Saturday, August 31, 2013

50 Shades of Red (Dance Show)

For the past few months I've been rehearsing as a dancer for a local show, and the last two nights were our performances!  I haven't done something theatrical like this since college (other than ballet stuff), so I've had lots of fun!  Usually when I've done something like this in the past I was always a part of the ensemble as a singer/actor or something.  But this time I was primarily a dancer.  It was different!  And really fun!  I've met some fun people and have gotten to know others better.  I definitely enjoyed the experience, and the fun adventure!  :)

Opening (Muppets redhead spinoff): Beaker & Ginger Spice
Orphan Idol Season 1: Dorothy & Snow White
Part of Your World (Ariel): Fish
Dog Days Are Over: 70's hippie dancers
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: 80's girls
More 80's girls!
Redhead Show Cast & Crew

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eli's First Cart Ride

Adam started school this week and I needed to get some things from the store.  So Eli had his first ride in the kid seat in a cart!  He had so much fun looking around at everything.  He did so well!  And he was sooo cute!  Everyone loved him!

I couldn't help walking down the aisles with my camera out.  I took so many pictures!  It was tough getting some good ones, and most of them are blurry.  He's such a cute little curious wiggler!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8 Months! (Baby Eli)

Eli is 8 months old today!  I can hardly believe it.  He is the best thing in our lives so far and we love him so stinkin' much!  Every day with him is a joy.

Some of the things he's been doing lately:

  • Scratches at things with different material (like the couch or carpet or his play mat, etc) by opening and closing his hands on them
  • Puts his top lip over his bottom lip and talks, "ba ba ba ba" or makes a popping sound
  • Rolls everywhere!  Anywhere he wants to go, he rolls.  Sometimes he tries to crawl but ends up rolling over.  Or he'll move forward by rolling back and forth from one side to the other on his tummy.
  • Getting really good at holding himself up on his hands.  He moves his upper body around, but just kicks his feet.
  • Loves balloons!  He goes crazy for them.
  • Loves tags.  He goes for the tag on every toy.
  • Loves the Bumbo chair table.  If he can see it he will try to get it!  He loves to play with it, so silly.
  • Some of his favorite foods: bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, popsicles, oatmeal (with fruit in it!)
  • Puts his feet up on anything in range
  • Still uses his feet like hands!  He holds onto things with all fours.
  • Loves music
  • Always wants whatever Daddy is drinking, no matter if it's from a bottle or cup or anything.  Eli loves cups and bottles, and goes crazy for them!
  • We had a framed picture of our little family out from the hospital when Eli was born and he loves it!  He will roll over to it and touch our faces and give kisses to us in the picture.  It's so cute!
  • We give him a diaper to play with when we change his diaper so he doesn't roll over and grab other things he shouldn't, like the cords on the blinds!
  • We've been trying to teach him "kisses" for a while now, and he does them really well now!  He gives us kiss attacks!  He'll lunge at us and grab the sides of our face (or hair!) and hold on really tight and pull us close to him and stick his wide open, slobbery mouth on our face.  Sometimes multiple times in a row.  He loves us!
  • Adam has been trying to teach Eli how to do high-fives, and he started doing them when prompted by Adam by himself just the other day 
  • Sits up unsupported really well, but we still have to keep a close eye on him to catch him when he falls backwards
  • Hates when we clean out his nose!
  • Likes watching sports
  • Super smiley!
  • Just in the last couple weeks we graduated him from the infant bath seat to a laundry basket for bath time.  He sits up in the bath and plays and splashes -- so cute!  And he loves his rubber ducky.
  • Still tries to eat anything he can get his little hands on!
  • When he's sitting on anyone's lap, at some point he will try to eat their knees
  • We've noticed just in the last few days that he's trying to lift himself up!  In the bath the other day he grabbed on to two sides of the basket at one of the corners and lifted himself up passed halfway!  And just this morning Adam was asking him for a high-five and Eli grabbed on to his hand with both of his and tried with all his might to lift up!
  • Easily distracted by feet - Mine, Adam's or even his own!  He still sucks on his big toe occasionally
  • Sleeps mostly on his tummy, or on his side.  Sometimes when we put him down for a nap, right away he rolls to his side and falls asleep!
  • He had his first ride in a shopping cart in the kid seat yesterday!
  • Likes to play the piano, and likes when Mommy plays
  • This last month he visited his first new states (in this order): Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota & New Mexico.  Now he's been to 7 states!  (Not counting Idaho when I was pregnant... ;) )

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Local News Article on Eli's Condition

A friend just told me about this article this morning.  It aired on the local news earlier this month.  These are the awesome doctors who did Eli's surgery!  And I guess Eli's surgery must have been one of the first these doctors did together.  Now that I think about it I think someone said something about that in the hospital.  So grateful for the vast medical knowledge today!!!  Eli is doing so well. We are truly blessed!

