Sunday, October 31, 2010

The garden gnome and the hot dog

Halloween has been so much fun this year. Elijah has had a couple different opportunities to celebrate and it has been such fun to watch his eyes light up.

As expected, Samson wore his costume for a total of about five minutes. That's the way it has always been with Elijah up till this year, too.

Cutest little hot dog I've ever seen!

I wish I could share photos of the Halloween party we took Elijah to last week. We met a local heart group (Parents For Heart) at Chuck E. Cheese's and played games, ate pizza and watched Chuck dance on stage. It felt incredible to chat with other parents of children with heart conditions. Anyway, all of the photos include children whose parents I did not ask for permission to be on our blog, so no photos. It's a bummer because they turned out really cute.

Today my friend Jess and I took Elijah and Sam to the mall for trick-or-treating (Dan was working). HE LOVED IT. And everyone thought he was just the cutest little garden gnome. He got really tired after a while and the mall got packed beyond my liking, so we headed out after about an hour.

Taking a break! Trick-or-treating is tiring!

Sam seemed to enjoy all of the commotion. It was the only part of his day when he wasn't fussing. I didn't put his costume on for this part of our day. I know, bad mom.

Elijah loved rummaging through his loot.

I let him go crazy with candy after eating dinner. I put Sammy to bed and came down to this:

And tonight we have had more trick-or-treaters at our house than ever! I love it! I had one kid say to me, "Potatoes are yummy." ??? Elijah has been standing in the background whenever someone rings the doorbell and saying, "TRICK-OR-TREAT! THANK YOU!" This last time someone was at the door, he said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Silly boy.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Is it Halloween time, Mom?"

I get asked this question a lot. "Yes, honey, it is Halloween time." Elijah is finally at an age where he enjoys holidays. My mom always put a lot of effort into making sure my sisters and I thoroughly enjoyed holidays growing up, so I am excited to pass some of that holiday magic onto my boys.

Last night we carved pumpkins! Or, I guess just a pumpkin. And Elijah is head over heels in love with his "big orange happy pumpkin."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Overdue update

Sorry for posting an old photo. I haven't taken many kid photos lately due to the goopy snot that usually accumulates around their (well, mostly Elijah's) noses.

This week has gotten better with each new day. Elijah's cough is starting to loosen its grip on his lungs, which has made for better rest (for all of us) and much less sass (from guess who!).

Samson's napping is still very frustrating. I keep telling myself he will get there, but then we don't really see much progress and I wonder if we ever will?

I have noticed lately that Elijah is so super detailed when he talks about things. He will say:

"Elijah and Mommy reading books? Elijah and Mommy reading books upstairs? Elijah and Mommy reading books upstairs in loft? Elijah and Mommy reading books upstairs in loft in our home?"


"Elijah eating yogurt. Elijah eating blue yogurt. Elijah eating blue yogurt at table. Elijah eating blue yogurt at table in kitchen. Elijah eating blue yogurt at table in kitchen in our home."

He is thorough! And he is so, so funny.

He has been playing grocery store a lot (sound familiar, DAD?). He will push a stool (his cart) around the kitchen and pick out food. An apple from the counter, mac & cheese and peanut butter from the pantry, juice from the fridge. Then he will push his cart to the end of the counter (the check-out line) and he will put everything on the counter top (belt). He'll say, "Hewwo!" "Oh, HI!" and he will pretend to pay. Then he loads all of his groceries up in a paper bag and carries them to the living room (his car). Then he unloads the food in the kitchen, usually not in the same places he found everything in. Repeat twenty times.

Sammy, aside from his napping issues, is doing great. Oh, and aside from his recent VERY early morning wakings. He is such a chunk! And such a cute, happy babe. And still constantly very very hungry, hence the chunkiness.

Dan is nearing the end of skydiving season, which means we will be seeing more of him very soon. YAY!

And I am a crazy blogging fool these days. It's so much fun. I'm really enjoying the way everything is going right now. I can't imagine how much I will be enjoying life once Dan is home a little more!

Did I tell you what Elijah and Sam are going to be for Halloween? Their costumes aren't related, but they are sooo cute. I can't wait to get pics and share!

