CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Update on Ella, Birthdays and More


Man, I am soooo behind on the ole blogging. It's been so busy and I just haven't had time to sit down and write. A lot has happened since Ella came home from the hospital that I need to document so this post is going to be a catch-up post. So, here we go.

1. Okay, I've been meaning to write about Eva's birthday which was August 2nd but I didn't get a chance to because we were getting ready for Ella's surgery. So here are a few pictures from her 3rd Birthday. I can't believe my little girl is three! She is so funny. She had an M&M party because the girl loooooves M&M's...really all candy but especially M&M's. It was so fun and we got M&M shirts for the girls for the big day and had a fun time celebrating with our sweet friends. My mom made Eva an M&M costume and purse which she loves. So funny! Eva is just a joy and keeps us laughing all the time. We are NEVER bored when she's around because she is always into something. Keeps us on our toes at all times.











2. Ella turned 1 on August 31st! Un.be.liev.able. Stats: 14 lbs. 9oz, 26 inches long. I am still in shock that she is one and have nothing but feelings of thankfulness for all that the Lord has brought us through this year. The day Ella was born was a very hard and scary day for all of us but on this day a year later we are so thankful for where we're at now. Things are still very difficult and far from being "normal" but the Lord has brought us so far and we are so, so thankful. We have been in survival mode this year and I really have had moments here and there of processing all that has happened but I don't think I have fully processed it all. One day I'll write more on that but for now her birthday was very sweet and we had a fun family party. She loved her cake and did not hesitate to dig in. I guess she's just been waiting on the whole eating food thing until we actually gave her something good to eat. :) I don't blame her, you put the choice of pureed green beans in front of me or chocolate cake and I'm going for the cake like it's my job. It was a fun party and I took about a million pictures but here are some of my favorites.










Aaaannd party's over

3. Eva started dance class with her sweet friend Kyndall about two weeks ago and this is one of the highlights of my week. If you ever need a good laugh go observe a three year old dance class. Oh man, it's great. I don't know which is better, Eva standing in the middle of the room staring out the window and playing with her skirt oblivious to everyone else dancing around her or the girl who's leotard is a wee bit too tight and her little cheeks are just hanging out the entire hour. Awesome. Head in the game Eva, let's pay attention sister. It really is so sweet and she is doing better than I thought she would. It sometimes takes her a little while to warm up in new situations but she really loves it. We are so thankful for her little friend Kyndall and feel blessed that she invited Eva to take the class with her. They are so cute together!



4. This past Wednesday, September 2nd, we had Ella's first follow-up appt. with her surgeons at Scottish Rite. They took her dressing and sling off to look at her shoulder and were very pleased with how things are looking. They were so pleased that they said she didn't have to wear her sling anymore!! It's only been two weeks...she was supposed to be in it for four. Incredible! We are so excited because the past two weeks have been pretty rough at night. She wasn't sleeping well so we've all been very tired but during the day she did great and the sling didn't slow her down a bit. She was putting a little weight on her left arm and would just roll on the floor to get to where she wanted to go as if she had not just had major shoulder reconstruction. Crazy! We are very happy with how her shoulder looks and are just so thankful that the Lord provided these surgeons to help Ella. Her shoulder is not perfect and does not look exactly like her right shoulder and is not the same size as her right one but despite that it looks amazing. My eyes filled with tears as we sat and talked to the doctors and we were able to see her new shoulder with no bandages for the first time. The wisdom that the Lord gave to these surgeons to help Ella has changed her life and ours and we are forever grateful. There is still much healing that needs to take place and time will tell how well she will be able to use her left arm as far as range of motion but so far things are good. We go back for another follow-up on September 24th and we'll talk more about what therapy will be needed etc. so we'll see what's next on the road to recovery. Thank you for your constant prayers for Ella!



