Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday update

I had to go get my weekly progesterone shot today and, me being me, had a slight complication with it. I have a few itchy bumps that surround the injection sites from the previous weeks injections, which turned out to be a mild case of hives. The doctors/nurses were very hesitant to continue giving me the shots. I pushed a little bit because I really feel my body needs all the help it can get with the contractions. They finally agreed to continue giving them to me as long as I take a dose of Benadryl before receiving each injection. Today's Benadryl dose knocked me out for two hours! So, I will continue with the shots (with Benadryl) and monitor the bumps closely.

I have really noticed these past few days that rest does my body good. When I am lying still, I hardly get a single contraction, but when I am up and about even a little bit the contractions start. I have to do what is best for the littlest member of our family and stay still, as hard as it is for me sometimes.

A quick, funny Elijah thing.. He has had a real problem with patience lately, so every time he gets antsy about something I remind him, "Patience, Elijah!" Now I have noticed that when he is waiting for something, he will repeatedly say to himself under his breath, "Patience! Patience! Patience!" It's super funny and cute and I'm proud of him for doing this instead of crying or whining about whatever he is waiting for.

Thanks for checking in on us and for the support! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rest rest rest

My beautiful little boy, before his recent hair cut..

I wish I had done a better job of recording the contractions I was having throughout my pregnancy with Elijah. I know they started at about the same time, around 17 weeks. Then I remember that around 25 weeks they increased in frequency and at 29 weeks the really really scary contractions began. I've only been getting around eight per day (at almost 21 weeks), and I wish I knew if that was about the same as last time. Last time, no one was concerned until 29 weeks when I went to the hospital after having a scary episode where I was having contractions every three minutes.

I think the doctors are being extra cautious with me this time, given my history. I have a feeling that if this were my first pregnancy I might not be on restrictions right now. Yesterday I got my cervical length checked and it looked good (4 cm), but it was 1 cm shorter than it had been at my check two weeks ago. That shortening, combined with my history and the few contractions I am having, is their basis for putting me on complete bed rest.

The earliest a baby can survive outside the womb is 24 weeks. Even if a baby is born at 24 weeks, the prognosis is not good, but at least there is a possibility of survival at that point. So the goal is for me to do as little as possible up until then and re-evaluate my situation. Right now my body is responding really well to rest. As long as I don't move and as long as I stay hydrated, I'm not having many contractions at all (I've had only two so far today). If in four weeks my cervix hasn't shortened any more and my contractions are under control, I can come off bed rest. We are praying hard for this!

I'm really struggling with how different my time spent with Elijah will be now, but I suppose this is something I will get used to as we start a new routine. I'm such a hands-on mom that it kills me not to be able to do a lot of the things that I love doing. I would rather change Elijah's diaper and get him dressed than watch Dan do it. I love to run around with him and I love to pick him up and squeeze him. I'm thinking we will have to start doing a lot of floor play where I can stay lying down. Puzzles, trains, magna-doodle, that sort of thing.

Everything else is going great this week. Dan has found three days of work, which is awesome, and I am doing an excellent job of taste testing ice cream (Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream = HEAVEN!). We had to cancel Elijah's dental visit today, so we will get that rescheduled soon.

Thank you so much for your prayers, everyone! We appreciate all of the kind comments and emails we have gotten. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good news, bad news

Thank you, everyone, so much for reaching out to Ashley. I absolutely love the network of amazing people I have found through starting this blog. I don't know what I would possibly do without all of you!

Now, some news about our little one. The great news is that his little heart looks fantastic! They looked and looked and could not find a single concern. YAY!!! This is amazing, surreal, crazy, wonderful news.

The not-so-great news is that my contractions have intensified over the last few days so the doctor wanted to give me a thorough exam today. She was concerned enough to immediately put me on complete bed rest for a minimum of four weeks. Four weeks from now would be the earliest that they could possibly try to save the baby if I were to go into labor. So, it is vital that I do not go into labor until then.