Posted 1:13 PM 8/9/2013 : TMC surgical team now treating lopsided heads on babies 
TUCSON- It happens more frequently than you might think. One in 2,000 babies are born with lopsided heads. It's a condition that requires corrective surgery and now a couple doctors at Tucson Medical Center are taking on the challenge. 
The condition is called craniosynostosis. For just the third time at TMC a baby has had part of their skull taken out, reshaped and put back in place, allowing the brain to grow normally. 
Alvaro and Maria Rossette knew something wasn't right as soon as their baby girl, Anazia was born. They learned the front of her skull had fused too early and she would need surgery. 
"Very nervous, stressed. Who wants a child to be in surgery for six hours? Especially head surgery," said, Alvaro. 
Dr. Sanan, the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery explains that the skull is made up of multiple bones and as a baby is growing, all of these separate bones have to grow in order for it to maintain its normal shape. Craniosynostosis fuses those bones too soon. 
"The face get's misshapen, the eyes get misshapen, and the end result is a child that doesn't look right and a brain that's sort of developed in the wrong areas," said, Sanan. 
Anazia's skull had already fused near the forehead. But, the eight month old was in good hands. Dr. Sanan, and Dr. Ley Tai, a craniofacial surgeon, work together to perform the surgery. 
"One of the major parts that I perform is to reshape the bones with various tools and very specific cuts on the bone to make them more of a normal shape," said, Ley Tai. 
So, after six hours of having part of her skull literally cut off, reshaped, and screwed in place, little Anazia woke up and her dad says she recovered quickly. 
"We're really excited knowing that it's going to help her in her learning development, it's not going to affect her cause if we wouldn't have done the surgery it would have probably affected her in the long run." 
Before Dr. Sanan and Dr. Ley Tai performed this procedure in Tucson patients were being sent up to Phoenix. So, this surgery is providing a great resource for families facing the issue and clearly they are in capable hands.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Update on Eli: Surgery (Backtrack)

Eli was diagnosed with unicoronal craniosysostosis at 3 and a half months old.  He had corrective surgery on his skull at 5 and a half months old.


June 9 - Packing for the hospital
We woke up early Monday morning (June 10) and headed down to the hospital (TMC), about a 30 minute drive, to get there at 5:30am to check in.  We finished up some paperwork, and Eli got dressed in his little gown and the nurse took some vitals.  All the doctors came in to see us (neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgery nurse), and after a long time of waiting that went by too fast, they were ready for Eli.  We passed him off to the nurse, and she carried him away and our hearts broke as we watched them head behind closed doors.  He was so innocent, so unknowing of what he was about to go through.  That moment was the very hardest we had faced as parents.  He went back to the surgery area at around 7:30am, and we went back out to the waiting room, where all we could do was wait.

The Surgery

All dressed in his gown and ready to go!
We were told by the doctors that the surgery was expected to last about 3-4 hours, and they scheduled an extra hour after that just for buffer room.  We weren't sure if that was from the time Eli went back or if it was from the time they started the actual procedure.  Adam and I tried to keep ourselves busy and our minds off what was happening to our son by playing games in the waiting room.  We got a call in the waiting room from the surgery nurse at 9:25am letting us know that they had begun the procedure at 9am.  That was the only communication from the inside we had all morning.  When 11:30am came around we started getting anxious.  It had been 4 hours since they took him back but only 2 and a half since the actual procedure had begun.  We started getting really anxious when 1pm rolled around, and tried not to feel worried every minute after.  We watched doctor after doctor come out of the surgery area looking for family of other patients to talk to them.  It was torture being away from Eli for so long and waiting to hear anything from anyone about how things were going!  Finally at 2pm I saw both doctors come out of that door!  What a happy and reliving sight!!!  To see the doctors I recognized, I almost jumped to my feet!  Adam was telling me something when I saw them and I didn't hear anything he said after that.  The first thing that was said was from the plastic surgeon to the neurosurgeon, "Should we go to one of the conference rooms?"  The neurosurgeon must have felt our concern or seen it on our faces because he quickly reassured us that everything went fine.  Phew!  We followed them to one of the small conference rooms and they told us that everything went well and that we would be able to see Eli soon.  They were very pleased with the results of the surgery.  What a load off!

