Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 23

'Nuff said! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 22

This morning we had a check-up with Eli's pacemaker, and we didn't even have to leave the house! In fact, we were still in our pajamas! Technology is awesome. We have a device here at home that has a modem and a pacer reader. It reads the data recorded on the pacer and then transmits it directly to our cardiologist through the phone lines. I'm so thankful this technology exists so we don't have to make frequent regular trips to CHCC and his cardiologist.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 21

Grandma and Papaw came for a visit on Sunday. They played with Eli. He showed them how he can say thank you, spin in circles, and told them some great stories. Paige played paper dolls with Grandma and Play-doh with Papaw. Samuel woke up for a short bit and cooed and smiled for them both. We had a great visit. And ate some yummy Mexican food. I love it when the kids can see their grandparents!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 20

For 6 months this year, Jason was working 6 days a week. Only when Samuel was born, did he finally have a Saturday off since March. He took 6 weeks off but when he returned to work he went back to a 6-day week. The past 2 Saturdays Jason has been home. It's so nice to have him home for 2 days instead of just 1. I'm thankful for the overtime he had, especially since it's so rare with his job. But I'm even more thankful to have him home and rested for 2 days on a weekend.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 19

Weekday mornings, I wake up with Jason, make him a lunch and send him off to work. After he leaves, I usually get back into bed and try to get an hour or so more sleep. Paige is pretty good about letting me sleep more. She knows that she isn't supposed to wake me up until it's 8:00. To her, that means the alarm clock starts with an 8, and often it's more like 8:30. Lately she's been playing with Eli and letting me sleep even longer. I usually wake when Samuel is crying to eat. Friday morning was a little different. I heard a soft whisper, "You're the best!" and then tip toes creeping out of the room. How could I not smile and be warmed by such a sweet awakening!
I'm so thankful of sweet moments from the sweet girl that we have. Thanks Paige for making my Friday start perfectly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 18

Just over 2 years ago, we learned of Eli's heart defect. Exactly 21 months ago we began his journey. We have had many ups and downs in the past 21 months. Of all the things that Eli has taught me over the span of 2 years, the thing I'm most thankful for is his joy. Eli is a happy boy. Rarely is he fussy or cranky. The pictures you see are genuine Eli. Often smiling. Often laughing. Often babbling away. He is my daily reminder to find joy in the trials. His heart is working hard to survive. His lungs are fragile and weak. But that's all on the inside. You can't see it. On the outside, you see a fun, happy, almost 2 year old boy. Thank you Eli for showing me and reminding me to find joy in the little things. No matter how tough it is, there is joy somewhere. All I have to do is look into your face. You are my joy.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 17

Last night I got to watch Cinderella while sitting in the presence of Cinderella herself. Paige put on her Cinderella dress (which I didn't know still fit her) and came out prancing around. She spins and twirls her way into the kitchen to her daddy and says, "Daddy will you be my prince?" I witnessed Jason's spine fall out of his back! :) Then we sat together and watched her favorite movie. After the movie she asks when we can go to Disneyland to see Cinderella in her pretty blue dress and "I want to show her my pretty blue dress too!" Some day, Paige. Some day.
It's moments like these I'm thankful for Paige's innocence and easy-going personality. She really is a sweet girl. Thank you Paige for being our princess!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16

Several things happened yesterday that reminded me to be thankful for Children's Hospital. First, a former schoolmate of mine had her 3 year old daughter diagnosed with leukemia. They are in the beginning stages of treatment for her. Secondly, I caught a short segment on a talk show about a teenager who had a rare form of bone cancer. For treatment, she had to travel 6 hours to St. Jude hospital. This made me realize that we only travel 40 minutes to get great care for Eli. I'm so thankful that we have a great hospital with all the resources we need just a few minutes away. Eli spent the first 4 months of his life at Children's. I can't imagine how difficult that would have been if we had to travel to LA or San Francisco for that. There are times when we can't wait to get out of the Central Valley. But, honestly, Children's Hospital is one of the reasons we stay anchored here.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 15