This has me super duper bummed out for many reasons. I'm trying not to think too far down the road and to just focus on TODAY. So, what is bumming me out TODAY is that this is really going to affect my time with Elijah. I'm not going to be able to take him places or run around and play with him or eat dinner with him or really do much of anything. For at least the next four weeks I will be parenting him from the couch. :(

It could be worse, though. At least I am at home and at least the baby is doing well and at least I have an amazing husband who would do anything under the sun to keep his family safe and at least I can still SEE my spunky little boy. I will try to focus on these things and hopefully my contractions lessen and I can get off bed rest in four weeks.

We would really appreciate your prayers right now. And please continue to pray for Ashley and her little girl, as well! THANK YOU!

Prayer request!

PLEASE go give this new heart mama some love! Ashley found out that her unborn baby will be born with multiple heart defects. She is currently 27 weeks along in her pregnancy and is on bedrest in the hospital because she is having pre-term contractions. I know this all too well!! I was terrified when I was at that point in my pregnancy with Elijah and loved and appreciated all of the love and support that was sent our way.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oh Weekend, I miss you

It's so sad how quickly Monday sneaks up on me every week. I loved our weekend. It was the perfect combination of things. Weekends are so wonderful.

We spent the first half of Saturday at the Children's Museum in St. Paul with some friends. Actually, this was my first time meeting these friends even though I felt like I've known them forever.

Olivia is Elijah's age, and ever since the two of them were born we have joked about setting up an arranged marriage. This weekend we sorted out some of the details. :) Don't you think they are a cute pair? They just haven't realized it yet. They didn't seem even slightly interested in one another.

The Children's Museum is a magical place for children (and for Dan). We wondered on our way out of the building how many meltdowns took place there daily, as Elijah kicked and screamed in protest to leaving.

Thanks to my sweet hubby, I was able to take a nice nap on Sunday morning, which allowed me to watch last week's episode of the Bachelor (whoa drama!) during Elijah's nap as I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. This was a huge treat for me since 99.99% of the time you can find me either at work or napping when Elijah is napping. Later in the afternoon, as Dan prepared some food for his evening guests, I took a nice warm bath and started a new book. Another treat!

Two of my cousins came over to watch the Vikings game with Dan, so after I put Elijah to bed I sneaked off to our bedroom and watched a movie and ate another entire pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. :)

And to make the weekend even better, there was NO COUGHING in our house and Elijah is finally caught up on his sleep after his latest sickness. Now we need to start working on that ridiculously early wake-up time of his.

Isn't this photo hilarious?

One disappointing thing is that Elijah has really regressed with his walking. He has learned how to fall onto his knees without getting hurt, so he uses that crutch a lot when there is a long (more than 5 feet) stretch in front of him and he doesn't feel like walking anymore. We know he will work past this, but it's a bit of a bummer.

Sometimes I convince myself of the illusion that once X happens (talking, walking, heart surgery, fill in the blank), Elijah will be just like everyone else. I keep getting reminders that everything is a process with our little boy. It took him many months after he learned how to crawl before he would crawl from room to room in our house. So, when we say, "HE'S WALKING!" that means that he can walk, but he's not walking everywhere or consistently yet. As with everything, his walking will be a process and we will continue to be patient.

The littlest, unborn member of our family gets a fetal echocardiogram on Wednesday so the doctors can get a close peek at his heart. We are praying for good results, but we will love and accept this baby boy no matter what! Elijah has his first dental visit on Thursday and other than these things we are hoping for an uneventful, healthy week. Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


One of Elijah's new things this week was saying "OK!" a lot, except it comes out, "Ohhhhhhh-kkkkkkkkkaaayy!" If he falls down or bumps his head, he will say, "I'm ohhhhhhh-kkkkkkayy!" The first time he did this Dan and I laughed so hard that he recreated the fall and said it again. :)

Our week was just ohhhhh-kkkkkaayy. I think the progesterone shots I've been getting to keep my contractions away have been making me extra tired. I have felt WIPED OUT. I hate it. I get home from work and all my body wants to do is lie down, while all I really want to do is play with my little boy. I don't like not having the energy to keep up with him. I usually force my body to do it, though, and once he is in bed I turn into a droopy-eyed pile of mush.