Picture with Dad before the surgery

Picture with Mom before the surgery


We went back to the waiting room to wait for another hour until Eli was awake enough and ready to be transported to the PICU.  A nurse finally told us we were going to meet him (pushed in a crib by nurses) by the elevators.  And we waited.......  And there he was!  It was SO good to see him!!!!  We followed the nurses down the elevator and through hallways until we finally reached his room at the PICU.  He was peacefully sleeping but they had to pick him up to move him to a PICU crib.  And of course he woke up and was cranky and cried for the next 20 minutes.  But we were with our son again and all was right in the world.  The worst was behind us.

To be continued...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mother's Day / Father's Day

Just wanted to mention our first Mother's Day and Father's Day this year and share some super cute pictures.

Eli signed cards for both days.  :)

1st Mother's Day
(before surgery) 

1st Father's Day
(after surgery)

Mommy's birthday
(after surgery)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Update on Eli: 2 Months Post-Op

Well, now it's been 2 months since the surgery.  And Eli is doing awesome!

His hair is growing and starting to cover the scar, which healed really well.  His left eye is evening out nicely, and so is the shape of his head overall, which took a little time but he's still growing all around so we expected that.  I was a little nervous before the surgery about how different he would look after, but he's still our little Eli and he looks great!  And his sweet scar is healing really well.

Taken just a few days shy of 1 month since the surgery.

His development was on pause for a couple weeks, but he's gotten right back into the swing of things. I wasn't sure what to expect with his development but it's like he didn't even have a major surgery done! He's rolling over both ways and both from back to tummy and tummy to back, eating solids like a champ, gaining lots of weight, playing with anything he can get his hands on, and smiling and giggling and talking away!  He's having a blast in life and doing very well in health and wellness.

He's been to see the neurosurgeon once and the plastic surgeon twice since being discharged from the hospital.  We won't see the neurosurgeon again unless we need to, and we have our next appointment with the plastic surgeon next month. We'll be seeing him regularly, but not as much as I thought we would need to, which is nice. We'll probably see him a few more times before the year mark from the surgery, and then once a year after that until Eli stops growing when he's in his teens.  We also have an appointment with the opthamalogist in a couple weeks just to make sure everything is still good and normal with his eyes.

About a week after we came home from the hospital Eli got sick with a stomach bug and spent the Sunday puking and the rest of the week diarrhea-ing.  It was a messy week.  But he's been fine other than that.  Everything is looking good and normal with the pediatrician; his 6 month checkup and shots were fine.  The biggest thing is that he was having trouble sleeping through the night.  He was sleeping through the night before the surgery so it was tough having to deal with him waking up again.  I'm sure he was used to being woken up in the hospital and eating around the clock again, but after about a month or so of being home, after trying to sooth him without picking him up or feeding him, we let him cry himself back to sleep during the night.  It took a couple days for him to adjust but he's back to sleeping all the way through, with the occasional 10 or 11pm 1 or 2 minute whimper wakeup (and then right back to sleep). 

All in all, this has been a very positive experience.  Everything has turned out better than we anticipated.  The surgery itself was longer than we thought, but his stay in the hospital, his bandaging, his recovery at home, his development, his personality coming back, his head shape and look, and more were and are much better than we expected.  He is doing great, and we love him!  We can't believe the support we've had from so many people.  We are so blessed and so grateful!

This was a difficult thing to go through, and I'm glad it's behind us.  But I'm grateful for this experience because we are better people and a stronger family because of it.  Our outlook of hope is solid because of our solid hope of and faith in Jesus Christ.  He atoned for all our afflictions and pains and succors us in times of need.  In His holy house, in the sacred temple, we have made covenants with God which has enabled us to be sealed together as a family for eternity.  So long as we stay clean and worthy of the blessings, nothing in this life on Earth can break that family relationship.  Eli will always be ours.  We thank our Father in heaven every day for the tremendous blessing and joy he is in our lives.  :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

7 Months! (Baby Eli)

Well, I kinda skipped the 6 month update due to things being crazy post-op and Eli's developments didn't change a whole lot because of the surgery.  So here we are at 7 months (two Sundays ago)!  Holy cow!

