Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spandex are ALWAYS Cool

Weeeelll, so I have had great intentions of updating my blog more than twice a month but it just hasn't happened. As usual, things are moving at a fast pace around here and I haven't had the time to do much blog stalking which is always a shame. You know how much fun that is. Anyway, thought I'd do a little catch up on what's been happening around the Carder crib lately. Sorry for the long posts folks, I'll do better next time.

1. So Ella has a new accessory that she's been wearing around the house which are her super cool hot red spandex shorts. Aren't they great? Hilarious. Every time she has them on I can't help but think of Six Flags, early 90's. Don't you remember how many people wore spandex/unitards to Six Flags back in the day? Man, they were everywhere. I mean these people And I feel bad saying it but it was always the people that really shouldn't have been wearing spandex. These are the people that would ride the Log Ride like 12 times and be soaking wet and then I was the lucky girl that was next in line behind them at The Runaway Mine Train and had to sit on a warm, wet seat that smelled like a foot. You remember this right? Yeah, anyway, I guess that's why they wore their unitards to Six Flags, great for the Log just wicks that moisture right away from you and on to everyone else.

Anyway, I am digressing. Back to Ella and her spandex, they are so tight and are kind of like a little skirt that is sown a little between the legs so they're not really normal shorts. She is supposed to wear them as much as possible every day. They are called Hip Helpers and they're supposed to help her crawl more up on her knees like this...

Instead of like this where her knees are flat on the floor.

She definitely can get around fine and is getting pretty fast crawling with her legs flat but we would really like her to get up on her knees. I think she crawls with her legs out flat to compensate for her left arm. It takes a lot more upper body strength to crawl on your knees so she hasn't been doing it and has just figured out a way to get around that's easier. She's a smart one. She does this funny little hop/crawl thing but hopefully with her Hip Helpers she will get used to being on her knees and that will help her keep her legs under her more and build more upper body strength, especially in her left arm. The first couple of times she had them on she would just sit in the middle of the floor and not crawl at all or she would only crawl a little bit and then just lay down and cry. But now she doesn't seem to mind them so that's good.

2. Other than that, she is doing well. Feedings are going about the same and feeding therapy is going well. Yesterday in feeding therapy she ate two green beans, a few bites of a banana and a few pieces of freeze-dried fruit. That was the best she's done, volume-wise so that was encouraging. We are just continuing to work hard to make feeding a positive time and include her as much as we can during family meal times. It's not always the usual dinner scene like at other people's houses unless dinner at your house involves lots of cheering and clapping and someone occasionally gagging and vomiting at the table. Anybody want to join the Carder's for dinner? We'll save you a spot right next to Ella. :) Anyway, She is making good progress and we're really proud of how far she's come this past year. It's kind of like two steps forward, one step back with this whole feeding thing and I'm really having to give it to the Lord because it is very overwhelming at times. A week or two ago I was falling apart and just felt so overwhelmed, sad, and angry but this week I'm back on the horse and doing much better. I have weeks like that every now and then and I think it's because I start thinking more than one day at a time and I want things to get better faster and I start thinking I can fix things. If I think ahead more than one day at a time I get COMPLETELY freaked out and fall apart. So, one day at a time is all I can do and I have to remind myself that Ella belongs to the Lord and not to me and He has great plans for her even when things are not going the way I think they should.

3. In other news, we went back to Scottish Rite for another check up on Ella's arm and they were very pleased with how things are looking and progressing. They are just amazed at how she is moving her arm and felt like they don't need to see her for another 6 months! Woohoo! She's working hard in OT and PT and is making good progress, her arm is not as tight and stiff as it was so that is good news. Until our next appointment we'll just continue to work hard with her and her amazing therapists and see what happens.

These are her two main surgeons at Scottish Rite, Dr. Oishi and Dr. Ezaki. They are amazing! The Lord has definitely given them incredible wisdom and skill and we are forever grateful for how they have used it to help Ella. They are life-changers!

4. The Rickster turned 32 this month so we had a family outing to Chili's. It was fun and Ella loved the Molten Chocolate Cake. However, the public was apparently not loving the fact that I was feeding my little baby bites of ice cream and cake because I got several stare-downs as I would happily give her a bite and cheer for her because she actually swallowed and didn't gag. I forget that to others who don't know her, Ella looks like she's probably 5 or 6 months old because she's so small as opposed to 13 months so people thought I was feeding my 5 month old baby cake and ice cream. Oooh, if they only knew the half of it they would be cheering right along with me because as long as she's eating we don't care what it is.

The birthday boy with his girls

5. This last week Rick and I went to a conference in Austin while both our moms came and kept the girls. It was soooo great!! We haven't been able to do anything like this in over a year so it was great to get away for a little bit. No therapy, no feedings, no responsibility for children. Awesome. Our sweet moms are amazing and they took care of Ella's therapies, feedings, getting Eva to school and other appointments. Thank you, Thank you!! They kept things rolling for five days while we were gone and even took Eva to the zoo and all four of them took in a little air show close to our house. They are super-grandmas!! I didn't worry one bit while we were gone, if anything I felt a little bad that I was just living it up while they were working so hard for us. We are so blessed to have such supportive families who are willing and able to help us so much. We don't take it for granted and we are so thankful for each of them. We are so blessed.

Who are these people? Don't we look relaxed? :)

Thank you all for your continued prayers, help and encouragement. Days are still hard but the Lord is continuing to give us strength for the journey in so many ways. He is faithful. Please keep praying for us!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane about Six Flags. I do remember too many people in spandex. Spandex should be outlawed except for babies doing therapy like Ella. Do you hear me, all of you awkward college students at UT who shop at American Apparel? Seriously! Also, spandex and Ug boots are not a good look for anyone.