Wednesday was an interesting day. Dan had planned to bring Elijah to me at work at the end of the day, like usual, so I could bring him to PT/speech. Well, that never happened. Dan called to tell me that he had locked the two of them out of the house AND out of the car. I didn't like the idea of my boys standing out in the cold, so I grabbed my things and ran down to my car so I could get to them quickly. As I sprinted through the parking garage, I stepped out of both of my shoes, which made me fall pretty hard onto the pavement on my hands and knees. (My dad is going to cringe when he reads this, which will be followed by, "Where are your rubber-soled shoes, Megs??") My phone was in pieces underneath various cars around me and I had a nice gash in my hand. I made it home safely and let my boys inside. We didn't make it to PT/speech that night and I spent a lot of my time worrying that I had hurt the baby during my fall. It appears that the baby is fine. He continued to kick and punch, and even started hiccuping later that night!

One of the good parts of Wednesday was that we got to meet my cousin's very cute and very new little baby, Will. Dan, Elijah and I went to the hospital to visit them just a few hours after the birth and everyone was doing great. Elijah seemed curious about the little guy and gently touched his head, which I thought was really sweet. Then a nurse came into the room and Elijah suddenly thought we were springing something on him and freaked out. "MOMMYDADDYMOMMYDADDY!!!!!" Tears flowed and screaming took place, and we eventually had to leave to prove that nobody was there to hurt him. :(

Another good part of the week was that Elijah's sleeping improved by giant leaps and bounds. With the Cough practically gone during the nighttime, he was able to get SOLID sleep, which he desperately needed. Yay for that!

We have a really fun adventure planned for this morning. I'm excited and I think Elijah is going to have a blast. Hopefully I'll have time to take some pics and share later. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


My favorite juicy neck..

My raging pregnancy hormones have turned me into a weepy sap. I don't remember feeling this way when I was pregnant with Elijah. I cry over everything, and once I start crying I have a really hard time stopping. One of my main crying triggers lately has been Elijah. When I think about what a strong little person he is, or when I think about how much he has been through, or when I think about how he is going to feel about a new baby being in the house, or when I think about putting him on a bus to go to preschool next month, the tears instantly start gushing.

Lately I have been making an extra effort to cherish every single moment I get to spend with my little boy. I adore my time with him and I try to never let a single second go to waste. Maybe part of it has to do with being a working mom, but I feel like I do a really good job of making the most of our time together. I hope I am always this eager and able to do that.

One of the best opportunities I have for this (and my absolute favorite part of each day) is the 20 minutes Elijah and I spend alone together before bed. I look forward to this time every day, and when we are in the moment, I literally try to breathe it in. It is our special chunk of time spent with each other and I do everything I can to protect it. I almost never take Dan up on his offers to put Elijah to bed, and I try to schedule evening plans so they don't interfere with bedtime.

One of the good things I believe Dan and I have done as parents is to start a bedtime routine early on. This has made it so that bedtime is always an enjoyable experience. We literally started a routine the day we got home from the hospital when E was three weeks old, and we have only strayed from it on very rare occasions. We have never experienced bedtime struggles, not even the tiniest bit (aside from a short stint early on when he was sleep-deprived). We also strongly believe in early bedtimes (which equals a well-rested child) and separate sleeping quarters, but I'm getting off topic.

I want to document my nightly bedtime routine with my little boy because who knows what is going to happen to it once the baby comes. I always want to remember the details because they are all so special to me:

We clean up toys (E is surprisingly always very willing to do this) and brush teeth. The two of us head upstairs to the loft, where we read a few books. He goes through phases where he will have favorites and we read the same book every night for a month. We are currently stuck on Dr. Seuss' Oh the Thinks You Can Think and If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff. Elijah loves being read to, he always has, so we always have a fun interaction as I read. Sometimes we read a book enough that he starts to say the lines with me.

