then so we can get it over with. I'm not feeling so sure about that right now, but we'll just have to wait and see. Every time we have a big hospital visit approaching Elijah decides to get sick and stress Mama out.

Hmmmmm, not so sure about this life jacket

I finally caught some flirty faces on camera

Chillin' on the boat, flirting with the ladies

Look at that beautiful face, I could just munch on it

Driving the boat, but not happy about it

Truck? Nope, not even a truck can make him happy. Time to go home!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quality time

He looks like such a big boy to me lately. His baby qualities are quickly fading.

Grabbing his feet, a favorite thing to do lately. It's cute because he tries to say "foot." It comes out more like "Faaa!"

Dan got called in to work at the dropzone for a while this morning, but afterwards he headed up north to meet his friends for the rest of the day and evening. So Elijah and I got to spend a very fun day together. We went to the air show this morning with Grandma Kitty and he thought the planes were pretty cool. Then G'ma treated us to lunch at the Pancake House, where Elijah ate about 3 pounds of pancakes, bananas and eggs. After that was nap time and then the two of us went for a walk to the park, played with cars in the living room, read books, did some physical therapy exercises, ate dinner, and after all of that, he was exhausted. He just went peacefully to sleep, the little angel. I just love days like today. I try to absorb every moment and enjoy my little boy as much as possible. During the week when I'm sitting at my desk, sad and missing him, these are the times I think about that help me feel better.

Brrrmmmm brrrrrrmmmm...a real life Jeep to sit in! I think it was a little bit intimidating. He sat there for about 30 seconds and then gave me a very serious look and made the sign for ALL DONE.

So we had a couple of exciting firsts today! First air show, first bus ride, and first time drinking from a straw! I couldn't believe it. At lunch, Dan's mom said, "Here Elijah, drink from the straw!" and put a glass of water with a straw in front of him. I said, "We're still learning, he doesn't quite have that down yet." I looked over, and....Elijah was gulping down water from the straw! I cheered him on like crazy. He was totally fascinated with the straw drinking, so every two seconds he would point at the cup with the straw in it and I'd give him another sip.

I love how I (accidentally) caught the sun shining on the planes in this pic

How exciting, sitting in a helicopter! Elijah is the co-pilot. Hop in, Mommy. I'll take you for a ride so you can jump out with your paracute on (something I've always wanted to do...someday!)

Ok, it looks like the spot is good. Here, I'll open the door and you get ready to jump!

Tonight I plan on sitting my butt in front of the tv for a bit and going to bed early. Tomorrow we have some more fun stuff planned once Dan gets home, but you'll have to check back to find out what it is! It will be another first for Elijah! Have a good, safe weekend. Thanks for keeping up on us, we really appreciate all of you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cleared for surgery, stay away gunk

This morning we took Elijah in for his 18-month well visit and his pre-op physical. Because his lungs are still pretty junky from his cold, he will be taking antibiotics for a few days to hopefully ensure that we won't have to reschedule Wednesday's surgery. This surgery is for his hypospadias repair. There is a 30% chance he'll need a second surgery a few months down the road, but we won't know that till after this first one. I am absolutely dreading being in the hospital, even if it is for just one night.

Elijah is in the 19th percentile for height (Mama's shrimp genes), 26th for weight (his growth has slowed down a bit since learning to move around more) and 70th for head size (!!). We talked a bit about his development and how his low blood-oxygen saturations really affected him for the first 14 months of his life. He is way way behind in gross motor development, as we already knew, and Dr. Judy thinks he may be behind in his speech as well. We are going to hopefully get him into a secondary PT program so we can get a couple different sessions with different therapists every week. The sooner we can get him caught up, the better.

The appointment went great. Very few tears, only when he got his DPT vaccination. Dr. Judy is very gentle with him, so he flirted his way through most of the visit and kept offering her his soggy, saliva-soaked crackers. What a sweet boy!

Dan's mom is going to come over to watch Elijah tonight so Dan and I can get out of the house for a bit after he goes to bed. Tomorrow Dan is heading up north for the weekend to spend time with his college friends. It will be a fun experiment to see if I can get through the weekend without my left arm crumbling off my body. I am in so much pain from this stupid tenosynovitis. I'm thinking that cortisone shot did nothing for me. UGhhghh. Anyway, Elijah and I have some fun things planned this weekend, so I'll update again soon with pics.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Thanks for checking in on us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some insight into our sport

Our wonderful dropzone, Skydive Twin Cities, recently experienced a fatal tragedy. Skydiving deaths tend to lead to misconceptions about our sport, so I want to write a little bit about skydiving to let everyone know that what is reported on the news about it is very rarely totally truthful. We aren't just a bunch of careless crazy people with death wishes.

