Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ear tubes and boy funnies

Elijah will get tubes placed in his ear (ears??) on December 7th. It literally was the only 15 minutes open in the ENT's schedule for the entire month of December. We are very thankful the time was available!

Dan and I took the boys to see Santa at the mall today. We have never talked much about Santa, as we have liked to keep the "reason for the season" as true as possible. Elijah was barely impressed by Santa today (which I secretly loved) and Sammy wanted nothing to do with him. He did allow Santa to give him a high-five. :) Santa kept asking E, "Well, what do you want me to bring you for Christmas?!" and E kept saying, "I don't know! Toys!" "Well, what kinds of toys." "I don't know!"

A couple E funnies from today:
"Mom, you are the sprinkles on my cupcake!"

"Mom, you are the fresh gingerbread man in my Candyland gingerbread house!"

"You are the sleeping beauty in my sleeping bed!"

Some Sammy funnies/goodies:
He has wanted to wear band-aids on his fingers all day. Or "bam-daids," as he calls them. When they would fall off, he would freak out just a bit. "BAM-DAIDS! BAM-DAIDS!"

After every nap, Sammy snuggles with either Dan or me for at least 20 minutes. It is the BEST. I love that sweet, snuggly, independent (oh my goodness, is he independent!) boy to pieces.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Hello! We are alive and well. In the past few days life has slowed down for us a bit, which has been wonderful. On Sunday, the four of us enjoyed time at home together for the first time in many many months. It was a wonderful day.

Here is what has been going on with us..

We put up our Christmas tree and decorations! The boys have loved this (as have we). I think for the first time ever, Elijah is truly enjoying the Christmas season. Sammy seems to be loving it, too.

Dan and I found an ornament buried deep inside our Christmas Bin this year. Neither of us have any idea where it came from, but we have both been enamored by it. It has taken center-spot on our tree!

The boys have been in a love-hate relationship for...well, their whole lives..but they have been mostly loving each other lately. Today, as they were each redeeming stickers (phone-time) from their Behavior Charts, I caught them wanting to be close to each other!

Sammy got a haircut today! The gal cutting his hair refused to cut all of it off. Funny that his name is Samson and people refuse to cut his hair. :) The haircut is cute, though.

Elijah was sick last week and got another ear infection, this time in his right ear. Having very little hearing in his left ear already, it has been interesting with him having limited hearing in his right ear, as well. We have to basically yell everything at him, if we want him to hear and understand what we are saying. We are hoping to get him in for ear-tube surgery in the next few weeks to alleviate this issue.

We have created new charts for both boys, in which we give stickers for good behavior. Both boys have been doing things such as zipping their own coats (Elijah), going potty with no complaining (both boys), sharing with brothers (both boys), allowing Mommy or Daddy to help perform tasks (Sammy), being kind to people (both boys) and sharing (both boys). Earning stickers means earning fun things! Hoping to continue the nice trend..

Elijah has been a bit obsessed with Willy Wonka. We bought the (old) dvd for him a year or so ago, but he has just become interested. He sits in front of this movie when it is playing and does not ever look away. Once it is done, he asks a million questions. "Mom! What happens to the kid who goes up the chocolate pipe?" "Mom! Why does Willy Wonka tap the girl with his cane?" "Mom! Is Charlie a good kid in the end?" All day he has been saying to me, "Can we PLEASE talk about Willy WONKA?!" :)

We have a laid-back week ahead, which I love! Thank you for checking in. xo

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

Elijah pulled out his tooth in the middle of the night last night and placed it under his pillow. He was bummed that the Tooth Fairy didn't come. :( I explained that she didn't know his tooth was there, and that she would come tonight.

Sammy said, "Take a picture of my teeth, too!"

Better get to my Tooth Fairy duties! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

The sweetest little Sammy and a wiggly tooth!

This Sammy of ours. When he is sweet, he is so stinkin' sweet. I can hardly stand it!