After reading, we say good night to Edward the Train (because he is usually lodged in E's hand all day long) and give him kisses and put him to sleep on the couch. Then we "walk 'a bedroom!" Even though Elijah can walk independently now, I think it gives him comfort to either be held or to hold my hand on the way to bed. I could try to force him to make this walk on his own, but this is our special time so I allow it.

Once we are a few feet from his rocking chair, he races me to the chair and puts his arms over the seat. That is my cue to (gently) sit on his hands and say, "OH NO! I squished your arms!!" This is a reference to Big Squash squishing Larry the Cucumber's hat on Veggie Tales. Elijah thinks it's hilarious.

Once I'm in the chair, I pick up my monkey, usually saying, "Come here, Lovebug," as he nuzzles his face into my neck. We say prayers, then we talk about Jungle Junction (yes, still) and lately he has been asking me to kiss his "doocey 'eck" (juicy neck). So, I willingly give that delicious, soft neck some kisses while he giggles in my ear. When he's ready, he will say, "Bed," and that is when I ask for a kiss and a squeeze and put him into his crib.

He snuggles up with his two favorite blankies as I give him a few more kisses and tell him good night. The last thing he says to me is, "Goo' 'ight, Mom. I 'ove 'ou." I leave the room before my heart melts into a puddle on the floor.

I always walk out of his bedroom with my heart feeling so full of love and gratitude. There could not possibly be a better way to end each day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sleep is wonderful

I have been loving my little boy to pieces lately. Not that I don't always love him like crazy, but lately I find myself stepping on the gas peddle a little extra hard after work and squeezing him a little extra tight around the neck. I could eat this boy with a spoon!

This is my new favorite photo..

Last night was the first night in quite a while that we in the Porta household slept through the night. No major coughing spells and no major sleep disturbances. YAY! It is amazing what some good sleep can do for a person (and for a family).

Elijah's little brother, Not-Zooter, was kicking around like crazy in my belly today. He must be getting excited to meet his big brother and wonderful daddy. It's hard to believe that there will soon be THREE boys in our house. Kinda weird, but very very cool. Boys are awesome.

That's all for now! I hope everyone is having a good week.

Monday, January 18, 2010


With all of the coughing that Elijah has been doing lately, his respiratory health has been something I have been thinking about a lot. (We did get his lungs listened to today and all is clear, phew!)

About a month ago, the three of us were driving home from somewhere in the city at night. As we cruised along the freeway, I spotted a huge tree in the distance that someone had intricately decorated with Christmas lights. It must have taken forever to get the lights on this tree because every single branch and every little twig attached to every branch had a string of lights wrapped around it. I am one to appreciate projects that take a good chunk of time to complete, so I thought it was really cool.

A few weeks before I saw this tree, during Elijah's most recent heart cath, Dr. G sat down with Dan and me and described to us in detail the way blood flows into and through the lungs. He drew two diagrams. One was of a healthy, normal set of lungs and the other was of Elijah's lungs. A diagram of the blood flow in healthy lungs has an uncanny resemblance to the super-lighted tree I saw from the freeway last month, so this is the first thing I thought of when I saw it. WOW, THAT TREE HAS HEALTHY BLOOD FLOW!

In healthy lungs, blood flows through many big branches, which lead to many smaller branches, which lead to many twig-sized branches, covering a majority of the area in each lung. In Elijah's lungs, blood flows into a couple main branches, which lead to a handful of smaller branches, which lead to very few twig-sized branches, covering maybe two-thirds of the area in each lung.