I always love hearing your updates. We love you!


Kara Sheets said...

all she needs is a fanny pack and she'll be ready for 6 Flags!

i sure did feed my boys ice cream and cake at 6 months don't feel too judged!

Christiana said...

Ahh, spandex. That reminds me of lacy biker shorts under skirts and UNITS. Do you remember UNITS? They had cool stores where in each cubicle was a different UNIT and all different colors. That was a good look.
So happy to see how well Ella is doing under your amazing care. I'm glad you guys were able to get away! Love you!

Summer said...

Yay for an Amy/Ella update. I love the spandex commentary. I also remember lots of oversized tank tops, the kind where you can see way too much underarm and chest hair. I think the same people who wore the spandex were rockin' the big tanks AND their fanny packs. Oh the memories. . .

I'm so glad that you and Rick got away. That is awesome. I hope you slept in, ate long meals and enjoyed every minute of not being in charge of anyone but yourself.

I know that I say this every time I comment, but I am endlessly amazed at how patient and positive you have been throughout the last 2 years. I know that you have down times where you feel worn out and overwhelmed, but to the rest of us, we just see strength and faithfulness. And I love that your honest about it all. Praying daily that the Lord will give you more of what you need to make it another day in paradise, and continue to heal and grow sweet Ella Hope!
Love you, Amy!

Jennifer said...

First, you're hilarious.

Second, those matching outfits the girls are in are PRECIOUS!

Third, I am SOOOO happy for you that you got a much-needed break. That's wonderful. Praise God for supportive family :)

Jodi said...

Freakin' funny. I just love ya to bits. :)

YAY for Ella! YAY for great surgeon reports and for crawling and for green beans, banana, AND cake! :)

YAY for parents getting away and grandparents saving the day! Such great things!!! :)

I can't help but PRAISE GOD as I read your reports. :) Keep 'em comin' WHEN YOU CAN. But know that you are prayed over like crazy around here! Oh, and I may be needing some feeding/eating counseling in the near future.... the struggles have hit the Beaver Dam. Dude. It's just wrong.


Brooks Inc. said...

laughed out loud at the spandex commentary...

You are such a wonderful writer...thank you for sharing your heart. I love you so!

Specks said...

Lov'in the red spandex shorts~ brilliant! Isn't it amazing the things that the therapy world has come up with? Happy birthday to Rick~ that pic of him and his girls is beautiful. I am sooooo happy for you guys that you got away for five days~ that must have been so good for your souls. I continue to pray for Ella's feeding progress~ it can just be so stressful. Your family table sounds a whole lot like ours....nothing like the constant sound of gagging and or puking to keep us on our toes! Love you much.

LYN said...

Amen@! Our God is so faithful.

holly said...

Love you guys and I am so glad you got away for a few days! I think the Grandmas need to do a guest post to tell us all about keeping the Carder girls! I am so proud of Ella - crawling, follow-up appointment, green beans, cake, and all! There is nothing wrong with doing a victory dance for every bite! Maybe you guys can incorporate the "hot dog" dance. Always a crowd pleaser! I know the days seem long but you are doing such a great job and I am so proud of you! Love you and miss you lots!

Lindsey said...

I would gladly take a seat at the Carder table! I would gladly sit next to Ella. If Eva would talk to me that would be great too! Glad you got to go out with Rick and glad things went well for your parents back home. I am praying for great things to come

Lori said...

Amy!! I sure do hope your MIL told you about our super fun ride on the carousal (where is spell check?!)at the zoo!! She was crackin' me up! I secretly wanted to spend the rest of the day with her, but I'm pretty sure that would have come off a little too strong. So glad you and Rick got to have some time away!

Lori said...

you are one amazing woman. i am encouraged by every blog you write. my heart is so full of love for you and your precious family. i am so proud of your attitude and spirit and faithfulness. you will get through day at a time. ella is SO BLESSED that YOU are her mommy. what an amzaing momma. love you!

the vanderveer's: said...

amy, might i just say that everytime i read your blog i are so so funny! i am so glad that God has blessed you with an awesome sense of humor and an extreme amount of patience! i still want to introduce max to ella :)

Julia said...

You've been on my mind so much lately - I've been a terrible blog stalker too lately, so I've really been out of the loop! So glad to hear the good news about Ella, and so blessed by your ability to keep it real. I was praying for a great time for you & Rick last weekend - so glad God answered! Love you guys!!!

Kate said...

I only wish 1/2 of the people who wear spandex looked as cute as Ella does in them! I love reading your blog. You've got a good mix of reality, hilarity, praise, and prayer requests.

Ann Reese said...

Why didn't you put a picture of you wearing spandex? I distinctly remember a pair of black spandex with neon colored stripes on the side that you wore with brightly colored "wind shorts"....oh wait, was that me or you? Can't quite remember anymore, could've sworn it was you!
Anywho, thanks for the memories. Ella looks adorable in them and she is getting so big! I miss her so much. And that smile on ol' Eves just melts my heart.
Thanks for the great update. Yall are doing a wonderful job as parents and I'm so proud of you two. Keep on keeping on! Glad you got to get away.
Love you so much.
Now I've got to try to block out the memory of what standing in line at Six Flags smells like...thanks.

Sweets said...

Think I could use some of those "Hip Helpers"! LOL! Still praying! Still loving!

Chris and Merry said...

Amy, I found your blog through someone else, and I have enjoyed reading about your sweet family. Your girls are precious, and your posts are just hilarious! We will keep you in our prayers!