Today after Elijah got home from school he was eating lunch and excitedly announced to me that he had a wiggly tooth! I had not yet talked to him about losing teeth, but thankfully he had watched the "Teeth" episode of Yo Gabba Gabba a couple of times so he was somewhat informed. I almost started crying! Losing teeth already?! My big boy!

We talked about what would happen in the next couple days and then he asked about the Tooth Fairy. In standard Elijah fashion, there were A LOT of questions about her. Where does she live? What color is her wand? What does she do during the daytime? Do her wings move fast? What city is her house in? 

Then it was 100% his idea to write her a letter..

Dear Tooth Fairy, 
Elijah broke his tooth. 
! Bob (no idea what this is about). 

By the end of the day the tooth was a little bit more wiggly. In the next few days we will have one less baby tooth!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

IEP meeting and BATHS!

Yes, you read that right. Sammy is now willingly taking baths! Finally! We had to trick him a bit, but it has been working. We have started putting Elijah in the bath first, not saying a word to Sam about getting in. Eventually, Sammy decides for himself that, HEY! That looks like fun! And he comes over to join his brother. Only because it was his own idea. I have never known a more independent person than Samson David Porta.

I posted this photo because you can see Elijah's lazy eye here. We especially notice it when he's not wearing his glasses, but it occasionally happens when he is wearing his glasses, as well.

Dan and I attended Elijah's Evaluation meeting and also his IEP meeting this afternoon. I always get nervous about these meetings because sometimes it is hard to hear about all of the things that are "wrong" with our boy. These meetings get much easier the older he gets, and the more I get used to attending them. Back when he was really behind in every area, they weren't so easy.

Today's meeting was good. Dan and I are so proud of how far Elijah has come. As we sat and listened to everyone talk about concerns and areas that need improvement (and ALSO how smart and friendly and likable he is), I remembered where he was at three years ago. He has come so far. Incredibly far!

The nurse who attended the meeting said the most perfect thing. She had read through Elijah's medical records (which we very much appreciate), and she said that people who have valve replacements need a lot of time to function at full capacity after the replacement occurs. For the first few years of his life, he lived with a temporary valve and also with very low oxygen saturation in his blood. As the nurse said, HE IS JUST BEHIND. He started late for good reason and he is just behind. This is what has been on my heart so strongly for the past six months. He had such a late start, so it is understandable that he has so many delays. 

There are literally 26 pages of information about Elijah that we went through today. We are so very grateful to have such amazing and focused care for him. His "team" is seriously awesome, you guys. We are blessed beyond words.

In a nutshell..

Elijah's academics are a non-issue. He is above average in this area. He is finally interacting with his peers at a "normal" level, which is music to our ears. 

Concerns: His fine motor skills are very delayed and they are starting to get in the way of his productivity in class. For example, he needs helps twisting the glue cap open and closed and turning pages in a notebook, so he spends his time asking for help instead of accomplishing tasks. Winter is almost here, and he is unable to snap and button and zip and tie. That means that time will be taken away from other important tasks as he tries to get these things accomplished.

As has always been the case for him, gross motor is a concern, as well. He is unable to keep up with his peers. We were encouraged to hear that although he cannot keep up or physically participate in the way that his peers do, he adapts well! He can't jump while turning in a circle, but he can do his own little circle dance and accomplish it as best he can. He can't sit unassisted for the entire circle time, but he leans and adjusts his weight and body as he needs to. He can't keep up with the kids while they walk to the library, but he does his little half-run that gets the job done.

And the other main concern was Elijah's distractibility and his need to constantly repeat things and have things repeated. Dan and I can relate very well to this concern, as we remind him to do things CONSTANTLY at home. Repetition is a major theme for us. 

So there it is. Elijah is behind, but he is making progress. He has very good reason to be behind. We support and love him and we will do anything in the world to help him continue to catch up and be the happiest person he can be. We feel so incredibly thankful that he has such a caring and competent care team. Honestly, they are the best. Elijah is one lucky little guy. 