And last but not least, we did finally hear back from Dr. G and he wants to do Elijah's heart cath sometime early next year. Sometime between January and March. It's always good to get dates on the calendar so I can start mentally preparing.

Thanks for checking in! We hope you all are well and enjoying these last teeny little bits of nice weather.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chugging along

The start of our week wasn't super. I got sick, Elijah got sicker, Samson was mildly congested and Dan continued to be sick. I think things are starting to look up in the sickness arena.

Sam has started waking up at 4:00 in the morning crying for no reason. So, things are not looking up in the sleep arena.

We're hanging in there, though. One of these nights we will get around to carving pumpkins, since Elijah asks about it fifty times an hour. If only I could scrounge up two extra hours in every day!

Sorry I don't have anything new and fun to report.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sick weekend

Elijah just asked me if he could watch "Charlie Brownie Halloween." :)

We have been watching a lot of movies this weekend because he has been a sick little boy. Fever, cough (of course), runny nose and general unhappiness.

So, not much to report besides that we are tired. And tired of this weekend. Hoping for a better, healthier week ahead!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Field trip

Elijah got to go on his first ever field trip today! And I got to tag along. We went to a beautiful nature center, where we explored the woods and did some fun activities. Well, kind of. Elijah wasn't in a super adventurous mood, and I think the unpredictable terrain in the woods freaked him out a little bit. He mostly just wanted to be in my arms (hence, no photos). During the times we walked on smooth terrain, I set him down to walk by himself and he would fall way way way behind the group. Even with me tugging on his arm.

It made me a little sad. Part of his not being able to keep up is due to his gross motor delays. But some of it is because his little heart and lungs do not have half the stamina that other kids' hearts and lungs have. And it will always be that way. I kept thinking about a book I read recently, My Heart vs. the Real World by Max S. Gerber, and some of the things the heart kids in it said. (I actually wrote a review of this book on my other blog, if you are interested.) Things relating to not being able to keep up with healthy kids and how hard it is to emotionally deal with that as a child.

Anyway, it was just one of those little reminders that pop up on occasion that make me feel sad for my little boy. And just so you I'm not wallowing in pity, I also saw good differences today between Elijah and the other kids. He is definitely on the kinder end of the spectrum and he is especially careful about treating others nicely. He is also just the happiest and friendliest little guy. In many ways, his medical issues have turned into such a major blessing for all of us.

Elijah immediately fell asleep when we got on the bus to go back home. I guess it's a good thing I went! It was fun quality time spent with my biggest munchkin.

And get this! He willingly, with not an ounce of fear or hesitation, touched: a snake, a salamander and a HISSING COCKROACH. I turned myself completely around when he touched the cockroach. I couldn't even look at it! Icky! He was by far the bravest one in his class when it came to being comfortable with those critters. I guess if you can endure all that my little man has, you can do anything! Cockroaches? Piece of cake!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ahhh yes. Better days.

When Elijah gets his sleep, we in the Porta house are all better off. It has been a good past couple of days. Elijah's coughing has lessened greatly during the night-time hours. This evening we were able to take a trip to a local apple orchard. One of my most favorite things in the world is seeing my little boy's face light up about the "little" things. And he is definitely at that age where every little thing is special.

I documented a very cute Elijah-only conversation here.

A few of my most recent favorite Elijah pronunciations:

guitar = "tuh-tar"
orchard = "torture"

Dan and Sam are doing well, too. Sam loves his daddy immensely. We all do! He is a great daddy. I am so incredibly lucky to have three boys who love Mama. I couldn't ask for more!

Samson is still teething and drooling all over the place. He is a little piggy monster, constantly wanting to eat and add chub to those delicious thighs he has. We love our four-month-old little boy so much.

Thanks for checking in on our crazy family! We hope you are all having a great week.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tired but good

Look at that beautiful boy! Mmmmm, I could nibble him to pieces. I learned today that he does not like being held by strangers. If someone else holds him (besides Dan or me), the bottom lip sticks out for a mile and then he criiiiies.

