Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Update

Sorry Ann...I couldn't resist. This picture just screams Fall. :)

Weeelll, I'm back! I feel like it's been forever since I've updated but it's all been for good reasons. This October and beginning of November we were spending every minute we could with Ann, Derran and the girls so I had no time for blogging. This past Thursday they left to go back to Thailand so instead of wallowing in my sorrow I figured it was time for a little update. I love that my last post was about them arriving in Texas and now this one is about them leaving. Where is the in between??

We had such a fun time having them here. We ate way too much Sonic,Chick-fil-a, and Taco Bueno for anyone in a such a short period of time, took fun trips to Target, went to the zoo, the pumpkin patch, went trick-or-treating, played with friends and just had a good time being together. Since they left I've been in a little bit of a know me and my funks. I haven't been in one in awhile so it's high time for one ya know. It's getting better and I know we'll all be together again soon so it's okay but it STINKS saying goodbye! Stinks I tell you, not fun at all. :( However, we're so proud of them and the work they are doing. They are such a blessing to us and we're so thankful for the Reese family!

October and November seemed to have flown by but I don't want them to pass by and not share with everyone some good news about Ella. We have much to be thankful for! First, yesterday, Monday, November 15 Ella was discharged from Feeding Therapy!! We are so excited for her and are beyond thankful for all the progress she has made in the past year. Last year her first feeding therapy appointment was on September 14 and she went in not being able to eat any kind of food wihout gagging and vomiting and was being fed primarily by her feeding tube with a little supplement from a bottle. It was a slow, hard and demanding process and honestly I believed that it would be years before she would be eating sufficiently by mouth and I felt like she would be relying on her feeding tube for many years as well. Deep down I hoped and prayed I was wrong but there was just so much to overcome and with her diagnosis I didn't want to get my hopes up. Wow!! Was I ever wrong! I am still in shock that we are at this point where just ONE YEAR later we are done with feeding therapy AND it's been five months now since she has used her feeding tube for anything. Unbelievable! Thank you God!

Last time walking in to Feeding Therapy

Ella and her AMAZING therapist Miss Sara
Ella started off the day with a cookie bar for breakfast. Awesome. And yes, I still give her any food she asks for so it thrilled my heart that she wanted cookies for breakfast. :) Then we celebrated with Taco Bueno for lunch followed by some ice cream with Pawpaw.

After dinner we took a little family outing to Sonic to get another treat. Yea Ella! We're so proud of you! We love to celebrate around here can you tell?

Thank you also to all of our friends and family that have prayed so much for Ella. Your faithfulness and commitment to prayer for Ella has been life-changing for not only her but for our entire family. I pray that Ella's story serves as a testimony to the power of prayer and what a mighty God we serve! I never would have dreamed the night and day difference we have seen in just a matter of a year and I am overwhelmed and humbled at what the Lord has done and given us this year. We have so much to be thankful for and I don't take any of it for granted.

Second, another praise for Ella is that she had her annual review with Early Childhood Intervention last week and she is doing so well in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy that they have decreased both of those therapies to just once a month. So, obviously our schedule has quickly changed with all of these therapies decreasing. I have to say that it is bittersweet which may sound weird to some people. But, this has been our way of life since Ella was born and her therapist are some of our good friends so it's just kind of emotional letting go. Can you tell I don't handle change well?? Even when it's good change it's still an adjustment. Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful that we are at this point where we don't need as much intervention because this is what we've been working toward so it's definitely a welcome change but for me it does come with some mixed emotions. I'm just so thankful for the specific people, therapists, and doctors the Lord sent to us to help Ella. They are truly such a blessing and have worked so hard to help get Ella to where she is now.

So, what's next? There is nothing scheduled at this point as far as surgeries. There will be surgeries to come but hopefully not for another couple of years. In December we have several follow-up appointments with surgeons to check on Ella's tummy and her left arm and shoulder then later in the winter we'll have some other follow-ups for other things so it's not like we are done with appointments and doctors. :) Many have asked when Ella will have her G-button taken out and that will probably happen this spring. We'll see her GI doctor in February or March and make more definite plans then when to remove it. Makes me excited but nervous! So for now we will just be enjoying our new schedule and thanking God for these blessings!

To conclude this massive post I leave you with Halloween pictures. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...Albert Einstein.

Einstein checking herself out. Loooove the hair!

GENIUS costume isn't it? Lots of good laughs at the tiny Einstein while trick or treating. I wish I could take credit for this idea but I can't. We copied it from our very funny and creative cousins in Alabama. Love you Rory, Ginny and Hayes!

Round 1-Eva was Minnie Mouse for her Halloween at choice. She is the cutest Minnie Mouse I've ever seen by the way!

Round 2-She decided last minute for trick or treating that she wanted to be a pizza again so she wore her old faithful pizza slice costume from two years ago. Why the change you ask? Well, after seeing how many laughs Ella Einstein was getting she opted to go for the funny and went for the pizza. It was hilarious, I was helping her get dressed and she looked up at me with a smile on her face and whispered so no one could hear her, "This be funny?" I assured her that yes, this costume would indeed be very funny! So cute! Love her sense of humor.