The limited number of blood pathways in his lungs is a result of the MAPCAs portion of his heart diagnosis, which is a result of the Pulmonary Atresia portion of his heart diagnosis. Because certain pathways in and around his heart were missing (Pulmonary Atresia), his body created these collaterals (MAPCAs) to try to compensate for the absence of proper blood flow. And because these pathways weren't in his body to begin with, they were not necessarily formed the correct size and with the correct quantity or quality than they would have been had he not had his heart defect.

It's actually pretty cool when you think about it. His body recognized a lack of blood flow in a very important area of his body, so it created its own pathways so his body would be able to function. And thank God the human body is amazing enough to do something like this because the alternative is, well, a body that cannot survive.

Those pathways, although life-sustaining and adequate, are limiting. They were his body's Plan B, so they do not provide his lungs with ideal blood flow. Elijah's lungs will never be normal, and this is something that will not change.

I guess we had always kind of known this, but when Dr. G described it so vividly it bummed me out. Not only will Elijah never have a normal heart, he will also never have normal lungs. This means he will tire easily and he will always be more susceptible to infection and illness and respiratory issues. This is a life-long thing for him.

While that is definitely a bummer, I do know that he is also very blessed. Dr. G also explained that Elijah's body did a way better job of implementing that Plan B than a lot of other little bodies do. Some babies with MAPCAs have one or two main tree branches, with one or two littler branches coming off of those, and that is it. Those babies don't live for very long. Considering the diagnosis Elijah has, he is a VERY blessed little boy. As a last resort, his body did an amazing job of creating sufficient pathways for blood to travel through. His blood flow will never resemble the tree I saw from the freeway, but we are very thankful for the branches that are there.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cough cough cough

We took a quick trip to the Mall of America today as a distraction from the coughing, lack of sleeping, tiredness and meltdowns. Elijah did not love the rides this time, but it was nice to get out of the house.

That is all for now! We are praying for a healthy week for the munchkin.

Oh, there is one thing worth mentioning. Elijah thinks we should name his little brother "Zooter" (the pig's name from Jungle Junction). :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Baby news!

I had my Level 2 ultrasound today and it went really really well. PHEW! Not that we have been worrying about it because we haven't been. We have been so much more relaxed this time, ready to accept whatever child is meant for us.

Here's a glimpse of the baby's sweet face, in between blobs of stuff. The little blob in front of the nose/mouth is the hand and below that is an arm.

My risk for having a baby with Down Syndrome and Trisomies 13/18 are 1 in 6,500, which is awesome and a little shocking considering my age. My risk for having a baby with a neural tube defect (something Elijah does have) is very low, too. On the ultrasound, the brain, spine and HEART all looked great! The ultrasound tech actually said that. "The heart looks great!" That is something new for us, so it took a while for it to sink in. I'm still not sure I comprehend it.

The baby is measuring two days ahead of my original due date, so that means the growth is excellent, as well (something else we're not quite used to). The little one weighs a whopping 9 ounces! My due date is June 11th, and I am currently 19 weeks along in the pregnancy.

The perinatologist sat down with us after the ultrasound and told us that everything appears to be as perfect as can be*! During my pregnancy with Elijah, I got so used to leaving the doctor's office discouraged and in tears that Dan and I didn't quite know how to handle walking out of there with good news.

*I am in no way implying that Elijah isn't as perfect as can be. I would not change one tiny little thing about that perfect, amazing, wonderful little boy of ours. I wouldn't even change a single thing about the stressful pregnancy because we learned a ton from all of it.

Just to make certain everything is ok with the baby's heart, I will go back for a fetal echocardiogram in two weeks. If everything looks good during the echo, there will be an 85% chance (or greater) that the baby's heart is developing normally. Other than that, I will just resume normal pregnancy check-ups with my normal OB!

This pregnancy hasn't been 100% worry-free. I started getting Braxton-Hicks contractions a few weeks ago, right around the same time I started getting them when I was pregnant with Elijah. I have since started receiving weekly progesterone injections, which will supposedly help any pre-term issues to stay at bay. Remembering the GOBS of scary contractions I had during my pregnancy with Elijah (and bed rest) has me a little on edge, but we will just keep praying for a good outcome. My doctor has recommended no exercise and just taking it very easy whenever I can (ha!).