Elijah and I had a bit of a rough day today. He has been sick for most of this week, so he hasn't been getting as much sleep as usual due to the coughing that constantly plagues his little body. I am thinking (hoping) this is what caused him to be a not-so-nice little boy for most of the day. It was pretty terrible. I don't even like thinking much about it, actually. I hope tomorrow is different.

The weather has been great, so Dan has been working a lot. Our days here at home are honestly just insane. I try to complete about 90 different tasks alone with the boys and it is draining. I don't mean to complain. I truly do love my life to pieces, despite the sometimes craziness.

Thank you for checking in on our family! We hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New hat

Isn't he the cutest?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cardiology visit

In case you are wondering if we let our children play with shot glasses, we don't.

While we were waiting to see Dr. G this morning, I overheard Elijah ask one of the fishies that was swimming in the fish tank in the lobby, "Have you seen Doctor Gremmels?" Too cute.

First, let me say that I am so so proud of my big boy for being brave during the entire appointment and for not crying once! This is the first time I have ever been able to say that!

Elijah's xray looked pretty much the same as his last one. His heart is a bit more enlarged than it was six months ago, which means that it is working a little bit harder. And he does have "moderate stenosis," that will need to be addressed in the relatively near future.

Dr. G is going to run this by Dr. Moga (E's surgeon) and get back to us, but he thinks January will be a good time for a heart cath. Possible stent work and ballooning may need to be done at that time and based on what he sees, we will have a good idea about a time frame for the next big surgery.

Overall, a great appointment! Elijah isn't growing a ton, and that's always a slight concern. But he is growing a little bit and his energy level is great (oh yes it is), so no immediate worries.

Oh, and come read about Elijah's new favorite food. :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sammy's 4-month well visit

Samson's well check went great today, aside from those vaccination-induced tears. He weighs 16 lbs, 12 oz (84th percentile) and he is 26 inches in length (85th percentile). He's a big boy!

It looks like Sam is following in his brother's footsteps in one small way. He is going to add a specialist to his list! Not nearly to the same extent, but we will be taking him to see a specialist in the next few weeks. He has had a little red bump on the side of his pretty face (you can see it in the above photo) since he was about two weeks old. We thought it was a little birth mark, or "beauty mark" of some sort until now. Dr. Judy thought it would be best if a dermatologist took a peek at it.

Her best guess is that it is something called a mastocytoma, which is a benign mast of cells that appears a lot on children and usually resolves on its own. I'm not worried. But like Dr. J said, it's best to get a diagnosis from an expert.

Tomorrow is Elijah's big cardiology visit! Guess who won't be sleeping tonight. Oh wait, I never sleep anyway! HaAAHHhaahahhahhhaaaa (maniacal, deranged laughter)!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another weekend

I wrote a post about my hate for croup on my other blog. I passionately hate this illness.

I finally got the chance to take some quality photos of Samson. Sam and Elijah's naps didn't coincide yesterday, so I took advantage of that and spent quality time with each of them.

Samson is doing great! He is such an easy, mellow kid as long as he gets his sleep. His napping is still not on any sort of schedule, but we continue to try. And be patient. Really, as long as he is sleeping that is all that matters.

Elijah has a cardiology appointment this week, so you might be able to hear my heart beating faster due to that. I pray that we will get a good report. Regardless, we do know that another heart cath is on the horizon. They are unfortunately one of our necessary evils. We do not look forward to them, but we are always glad to have Dr. G "inside" of our little boy so he can see exactly what is going on with his heart.

Sammy has a 4-month well check tomorrow, which I'm sure will take about three minutes.

Dan made it home tonight after a long weekend of working. Elijah has a new thing that he does that makes me a little bit sad. When anyone says "hi" to him in public, he responds with, "Hi! Have you seen my daddy?" That is a sure sign that we need Daddy home more!

Life is crazy for us, as always. The laundry is stacked in a huge pile on the bed upstairs. I am attempting to maintain two blogs as I work full-time and be the best mama I can be to my two sweet boys. Dan works a lot. And on top of that I try to take regular showers and put food in my mouth here and there.

I think that is about all we have to report tonight. Enjoy the rest of these delicious Sammy photos!