Hope everyone has a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two Great Things

I have two great things to share with everyone! First, our friends Jason and Summer Cox are having a huge Garage Sale this weekend and all the proceeds are going to help bring their sweet baby girl home from Ethiopia! So exciting! So, if you live in the Fort Worth area and want to hit up a fantastic sale this weekend and help out the Cox's contact Summer at the email address below if you need directions to their home or more details. They also have other ways that you can help out too so check out their coffee fundraiser at as well as their t-shirt sales at!

Garage Sale Adoption Fundraiser for the Cox Family
All proceeds are to help bring our daughter home from Ethiopia
Friday, October 15th and Saturday, October 16th
At their home
Contact Summer for details at
*also will be selling baked goods*

Ongoing coffee fundraiser: : $5 from every bag purchased goes directly to our family - makes great Christmas or birthday presents!

For the month of October only: visit to purchase t-shirts - 100% of the proceeds go directly to our family!

The other great news is that Derran, Ann, Brynn and Meg are back home in Texas from Thailand this month! Yippee! They got back a week and a half ago and it's been nonstop fun for all of us. We have had the best time just being together and letting the cousins play. I meant to post these pictures from the airport last week but got a little sidetracked. Too busy carting Ann around to Happy Hour at Sonic everyday, going to Target, etc. And I'm not kidding. :) Better late than never so here are some fun pics to enjoy!

Waiting for the big arrival



Still waiting...

More waiting...

FINALLY! The moment we've all waited for for the last see their smiling faces and hug their necks!

Ella isn't quite sure yet about Uncle Derran

Brothers don't shake hands...brothers gotta hug! Yes, I'm still always looking for opportunities to throw in a Tommy Boy quote even at the age of 32.

The happy little cousins

Eva and Brynn were SO excited to see each other! They had to be together and holding hands at all times. Even on the ride home from the airport with my mom squished in between the carseats they were reaching their hands ACROSS her so they could be touching each other! Awwwww, so sweet!

Mama and her chicks, happy together again!

Well now, what does one do when you are fresh off the plane from Thailand? That's right, Sonic baby! Within the first hour Ann and Derran were here we went to Sonic, Chick-fil-a AND Taco Bueno! Yes, you read that right, I did say in the first hour. Doesn't that sound like a dream? Three of my favorite places. I wish everyday started out like this one right? :) How does one do that you ask? Simple. First stop was Sonic for drinks for us girls.

Then a stop at Chick-fil-a for nuggets for the kids

And the last stop was Taco Bueno to-go for the adults

Aaahhh, perfection isn't it? We are loving having them back for a little while and we're so proud of them and the work they are doing in Phayao. Welcome home Derran, Ann, Brynn and Meg!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things I Never Thought I Would Do, 20 lbs and Fun Pictures

Things I Never Thought I Would Do:

1) Purposefully pour Coke into a sippy cup...and not feel bad about it. I have let Ella drink my Cokes for awhile now but recently I have actually found myself pouring it INTO a sippy cup for her to drink. I don't know it's like Crazy Calorie Counting Mom takes over and I have no control over myself and I can't stop myself from pouring it in. It's so wrong and I feel like coke in a sippy cup just takes things to a whole other level. Does that stop me from doing it? No. Will I continue? Yes. Have I even done it in public? Yes. No one has given me the stink-eye about it yet but I'm sure that day is coming. Bring it.

2) Serve dessert after breakfast. Who said that we can't have dessert after breakfast? Ella routinely gets something sweet in the morning. It doesn't matter if it's 9:00 am, it is never too early for a package of gummies or some cookies in my opinion.

3) Serve lunch/dinner for breakfast. Lately one of Ella's favorite things to eat for breakfast is mac and cheese and chicken nuggets dipped in Ranch. I know, grrroosss. Eva walked out the other day and saw Ella eating mac and cheese and nuggets and kind of got this weird/grossed out look on her face and said, "Why Ella eat that?" She also looooooves Ranch and dips EVERYTHING in it, despite the fact that she has atopic dermatitis and her mouth and face turn red where ever the Ranch has touched. Awesome right? Note to self, remind her on her first date not to dip anything in Ranch...a blotchy, red mouth and face could make things a liiiittle awkward.

4) Spend the majority of my time during my weekly grocery shopping trip in the cookie aisle. Seriously, I don't know how much time I spend in the snack/cookie aisle comparing cookies to see which ones have the most calories. AND, instead of running in the opposite direction from the high calorie snack, I take great pride in my find and excitedly put it in my basket, eager to get home and show Rick what I've found to fatten Ella up.

BUT, had we NOT done these things would we be dropping this number on the scale??

Go on, take a closer look. That's right folks, 20 pounds! Finally!! So go ahead and give me the evil eye for putting Coke in sippy cups and giving my kids dessert after breakfast...all I see here are positives. :)

We are super excited in the Carder household for Miss Ella. We've been stuck at 19 pounds for months now and couldn't seem to break it. Who knows how long we'll stay at 20 but hopefully it will only go up from here. It's cool that this is what most 1 year olds weigh and Ella is just now barely there at the age of 2 but we couldn't be prouder. Thank you for all of your prayers for weight gain, please keep them coming!

Lastly, for the end of my random post here are just a few fun pictures from the Carders, enjoy!

Fun in the water after a rainy day!

One can NEVER have too many pacifiers! Can we say obsessed??

Eva started back to her preschool this past week. She loves her school!

What a sweet little girl! crazy cat. I turn my back for 5 seconds and this is what happens!