5. Feeding, feeding, feeding. Big news here people, big news on the feeding front. FINALLY something positive to report. Last week Ella went almost a whole week without vomiting one time! This has never happened in her whole life so this was huge. On average she will have one to two large vomiting episodes a day and on a really bad week she'll have anywhere from 3-7 vomiting episodes A DAY. That's right, a day. And I'm not talking just a small spit up here and there, I'm talking large projectile every time. It's really hard to watch. So there is lots of laundry going down at the Carders...good thing I have that beautiful washer/dryer to bring cheer to the chore. So for her not to have any for almost a week is AMAZING! Answer to prayer. Things change a lot from week to week with her feedings and it might not be like this next week so we are just thankful she had a good week this past week. Also, she didn't lose any weight after her surgery which is another answer to prayer. She pretty much maintained her weight and even gained a little. I know...pick your jaws up off the floor. Okay, it gets better. During her feedings this past week she is also taking more by mouth on average than she was pre-surgery. She's not taking enough to not use the g-button but even the little that she is taking by mouth is more than she was doing before so that is a positive thing. The other great thing is that this week she ate puffs for the first.time.ever! This is amazing so hold on to your seats folks because I'm about to freak your freak. Up until now she wouldn't eat any kind of solid food like puffed cereal, fruit, pasta, etc. without tasting it and spitting it out or if she did happen to swallow a little piece of it she would gag and vomit. This happened every time. She would never chew it and swallow. The other night at dinner she ate, and I mean for real ATE a whole handful of those little puffs! She gagged a couple of times but fought through it and kept chewing and swallowed all of what she ate. We are so excited! I realize that we are still a long way from solid food being full meals and we still have a long way to go with feeding but this is a big step. Thank you Lord! Keep praying for her feedings, we are seeing small improvements which has given us a new hope. Sorry for all the gagging and vomit talk...welcome to our world. :)

6. Ella said two words in the past couple of weeks. Her first word, which we think is highly appropriate for her and all that she's been through was "Uh-oh." So cute! And the other word is "ball" which she said for the first time at her follow up appointment. The girl is a genius is she not? Just humor me okay? Another big thing is she is sleeping in her crib for naps. This past year she has been sleeping in her swing because we needed a way for her to get to sleep quickly in between feeds since there's not much time with her being on an every three hour schedule and her feedings take an hour. This is still the case right now with her feeding schedule but she is doing great sleeping in her bed so that is huge. Ella got a cool mobile for her birthday which has really helped so big thanks to the new mobile! I know, I'm pretty sure that she might be the only one year old to get a mobile for her 1st birthday. Hilarious. Also, up until now her bed has been elevated to help with her reflux and we put in flat this week to see how she would do and she's done great. I think she is even sleeping better because before with it elevated she would roll to the bottom of the bed and we would have to go in several times a night and move her back up. This might not be huge for anyone else but for us it is very exciting.

Ella in her ACU spirit skirt...for the purple and white always!

7. My sister bought me a new shirt and it is awesome. Jealous? You should be. Isn't it the best shirt you've ever seen? Ideally I should be about 15 years younger to really pull this off but the way I see it is that love for MJ has no age limit so I will conitinue to stand proud.


8. Speaking of my sister Ann, she and her family are moving to Thailand this week on September 10th to be missionaries in Phayao, Thailand. That's another reason I haven't been blogging, I've been spending as much time as I can with Ann and my sweet neices. We are so excited for them and could not be prouder of the way they have obeyed the call to bring the good news of Jesus to those in Thailand. Selfishly we are very sad that they are leaving but we stand behind them 100% and feel blessed to be a part of their ministry. Please be praying for them this week as they prepare to leave as this is obviously very bittersweet for them and our entire family. Pray for their safety, for a smooth transition once they arrive in Thailand, and for their overall adjustment. I'll keep you posted on their status.

I better sign off since this post is getting lengthy. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family. We feel very blessed and could not do this without your love. For the first time in a year we can see a glimmer of light in the dark tunnel we've been in. Better days are ahead, I just know it. Keep praying!

24 comments:

Jen said...

So glad to get caught up and know things are going so well! I think the fog of the past year will be lifting this next year and you will feel more like an average family. That's my hope for you. Would be so great to see your family in Dumas in December. Thank you so much for the update, the great pictures, and, as always, your unique view of life.
Love you Amy.

Specks said...

Oh my word, this was such an incredible post....where do I even begin? Tears, tears, tears over the pics of Ella's shoulder post-surgery...God is so good. That little 1 year old could not be any more precious tearing into that cake and her big sister in her ballet outfit is so precious. I am jumping up and down for you regarding the great feeding improvements and pray for only more good news. Please hug Ann's neck for me and I will keep praying for Ella's continued healing. Hugs to you all!

LYN said...

Awesome answers to prayer. Praise God and hang in there!

Ashley said...

Tears and tears are flowing down my cheeks. The Lord is SO faithful and He is answering prayers on Ella's behalf. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Her shoulder is beautiful. I am amazed at the difference. And I am so glad that feedings and sleeping are getting better.

Love you all.

Also, blessing to Ann. We are thinking of you guys this week.

Ashley said...