And our Sammy. We love him so very much. He is a cute, smart little boy. My most recent prediction about him is that he is going to have a love for music. He can tell me the name of any instrument just by sound and he has this natural, deep little singing voice. He still loves to snuggle, and every night he has to sleep with his blankie ("bebe"), blanket ("banket," which he likes for me to cover his back with when he goes to bed), cow ("Cowwy") and bear ("Baloo"). He often talks to and cares for the stuffed animals in our house, which is the cutest thing.

I love these precious boys!

Thanks for checking in! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


My three boys and I spent the weekend in Southwestern Minnesota attending a good friend's wedding. It was the first time in many months that I have been with all of my boys for an entire weekend. It was also the first time in over four years that all of my college roommates and I have been together. It was a good weekend!

Although.. Elijah and Sammy put Dan and I through some tough times. Oh man, these boys can be a handful. We had some trying moments, as I wondered where in the world I had gone wrong as a mother. Thankfully I have a husband who reassures me that our constant efforts at creating two respectful, kind little men will eventually pay off. Sometimes it feels like everything we are doing is fruitless. Dan and I continue to be as consistent as possible while hoping that Elijah and Sammy will indeed be respectful and kind people in the end!

I will end with a few boy funnies:

Sammy LOVES snuggling (when he's not getting mad at us for trying to take his coat on or off). "Mommy! Pease suggle me!" I always accept his invitation.

The other day before nap, Elijah said to me:
"Mom, you are pickle-sweet and you are my best friend."
A few seconds later:
"Mom! You are the arrow in my giant moose head."

We have E's IEP meeting on Thursday. My tummy always gets nervous about these. More on this later. Thanks for checking in!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good ear news!

I was unfortunately not able to join my boys today for Elijah's ENT appointment to take a peek at his left ear. I will admit that I was nervous about it, and I would have liked to be at the appointment. The mom in me wanted to be the one to ask all the questions. Instead, I told Dan all of my questions at least ten times. :)

I am very very happy to report that the reason Elijah has been experiencing significant hearing loss in his left ear is because fluid has built up behind his ear drum. The doctor thought that this most definitely is happening is because of the infection he had in August that didn't want to go away.

My first question was: Why didn't his primary doctor know this? Apparently specialists are more specialized! Ha! Dan said he took one look and knew from the way his ear drum was shaped, that fluid was behind it.

This is all really great news because it is totally fixable. The doctor wants to wait a few months, just in case it wants to cure itself (although it usually won't by this point). We will go back in January and if things are the same, E will need to get a tube surgically placed in his ear to help drain the fluid. I suppose some parents would be saddened by this, but for us this is something that can be fixed and that makes us happy. Thank you, God!

Daylight Savings is always an interesting week for us, with Elijah being such an early riser. Saturday night the little boys and I spent the night at a friend's house while Dan was hunting. That meant that E and I shared a bed. At 3:30, he tapped me on the shoulder and said, "MOM! Is it time to get up?!" !!! And he did not go back to sleep (neither did I, really...or Sam). Ever since then, we've all been tired. I  have to tell you what he said next because it made my heart melt, although it did not make me want to get out of bed. "Mom, you are my sweet girl and my best friend!" Awww! But.....it is EARLY! GO BACK TO BED, CHILD! :)

This will be my last week of working this freelance job I have been doing since September. This job has been such a huge blessing for us in so many ways. Financially, obviously, but it has also been the positive corporate experience that I desperately needed. Almost a year ago, I was unjustly terminated from my previous job after putting in 8.5 years of stellar service for that company. I have had a very difficult time wanting to be involved in a corporate setting since then. I can truly say that I have been recalibrated! The team I have been working with for the past few months has been awesome. They are respectful and hard-working and considerate and SO NORMAL. I feel so happy to have been a part of this work environment. I am sad that it will be ending soon, but I am also happy that it will be ending soon. That means more time with my boys. But I will miss my coworkers. 

E has another appointment tomorrow, this time with his eye doctor. More info to come on that..

Sammy is as sassy and independent as ever! That boy is a toughie when he wants to be (but usually he is such a sweet and snuggly little thing). Dan and I have basically become master manipulators in order to get him to obey and do what we ask him to do. He keeps us on our toes!

More later! Thanks for checking in!