Sunday, October 9, 2011

Catching up with the Carders

Well, there is much catching up to do! I'll just get right to it since it's been so long since I've posted. Lots has happened so here's an update on what's going on with our little family!

1. Ella

Sweet little Ella, this girl is just getting funnier and more amazing everyday. Now that she is three she thinks she is pretty big. She is just so sweet and is pure joy. She is so compassionate, wants to help, loves her friends and family and is just doing great! Health-wise she is great. She is eating good and we're still working on her weight. I had gotten kind of lax about really counting calories but her GI doctor gently reminded me at our last appointment that it's something I really need to continue to be vigilant about. Soooo, what does that mean? Yep, we started back with the ol Benecalorie and Bluebell ice cream nights again. :)Honestly, Bluebell should get a hold of Ella, she could really do some good marketing for them for the kids-who-need-to-gain-weight community. Anyway, she is good but she is very small and it's just something we need to keep working on.

At the end of August when Ella turned 3 she graduated from Early Childhood Intervention since they only serve children from birth to age 3. I asked them if they could just continue Ella's care until she is 5 but they said no. :) They provided dietician, physical and occupational therapy for the last 3 years! Oh my, talk about a hard day for me. It was bittersweet saying good-bye to these precious ladies. Since Ella came home from the hospital when she was 2 1/2 months old they were in our home every week. Sharon, Diane, Michelle and Chrisse became some of my dear friends and walked this journey we have been on with Ella in a very special way. They not only provided amazing care physically for her but they have cried with us, laughed, prayed and encouraged us every step of the way. They have been with me and cried with me on some of my darkest days and I will never forget how they believed in us and in Ella and all that she could do. They worked so hard! They went above and beyond in taking care of Ella and unfortunately I will compare her therapists to come with them because they were amazing! We love you ECI!!

So, now we are therapy free!! For the first time ever Ella has no therapy appointments. It's very weird but it is great just letting her be a little girl and play and enjoy life. We will re-evaluate how things are going probably in December as far as therapy and if we feel like she has regressed we may need to seek out some private therapy but for now her doctors say to give her a break and just let her be. Thank you Lord! So, we have had a fun time watching Ella take her first class ever, gymnastics!
She loves it and it's fun to watch her bop around with the other kids. At the same time, it is hard to watch her at times too because as great as she is doing, when you put her in a class with other kids her age it is a reminder to me how small she really is and that their are alot of things she struggles to do that the others do easily. I hate to even say that because I know there are so many other children who have much more severe struggles than Ella and it just sounds like I'm complaining, which I'm not. I want to be sensitive to that but I'm just saying that even on her best days physically there are some limitations due to weakness in her core because of the omphalocele and her shoulder. It's just hard for this mommy sometimes even among my thankfulness I can't ignore the fact that we live in a fallen world and because of that we have to face things like omphaloceles and deformities. I hate it but thank goodness for the hope of heaven right?? Anyway, so Miss Ella Hope continues to be a bright light and just a joy to our family and we're enjoying this time where we have less doctor's appointments and no therapy. We are so blessed!

2. Eva

And then there's Eva. Man, this girl also continues to make us laugh daily. She is one funny cat! I love being with my two girls, two pieces of heaven I tell you! Eva turned 5 in August and we decided to wait another year before starting kindergarten since she has such a late birthday.

We are enjoying our time together at home and she and Ella love being together!

Eva is such a good big sister to Ella, she takes great care of her except for the moments she chases Ella down for the sole purpose of trying to terrorize her by putting her naked bottom on her. Where does she come up with this stuff?? Sometimes I don't know if I should be disturbed or laugh, even though it is really funny to watch. I should get it on video to show her later when she is 25 because it's quite humorous but I don't really want to encourage the behavior. Shocking, I know, coming from someone who enjoys bathroom humor but I'm thinking this isn't necessarily something you want to egg your daughter on in doing to her sister.

Besides the naked bottom chases, Eva is just getting so big and she doesn't miss a beat. She is very observant, kind-hearted and loves making others feel special. She is asking more questions about Jesus and heaven and is really enjoying learning which just warms my heart. She is just so fun to be with and has quite the sense of humor and creative spirit. I love her so much!!

3. Moving/New House

Well, as I briefly mentioned before I think we sold our house that we had lived in the last 10 years at the end of July. We moved in with my parents and have been living with them since July. Bless their hearts! They have been amazing and rearranged their house so that we could all have a space. So sweet! I just feel bad for them as they are tripping over toys and their nap is interrupted by a little person standing next to them asking 20 questions. :) But, we did find a house that is in the same neighborhood as my parents, just 2 minutes away and we will be moving in probably in the next week or so! We are so excited! It's an older house so for the past 3 weeks we've been doing alot of work over there, some of it ourselves and the majority by our friends and contractor Jeff Polk and Trine Owen. They have done an awesome job! We've had walls moved, floors redone, and painted, and painted and painted! We can't wait to move in!

Rick demolishing all the tile! What a job...

The girls "helping" paint their new room. Yes, it is hot pink. Wow, remind me next time I want to paint a room with any color in the red family to think again. 3 coats later and we were good to go but good gravy it took awhile! I'll post some before and afters later because the transformation of this house really is great, it looks so different! Even though we loved our old house we are looking forward to a new place and a new beginning. We feel immensely blessed by how the Lord has continued to provide for us and we are looking forward to what purposes He has for us in this new house, neighborhood and community.

Other than that we're just waiting for my sister Ann to have her baby boy, Dax any day in Thailand. I can't stand not being there, makes me so sad. You can check their website on my link above for more on their lives in Thailand. We are soooo excited about our new nephew's arrival and can't wait to share pictures of his sweet face when we get them! And we're also looking forward to this guy's birthday! Tomorrow is Rick's birthday, Happy Birthday babe! We love you so much and are so thankful for the daddy and husband you are. We love you! And, don't you love solo pictures? Rick always takes random pictures of me when I'm not paying attention and I have some terrible look on my face or I look really awkward so I don't mind posting a glamour shot of him. :) More updates to come!