- We're teaching Eli how to do "kisses" and he does them sometimes!
- He's getting really good at standing up, we just help him balance
- When we make him "walk" he's starting to bend his knees like he's actually walking! (before he would just keep his legs stiff and straight)
- He's super smiley and giggly, more and more all the time!
- He's starting to get better at responding when we try to get his attention
- He's super talkative
- He loves playing in his exersaucer!  At first he would just lean forward and sit there and play with the one toy that was in front of him, but now he's standing up and leaning back and forward and even turning around to play with the toys behind him!
- He loves balls!  Anything that's round -- little stressball basketballs and baseballs, balloons
- Everything still goes straight to his mouth
- He's ticklish in his armpits, lower back and feet
- He's rolling all the way over now!  It's taken him a little bit to get back into rolling onto his back from his tummy but just last week he rolled all the way onto his tummy all by himself for the second time!  And since then he's done it a bunch of times, including in his crib
- He scoots and rolls around in his crib, so sometimes we find him in random and complete opposite positions than how we left him
- He likes to sleep on his side
- He makes cute noises when he's chewing on his hands or our fingers
- He still uses his feet as his 3rd and 4th hands
- When he gets happy or excited his flaps his arms, kicks his feet and sometimes screams
- He's eating solids now, and he loves it!  He's always reaching out for our bowls and plates and utensils and cups
- He even reaches out for our water bottles and sport drink bottles and soda cans
- We think he tends to gravitate more toward things that are green, so we think green might be his favorite color
- He's growing more hair!
- He sticks his cute little tounge out, sometimes when he smiles
- He grunts when he's trying to poo
- He likes to play with our ears
- He just started talking on his own, without a finger or toy or anything in his mouth, going "ba ba ba ba" -- It's the cutest thing!!
- He's been shaking his head like "no" starting about a week or so ago. Not sure what it means but he isn't saying "no" 
- Sometimes when he's laying on his back he lifts his pelvis like he's doing a work out or trying to poop!  He ends up scooting in the direction of his head.  He usually grunts too so it seems like he's trying to potty!
- He can sit unsupported all by himself! We've been practicing with him and we still have to watch him so he doesn't topple over, but it's funny that when we sit him on a chair he leans forward to sit by himself instead of leaning back against the backrest

He's a growing boy!  He's so awesome and fun.  I love being his mommy.  We love him!  :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

On the Road to Utah

Today we embarked on a road trip up to Utah with Adam's parents for his brother's wedding, which is this next week.  It has been a little adventure, that's for sure!  We left early and had everything (or so we thought) and everything was going great.  We took a rental car and we were good and comfortable.

My boys napping.

Then, in the middle of nowhere in northern Arizona or somewhere, Adam picks up Eli's little basketball that was next to him in his carseat and it's wet.  And a second later we realize that Eli had a poop explosion and it was everywhere!  All over his outfit, his back, his carseat...  Everywhere.  We pulled over on the side of the road to clean it up, and tried to get the smell out as best we could.  We got most of it.  We bagged up the poopy diaper and napkins and wipes and drove down the road to the nearest trash can.  Some people (I won't name names) wanted to just leave it on the side of the road!  I said no way, and we stopped at the next stop.  It was a weird little stop with an old pump station and old dinner, and a machine gun attraction where you can shoot a machine gun.  We may have stopped if we had more time to spare.  And there were a bunch of those cardboard cutout things where you stick your head in the hole and take a picture...  But they were all of aliens doing different things.  And there was a painting next to the gas pumps that said "fill your tank with Uranus gas" - whatever that means!!

Adam let Eli suck on some beef jerky and he liked it.

The rest of the trip has been mildly uneventful.  I forgot some parts for my breast pump, so we had to make a Target stop in Vegas.  I also realized I forgot Eli's cape to go with his Batman onesie.  :(  I'm super bummed about that!  I pooped my pants when I saw him wearing it the first time!

This is his sweet batman outfit.

We stopped somewhere in Utah to change Eli's diaper and take a bathroom break.  Eli liked being outside (and out of his car seat) and looking up at the big blue sky and the cars and big semi trucks that drove by.  The poor guy cried every time we put him back in his car seat the whole second half of this trip.  Adam's parents got some ice cream at the Dairy Queen at the rest stop and Adam's dad gave Eli some vanilla ice cream.  It was a cone and he didn't know that you could eat it.  When Adam's dad put the ice cream up to Eli's mouth he was confused when he tasted it.  The next taste try Eli got more on his mouth and he brought his hand up and slowly put it on the side of the ice cream!  Oops!  Of course, it was cute.  Isn't everything your own baby does cute??  :)

Mommy and Eli 

Eli's first new state: Nevada
Eli's second new state: Utah
Eli's first long, overnight trip: August 3, 2013 - to Utah for Uncle Nate's wedding