Tears and tears are flowing down my cheeks. The Lord is SO faithful and He is answering prayers on Ella's behalf. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Her shoulder is beautiful. I am amazed at the difference. And I am so glad that feedings and sleeping are getting better.

Love you all.

Also, blessing to Ann. We are thinking of you guys this week.

amber dayton said...

So many praises! It was great to read about all the ways that God is working in your family. The fact that God is helping you focus on all those positives is a huge blessing too! I know every day is amazingly challenging so it is a testimony to me on how you are celebrating His goodness every step of the way. Love the MJ shirt too. :)

Kendra said...

OH, I can't tell you how excited I am to read every detail of this post! What a blessing!!! God is so good even in the little details that are HUGE in the lives of His children. So very sweet and good. Happy birthday to both your sweet girls - and your baby girl's "new shoulder" looks AWESOME!

Summer and Jason said...

Happy Birthday Eva & Ella! Can't believe it's been a year, wow. I'm SO GLAD that Ella is doing so well - shoulder is good, eating is better, sleeping better, talking, etc etc. I know that those things must be so encouraging to you guys after this long journey. I pray that things are starting to level out for you guys. I'll be praying for all of you on the 10th...we are excited about the Thailand group as well, but know they will be missed. Love you!

Chris and Elena Coggin said...

I'm so glad that everything is going so well. You guys have been so joyful and thankful through all of your challenges this year and that grace is a wonderful thing to behold. You're such great parents.
Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Okay, that last comment that says 'Chris and Elena Coggin' was actually by me, Christiana. I am at their house using their computers...love you!

Kacy said...

Everything in this post just warms my heart! (Well, almost everything - not too sure about the MJ shirt.) I am so thankful to hear all the positive news and praise God for holding you in his hands so faithfully now and always. Looking good, Ella!!! And happy birthday to both of your gorgeous girls!

LST team to Morelia, MX '09 said...

Amy - in Baird with Jeffreys reading your incredible update! and rejoicing with you guys!

Marilyn

Anonymous said...

OK, again, I am laughing through the tears. Ella's story is such a powerful testament to God's faithfulness!! Will be praying for Ann and her family. We Love and Miss Ya'll!! His Peace and Joy, Belita

Randi Freeby said...

Praying all the time. Love every update!!! Your girls are just yummy!

Jamie Ridgell said...

Loved every bit of that post! So much good news - so many praises. I can't believe how amazing her shoulder looks! I know it's been a hard year so I'm so thankful things are getting better and better. We'll keep praying. We love you!

Giggi said...

Thanks so much for your great update! So many blessings! Happy birthday to your sweet girls! God bless you guys! Love you, the Pinson's

Courtney said...

What a fabulous update! Her shoulder looks amazing! I am so grateful for all of this good news! Will continue praying for everyone. Love y'all!

Kate said...

I'm so glad to hear Ella's recovering well and eating better. Sounds like some major milestones have been reached lately, not to mention TWO birthdays to celebrate! Congratulations one everything and I am keeping the prayers coming!

Chelsa said...

glad for the update! your girls are wayyyy too cute! i laughed out loud about your description of dance class for 3 yr olds, that's how i feel about my 4 yr old and his soccer team! HILARIOUS!

Callie Pope said...

I love these blogs you do! ( I really should do this!!) It's so great to be updated on everything! I'm so glad everything is going well! We love yall and hope we get to see everyone at Christmas!! Please tell Ann & Darin we will be praying for there trip!

Jennifer said...

Love you guys. I just finished reading that to Brian and we were both crying. I am so amazed by your strength and courage. God is good. We are praying for you daily. Love you, Jennifer

Jodi said...

Ok, I have been without internet access to our DUMB computer for over a week now. And before that, it was shady shady shady. So, I am JUST now catching up with this post. And it was a BEAUT!!!! (how does one spell that, anyways?!) Can't believe I let the girls' birthdays slip by, but thanks for the party pics! So fun! And YAY for all the fabulous news on the post-op stuff and feeding! Holy moly, that girl is a CHAMP! So excited, so excited. I am about to go dance a thankful-jig in my living room and thank our faithful Father for all y'alls news!!!! Seriously! :)

Just did. :) Love y'all!!!!

Jodi said...

And girl, where can I get me a shirt like that?!?! :)

Laura M. said...

Amy, I got your blog address from Ann after hearing they are moving to Thailand!!! I've been reading through most of your blogs, laughing, crying, and missing you like crazy! Your girls are just precious! My heart aches for you and all you have been going through but I am so glad that you are surrounded and lifted up by your awesome family and friends. Your family will be in my prayers! Love you! Laura Carter Macias