We have many projects going in the house. We are still working on the painting and trimming in Paige's room. We are painting the trim on the outside of the house, which includes the entire underside of the patio. We are also in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel. Jason is sanding down the cabinets to refinish them. A lot of days, Jason comes home from work and winds down by working on a project around the house. Monday was different. Instead, he came home with Toy Story 3. We had dinner together, and then all 5 of us sat in the living room and watched a movie. It was a spontaneous evening and it was wonderful! Eli sat in my lap cuddling with me for a while. Paige sat in her daddy's lap cuddling with him. Samuel slept in his swing, but he was in the room with us. I'm so thankful for spontaneous moments with my entire family. It was a great evening!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 14

Today we had visitors. The kids' Nanna and Nanno (my mom and her husband, Ceasare) were able to come for a visit. They don't get to visit often, so we treasure the times when they do come. When they first arrived Paige was still napping so they spent some quality time with the boys. Eli told them lots of stories and Samuel slept in Nanna's arms. When Paige woke up they read stories, built bridges with blocks and gave each other lots of hugs. I'm so thankful for the visit! Paige loves her Nanna and Nanno. She misses them lots during the school year. We look forward to the next visit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 13

Monday, a very important man passed away. A man who we've never met, but has basically saved Eli's life. Dr. Richard J. Bing was a leading cardiac researcher in the 50's and 60's. He explored many things that Eli has benefited from. I'm thankful of leading scientists like Dr. Bing. Because of their experiments and knowledge, Eli is alive. If you'd like to read Dr. Bing's full obituary, click here. He was not just a cardiac researcher, but also an author and composer. What an amazing man! Thank you Dr. Bing!

30 days of Thanksgiving: Day 12

Jason took the day off today, giving him a 4 day weekend. It's so nice to have him home. We all miss him so much when he is working, especially Paige. I'm so thankful that he has some flexibility with his job and he is able to take days off to spend time with his family.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 11

Today is Veteran's Day. Of course today I'm going to be thankful for all the Veteran's who have served or are serving our country. Thank you for your sacrifice for my freedom. We have several Veteran's in our family who have served in the Gulf War, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. Thank you isn't enough.

Today I continue to pray and be thankful for those who are still serving overseas.

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10

Tonight Paige, Daddy and I had a little movie night. We all cuddled on the couch with some popcorn and watched a movie. Paige even got to stay up a little later than normal. I'm so thankful that we can spend time together with just Paige. She deserves a little time with just us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

It's been several months since Eli has had any food orally. Sometime in the spring, he began choking and gagging on his bottled formula. Fearing he'd aspirate, we stopped feeding him orally until after his heart cath in June. Shortly after, we tried again. Only to have him still choke. We had a swallow study done and saw an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist to make sure everything was okay. Since Eli has a mid-line defect, we needed to be sure his swallow, tongue, tonsils and throat were not affected. Everything came back normal, telling us all of Eli's swallow issues can be overcome with some therapy.
First step: getting used to food. The texture. The taste. His occupational therapist recommended we start with some pureed sweet potatoes on the tray. Tonight we experimented with that. We gave him a spoon and a dallop of potatoes. He immediately stuck his finger in them and took it straight to his mouth. "mmmmm!!!" he says! It was fun to watch him smear the potatoes, lick his fingers, put some on the spoon, lick the spoon. He obviously does not have an aversion to food. This is huge! It's a major obstacle we won't have to overcome.
And that's exactly what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful Eli likes food. I'm thankful he doesn't mind having things in his mouth. I'm thankful for the first step of getting him to take in some nutrition orally.

Also: Be sure to look back to Day 3. I added a picture of Samuel!