Do you want to know what we're having? I'll let Elijah tell you! I'm off to eat another Butterfinger Blizzard.

By the way, I hope Elijah's feelings about the sign don't reflect what his feelings will be toward his baby brother. He wanted NOTHING to do with this thing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Croup: Season 2, Round 4.1

This has never happened before, but Elijah woke up for the second night in a row with croup. Early this morning, Dan took Elijah outside into the cold air to open up his constricted airway (it wasn't quite as bad as the previous night). Another round of steroids and another epi neb later, we sent him off to daycare. Dan's work has been really slow this year, so we just could not give up the full day he had scheduled. We absolutely love and trust E's daycare provider, and we knew if our little boy needed us she would have called! (She didn't have to, and he had a good day, thank goodness.)

Now, Croup, you can grab your annoying friend, Cough, by the ears and take a hike!

p.s. Proof that I'm tired and that croup has taken over my brain.. As I was pulling out of the driveway to go to work in the dark, early-morning hours, I thought I saw a silhouette of our neighbor standing in front of her garage in her pajamas. These are the thoughts that went through my head: "Oh, someone must have croup, that's too bad. Wait a second, she doesn't have children, and...there isn't even anyone standing there. Geez, I'm going crazy."

p.p.s. For those of you who have asked about asthma, E's pediatrician diagnosed him with childhood asthma when he was a baby (because of the whistling/squeaking that occurred when he breathed), but his pulmonologist has never mentioned anything about asthma to us. He considers croup to be a "childhood illness," and some kids are just predisposed to getting it. Perhaps kids with asthma are more prone to catching croup? It's worth looking into, especially with Elijah's tendency to have chronic coughs. I'll bring it up the next time we see Dr. K, which may happen sooner than anticipated.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bye bye, Hair!

Dan can grow some really good hair. I have to admit, it is pretty amazing. Sometimes (before he got a hair cut and shaved) I would find myself staring at it out of awe, like it was one of the wonders of the world.

As a special event, and because Dan is fun, he grew out both his hair and his beard (referred to respectively as Hair and Beard) for a few months. The longer it got, the more I wished it gone. I'm all for my husband having a little fun, but I started to miss that wonderful face of his!

The hair left in stages. First Hair was cut.

Then Beard was shaved.

Then Dan got sad.

But look at this handsome man!! Oh how I have missed groomed Dan.

Croup: Season 2, Round 4

I lied. The NEXT post will be about HAIR! :)

So. Elijah's Cough has been lingering in his body since Thanksgiving. It's been on a little roller coaster, getting better, almost non-existent, then worse and disturbing his sleep and up and down and up and down. It has not really gotten BAD, though, not the BAD that we saw last year, but it has not completely gone away, either. Yesterday Cough kicked things up a notch and I could hear in the way Elijah was breathing that he was probably going to get croup, so we gave him a preventative dose of steroids and a nebulizer treatment before bed.

At 10:00, just as Dan and I were drifting off to sleep, we heard the stridor over the baby monitor and we began our family Croup Drill. This was the worst episode so far this year, and it even rivaled some of the scarier episodes from last year. Elijah got pretty scared when he couldn't catch a breath and that made things worse. Dan took him outside (I wonder if our neighbors think it's weird that we occasionally like to hang out outside in our underwear?) so the cold air could open up his airway. It took a few minutes, but as always our little trick worked. We gave him an epi neb and put him back to bed and listened to quite a bit of coughing throughout the rest of the night.

He is still junky this morning and I'm sure Cough will be hanging around and disturbing sleep throughout the Porta household this week like a champ. At least our little boy is safe. I will never get used to those scary episodes. They certainly do a good job of freaking me out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Early bird Elijah

Dan enjoyed a weekend with his friends in the northern woods, playing football in the snow, catching up and savoring the final hours of ALL OF THAT HAIR. Meanwhile, Elijah and I were in our warm, cozy house, listening to music, doing a lot of walking, being silly and having tons of play time.