I had just gotten through a really low time in my life when I started skydiving. I made my first jump to signify a new chapter for myself. I wanted to do something daring and something I had never done before. I thought I would skydive once and be satisfied, but I knew the instant I jumped out of the plane that first time that I wanted to do it again. And again and again and again! It was thrilling, freeing, amazing, liberating, and a little bit scary. I loved it. It became a huge passion of mine and a really big part of my life. Skydiving has given me confidence, courage, happiness, freedom, many lifelong friendships, and even my awesome husband, and therefore my awesome child as well. This sport has taught me a TON about myself and it has brought many good things my way.

I would not consider skydiving a safe sport. There are many things that can go wrong once you jump out of an airplane. BUT. It is not as unsafe as most non-skydivers believe. The parachutes and back-up systems that we all have on our rigs here in the year 2008 are very advanced. Even if you fail to pull either your main or your reserve parachutes, there is a device that will inflate your reserve parachute for you. Parachutes are completely maneuverable and with a little experience, you can land in a pre-determined spot very accurately. In 2006, only 6 of the 60 worldwide fatalities have a label of "Equipment Malfunction." A lot of the fatalities and injuries in this sport happen because of some level of human error.

I thought of a good analogy this morning on my way to work. It's kind of like driving a car. If you are as safe a driver as possible, you can decrease the risk of getting into an accident. If you wear your seatbelt, drive a safe car that is well maintained, avoid aggressive driving, obey the street signs and the rules of the road and the speed limits, respect other drivers, be aware of the cars around you, and avoid distractions while driving like texting or talking on the phone, you will certainly decrease your chance of getting into an accident. Unfortunately, doing all of these things doesn't rule out all accidents. Sometimes another car will run a stoplight or a deer will cross the road in front of you or you will find yourself in a blizzard or you will make a poor judgment when a family of ducks walks onto the freeway. Now you don't have complete control and bad things can happen. This is a lot like skydiving. You can eliminate a lot of the risk if you practice safe jumping, but you can never eliminate all of the risk.

The man who died on Friday was just an acquaintance to me, but a lot of our friends had known him for 10-15+ years. Friday was a very sad day for everyone, as STC has never before experienced a tragedy like this. His death did not result from equipment failure, like the news made it sound. He was a very experienced skydiver who died after making a miscalculation in his altitude while performing a high-performance turn in an attempt to land. His parachute was unable to recover from the turn before he reached the ground. (Or something along these lines, as no one really knows for sure yet.)

Even though being a mama has seriously decreased the number of jumps I make, I still plan to continue skydiving and hopefully in the future, as Elijah gets older, I'll really get back into it. Dan is now officially a tandem instructor (YAY, HUBBY!), so he doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. We understand the risks and we take all the precautions we can to be safe skydivers. We are not careless individuals who don't have regard for our child or family or friends. We are informed and we are as safe as we can possibly be and we LOVE THIS SPORT and we want to help protect its integrity.

Next time you hear about a skydiving accident on the news, don't be so quick to believe the "BOTH parachutes FAILED to open!" remarks that are often made in that overly dramatic news voice that makes me want to puke. Most of the time, there is much more to the story and human error might likely play a role in that.

Rest in peace, Todd. Your passion for skydiving was inspiring, and you will be missed by many at STC, and at dropzones all around the country.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I've had a bit of a sad day. I miss my dad, stepmom and little brother terribly and I wish they were here with us right now. I also got a gross cortisone shot in my wrist today because I have De Quervain's Tenosynovitis from carrying my heavy baby around. Then there is the guy that we know from our cozy, small dropzone who died last weekend (more on that in another post). And on top of all of that, I just miss my baby. Being a working mama is hard. I spend a lot of time away from him, and I've mostly gotten used to it, but it is hard. I miss him a lot of the time. Tomorrow will be better. I think I'll go get a good night of rest. Here are some cool MN sunset pics we took tonight. The clouds looked amazing!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pool pics

Mama! I'm not so sure about this!

Hmmmm, maybe it's kinda cool..

The ball will protect me

This is FUN!

This is Elijah's third cousin Ian, who is 6 months younger and quite a bit bigger than he is. He is such a funny and cute baby. He liked to crawl over to Elijah and sit right on his butt. Elijah would look at us like, WHAT is he doing???

Playing with cousin Elle

I'm sooo cute