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 6, 7, and 8

This weekend was busy with family visiting from out of town, so that's why I'm a little behind. And that's exactly what I'm thankful for, too. My dad and Deb flew in from Montana Friday morning and spent the weekend with us. They were finally able to meet Samuel. Saturday, all of us went up to the Fall Festival at Shinzen Gardens (the Japanese garden in Woodward Park). I'm thankful for the beautiful fall weather we had. The rain held off just long enough for us to enjoy the park, the beautiful fall colors, and listen to the music. It really was a great chance for our family to get out.

I'm also thankful for the great quality time we got to spend with Dad and Deb. They really had some great chances to bond with all the kids. The greatest thing was how sweet and taken Eli was to his Grandpa. Saturday night, Eli was really cuddling and just chatting up a storm with him. It was really fun to watch Eli interact with someone so intimately. I'm so glad they were able to come for the weekend!

Today I'm thankful for our home. Although many people see it as small, I love it's size. I love the fact that it forces us to live simply. We don't have a ton of room to store things, so we live without. It makes us live inside our means and not get stuck on material stuff. I'm thankful that we have been blessed with a roof over our heads that we love and live comfortably in.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 5

I'm thankful for the little developments and changes I see in the kids everyday. Today Samuel giggled for the first time. And Eli was up on his hands and knees for the first time. I'm so thankful that I have a hubby that works hard which allows me to stay home and be a part of all the firsts. Today reminded me how precious each moment is and made me so thankful that I can be here to be a part of it all.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 3 and 4

So I already missed a day. Oops! But don't think that I wasn't thankful all day for Day #3!! On the third, I am thankful for my youngest Samuel. He is 2 months old already! I'm thankful that he is here and completes our family. He is such an easy baby. He rarely cries, and mostly sleeps. When he's awake he's cooing and smiling. He is such a handsome boy! Samuel is a true blessing and shows God's love and creation to me everyday. My favorite thing about Samuel is that he loves to cuddle and sleep on me. Paige and Eli never really did that. I finally got my cuddly baby! :)

For Day 4, I'm thankful for the little outing I got with Paige. She's been a little needy lately, especially since Daddy went back to work. We decided she needed some alone time with one of us, and she chose to go to the shoe store with me over Home Depot with Dad (that's my girl!). We went to Payless, just us two, and she was allowed to pick out some new shoes all by herself. She chose some glittery pink sneakers with blinking stars! They are flashy and so much fun! She was giggling the whole way home. I'm so thankful that we both got a little break, and finding joy in Paige's joy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 2

Today I'm thankful for something simple. I'm thankful that all 3 kids are beginning their naps at the same time. I usually get about 1 hour of kid-free time a day. Today looks like I may get 2 hours! Yippee!! Now I'd better get off the computer to make good use of my extra hour.

Lord thank you for giving me a little extra quiet time today. It's one of those days where it's so needed. Thank you for providing all that we need!

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 1

We all know that we celebrate Thanksgiving in November. It's always a chance to become aware of your blessings and acknowledge what God has done in our lives. I've decided for each day in November, I'm going to name one thing that I am thankful for.

November 1, 2010: I'm thankful for my first born, Paige. Her birthday falls on the first, so it's only fitting I'm thankful for her on her 1/4 birthday. Paige is an extraordinary girl. She's smart. She's witty. But best of all, she's easy-going. These past 2 years have not been easy for any of us, and she's been a champion of rolling with the punches. I'll never forget her often asked question when Eli was in the hospital. She'd often wake up in the morning and ask, "Where's we go today?" She was so used to going somewhere in the afternoons so we could go visit Eli. She never grew tired of being in different places everyday. And now that we are shut-ins, she never grows tired of being home. She loves both her brothers and is an amazing second mommy. God is doing great things in her heart, and she's told me she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. The way she cares for her brothers, I know she'd be great at it!

Lord, thank you for blessing us with Paige. She is tender, intelligent, and perfect for our family. Your work in her never ceases to amaze me.