Elijah decided that he wanted to try to make me as tired as he possibly could, waking up at unfathomably early times each morning (3:59 and 4:47) and only taking one-hour naps.

This week we are going to experiment with his bed time to see if we can get this early waking under control. I think he has the Early Bird gene (where he got this, I have no idea), but I also think we can move his wake-up times to a more tolerable hour. 6:00 would be great!

Have a great week, everyone!

My next post will be all about HAIR!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More silliness

I'll talk about our cold, Daddyless, early-morninged, yet fun weekend later. For now, here is a silly video from this morning. (And yes, once I realized he was actually drinking out of the cup while walking I took it away.)

Kathy, somehow Elijah remembered that you guys (well, "Baby Isaac") gave him this turtle during his last open heart surgery. He loves it!!

Anyone have any idea what he says to me at the very end?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Some funny Elijah stuff..

He calls the "carts" at the grocery store "carpets."

He loves it when I kiss his neck, which I call his "juicy neck" because it is oh so juicy, so he will lean into me and make a kissing sound and say, "Doocey Eck!" That is my cue to (very willingly) give him neck smooches and make him giggle like crazy.

One day a few weeks ago I was trying to get him excited about going to Wal-Mart with Dan and me so I leaned in close to his face so our noses were touching and said, "WAaaaaaallllll-MAAaaarrrrrrt." He thought it was the world's funniest thing, so at least once a day since then he has leaned into me and said, "WAaaaaaallllll-MAAaaarrrrrrt" and started laughing.

He loves it when I pucker my lips and then move my lips from side to side. For some reason this is hilarious. So now he tries to do it, which looks ten times as funny, I think.

We recently started playing a CD of children's songs that Elijah ADORES. This CD is seriously magic for children, or at least for our child. He asks to listen to these songs constantly, which is nice because it is a welcome replacement for tv in the morning or at bedtime and I think it has really helped his speech, too. One of the songs talks about a kid falling down and getting an owie on his leg. So Elijah often asks for "owie on weg song" as he gives us a sad face as if he is feeling so badly for the poor kid who got hurt.

He has shown such compassion for things/people recently. If someone gets hurt on a cartoon or in a book or if anything bad happens to an object or person that he is aware of, he gets VERY upset. The funniest instance I have seen.. He has a book where a little boy throws a muffin out the window for a moose to eat. I pointed to the muffin, which is in mid-air, and Elijah got worried about the muffin's well-being. MUFFIN!MUFFIN!MUFFIN!MUFFIN! MUFFIN FALL?!?!? I have convinced him that the muffin will surely land right in the moose's mouth, so now he feels comfortable about how the muffin will fare. (I won't tell him that it would be better off landing on the ground.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swim therapy

I haven't mentioned yet that Elijah started swim therapy a few weeks ago. I wanted to wait a few weeks to see how things went before I made any comments about it. Well, we are three sessions in and we are pulling him out.

The first session went ok. The second session brought a few tears. The third session was awful. I sat at the edge of the pool and cried as Elijah screamed MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! as if someone was trying to cut off his fingers. Ok, I know when my little boy is uncomfortable (see: most PT sessions) and I know when he is terrified. During this swim session, he was 100% terrified. His teacher kept pushing and pushing him to stand and walk and float alone in the water and no matter how upset he got, she just kept pushing. I was ready to dive into the pool, clothes on and all, and rescue my scared little boy. It was heart-wrenching.

At the end of the session he grabbed me around the neck and would not let go. He kept saying HOME! BYE SWIMMING POOL! I felt terrible for just sitting and watching all of the trauma, so I hugged him tight and told him I loved him about a million times. Never again. It isn't worth it.

So now we will be doing regular PT every week like we were before. Bye bye swim therapy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I don't know if he will remember this, but my dad told me about a vivid dream he had about Elijah a couple months before he was born. He told me that he woke up from the dream knowing three things about our little boy: 1. He would be chubby, 2. He would be extremely stubborn/strong-willed, and 3. He would adore snow.

At the time, I thought "Ha!" about number one. We were having a baby with serious heart defects! We had done our research, so we knew that heart babies typically were not described as being "chubby." Despite the odds, Elijah was always a chubby baby, so that part of my dad's dream was surprisingly right.

Regarding number two, well, we all know that "strong-willed" is one of the main words used to describe Elijah. :)

And number three, the love for snow, I have wondered about since my dad told me about the dream. It was confirmed Christmas weekend that that was right on, too!

I think it's pretty cool that his dream was so accurate.

Elijah certainly did adore being in the snow. He didn't want to move around at all, which wasn't a huge surprise, but he did NOT want to go back inside.

I went inside after a while and I could hear Elijah yelling, "MAMA INSIDE!" I opened the door to say hello and he said, "Shut da door, Mama! Mama in!" He saw his fun little snowy world as being "in." I thought it was cute that he wanted me to come "inside" to the outside.

And how cute is it that this snowsuit was Dan's snowsuit as a little munchkin?

And this was his unhappy face upon learning that it was time to go inside.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New walking legs

Are you getting tired of our videos yet? I can't help but post the new silly walking Elijah was doing tonight. And doesn't Dan look like a mountain man? He is shaving/cutting off the hair next Sunday! I CAN'T WAIT!!

This past weekend was so different from the previous weekend. Elijah was a very well-behaved little boy and the majority of our time together was pleasant and fun (although bitterly cold when forced to walk into the outdoors). Maybe all the walking distracted him?

The first two days of walking were exciting for him, but after a few falls on the tile he has become a little bit more hesitant to zoom around the house. As with everything, we are letting him do this at his own pace (with a little gentle coaxing) so he doesn't get overwhelmed and frustrated. He gets nervous about walking if we are anywhere but our home, which is just fine for now. His confidence will increase as his skills get better.

I have been an emotional pregnant wreck lately, so every little thing makes me cry and one of the things I cannot stop crying about is Elijah's new walking skills. Over the past almost-three years, I have wondered many times if we would ever see this day. OUR LITTLE BOY IS WALKING!!! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING! THANK YOU, GOD!

I will be out of town for work meetings for two days and one night this week, so I have been soaking up all the Elijah time that I possibly can. Not like I don't always do that anyway. Mommy-Elijah time is the best. (I am now officially "Mommy" and no longer "Mama.")

We got to listen to the baby's heartbeat again today. What a comforting sound. I just started feeling some punches and kicks coming from in there, too! Next Thursday I will get a Level 2 ultrasound and at the end of January I will go back for a fetal echocardiogram. We are excited to get a glimpse of Elijah's little sibling! I have had a very strong feeling we will be having another boy, but we will find out for sure next week.

Elijah's cough/cold is finally nearly gone. We're hoping this is the new trend for the new year. I hope you all are having a great start to your new year! Thank you so much for checking in on us!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More walking!!

We knew Elijah would just decide to walk one day and never look back. Look at the little show-off, patting his tummy while walking. :)

I LOVE IT! I still cannot believe it as I see him zooming around the house.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

WOW!!! There absolutely could not be a better way to start the year.


This is what has been going on in our house since yesterday. What an amazing way to start 2010! We have very patiently waited almost THREE YEARS for this moment and Elijah has worked sooo very hard to get to this point. I cannot even begin to explain the feelings I have right now.

I'm so proud of my amazing little boy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye 2009. You were a great year.

I'm a little bit sad to say goodbye to 2009. It was a really really good year for us. 2010 will bring some major changes for our family, and I feel partly afraid but mostly excited about it all.

Happy New Year to you all! (Turn up your volume and enjoy our 2009 slide show!)