Ella Brooke is BLOOMING...and Carter is too!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support! Trust in the Lord...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Pictures will soon be posted!
We are in Branson, MO visiting my great-grandma....so Ella and Carter's great-great-grandma. She just celebrated her 90th birthday in March and I could not wait to come and introduce Ella to her. We loved spending time with her yesterday and I can't wait to see her today. She is so sweet and has the sweetest voice and saying...We spent the evening driving her around and she loved showing us the new sites in Branson. Carter loves the hotel and the pool! My mom is here with me and the kids. I am glad she could come have fun with us!

Last Week

Our news last week was all about SLEEPING. When we would go in to get Ella, she was in her "Tucker Sling" side-ways hitting her head. I talked with the NICU follow-up clinic nurse and we had to get approval from the doctor, but Ella is now without the sling AND sleeping flat. Her crib has been elevated for her reflux...but no longer! So she is sleeping in a regular crib without any modifications-just like any other baby.
She seems to be enjoying being flat and does not seem to mind. That also tells me that her reflux is better, because we have seen no problems with her laying flat. YEA, ELLA!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birth Announcement

So Special...we are truly blessed!
I wanted to post it so that everyone has a chance to see it. Thank you to everyone for all your prayers, support and notes over the last few months. You are all very special to us.

Last Week

   I love this smile! Her coos, "talking" noises and smiles are SO SWEET!

Nurse Alisha came and visited us! She gave Ella this beautiful dress last time we saw her.
She had to wear it for her!
My Mema came and visited us! She finally got to meet Ella.  I am thankful my dad was able to bring her down for the day. I know she enjoyed seeing us as much as we loved seeing her. I can't wait to see her again soon.
First time swimming! I LOVE her suit, hat, sunglasses...SO CUTE! It is so much fun having a girl!
I finally feel like everything is slowing down I am able to enjoy Ella. She is so much fun. I think this was the first week we had NO APPOINTMENTS and it was great. She is doing so well...we are truly blessed!
Carter is such a great big brother. I love my time with him. He is growing up so fast. He loves to read books with me and cozy/cuddle...I hope he always wants to sit on my lap. Today he played with the neighbors. We went to an outdoor kid music concert this morning and Krispy Kreme donuts with the girls next door. This afternoon we played with water balloons and in the sprinkler--Summer FUN!
Meg's baby girl, Lydia, turned one on Saturday! We were excited for her party and Ella wore her party cupcake dress. It was a fun time and great cake!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

NICU Reunion

Today was the NICU reunion held at the downtown Marriott. It was a lot of fun. I did not know what to expect. It was great seeing so many familiar faces. We talked with a lot of nurses that remembered us, as well as Dr. Anderson, Dr. Carr and Dr. Heimes. Dr.Anderson thought she looked great!! Sandy, one of our primary nurses was there! I was able to take a picture of Sandy and her "peanut" (she always called Ella "peanut"). Ella wore her special Cora dress and looked so cute! They had cookies and lemonade, and then fun activities for kids. Carter LOVED the huge snake, large turtle and tiny alligator-and yes, he touched all three! They also had face painting, a bounce house, coloring and crafts. They also took group pictures by year, so we stood with the other babies born so far in 2010 that have been in the NICU. It was fun to see some of the moms I remembered again.
It is fun thinking of next year...Ella will be a big girl wanting to go in the bounce house, too. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ella's check-up

Ella got a great report at the doctor today. They always make me feel so good. I love hearing how well she is doing.

She weighs 10 pounds 1/2 ounce. Yea, Ella!! She is to sleep on her back all the time, which she is getting used to. We have her apnea monitor for one more week, and then I have to return it. (I asked to keep it so that she is more comfortable on her back before I return it). They are changing her reflux medicine to another one to see if it takes care of her dry cough. She is still aspirating a lot (Ryan and I think) so we are postponing her swallow study until September. This test is to see if her food still needs to be thickened--and Ryan and I agree that it does. We still have to wake her during the night ever 3 hours until she is eating 120-150 ml per bottle. Today she is eating 100 ml...but you better bet we will be increasing it soon. Her neck muscles have developed and tortacaulous is no longer an issue. We will go back in a month!

Nadia (Ella's last roommate in the NICU) had the appointment prior to our appointment. It was fun to see her out of the NICU and doing so well. I have often wondered how she was...

After our appointment, Ella and I stopped at Panera on the Plaza and had lunch. I LOVED IT!! It was so special for me--our first outing together, just us! It was so nice to spend one on one time with her and to be relaxed and not rushed...I have a feeling Ella and I will be spending more time on the Plaza together in the future.

The pictures above are a few more of her newborn pics. Becky did a wonderful job with them!!

I am going to bed tonight with a smile. Ella is BLOOMing into a beautiful, healthy baby!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Carter definitely takes after me with his sweet tooth! We enjoyed the new Dunkin Donuts in the area on Saturday morning. Carter loves chocolate donuts...and Ella slept through the whole thing.

5 months

Two of my favorite things....Ella and cupcakes (see her shirt)!

We go to the NICU follow-up clinic tomorrow...I can' wait. I am excited to see how much she weighs and what they have to say about her.

She is 5 months today! At five months, she is doing so well! She acts just like a 7 week old baby-eat, sleep, poop! She is awake more and more each day. We are still waking her every 3 hours to eat, although I hope the doctor says I can let her sleep a little longer through the night for my benefit and Ella's. She cries when she does not want to be laid down or when she is hungry. She is learning to sleep on her back, and actually spent all of last night on her back! She is smiling and squealing, a little. She loves her mommy, daddy and brother's voices. She loves being outside. I have been wearing the front carrier a lot as we walk around the block or to the park.

We love you Baby Girl! We are truly blessed and have loved watching you BLOOM more and more each day!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Showered and Loved

I was so glad to have the HTS Staff meet Ella. They have prayed for us and watched Ella BLOOM from the beginning...and we are so thankful and blessed to have them in our lives!
They had a shower to celebrate Ella hosted my Celeste and Lisa (my co-teachers) with the help of Carol and Lisa (my subs).
The pink cupcakes were delicious!! They spelled out Ella's name with them (see the picture). The diaper cake was adorable. One of the gifts was the sweet angel that Carter is playing with that says a special prayer. It is the same prayer that my Nana taught me to say at night. It is a special gift and the celebration was wonderful!!

Cousin Jay

We loved seeing Uncle Ryan, Aunt Jennifer and Jay in Newton. Carter and Jay loved swimming with Pappy in the pool! We also went to Linda's farm to see her baby cows, goats, donkey, kittens and big dogs. You should see these two red-heads play together! They have so much fun!! We can't wait to see them again, soon.

Carter and Ella loved seeing their grandparents, too--Guh Guh, Pappy, Grandma Deb and Grandpa Randy. We also got a special visit from Great Grandma Gwen.

Cousin Caden

Baby Caden is here! We were so excited to meet the little peanut. Ryan's only sibling, his sister Stacy, is Caden's mommy. We are so glad Caden is here and healthy. Carter, Ella and Caden will have so much fun growing up together. We love him so much!

This sweet face...

This sweet face was just released from Children's Mercy Home Health!! We do not need the nurses to visit 3/4 times a week anymore! Ella is most excited about NO BLOOD PRESSURE checks! We have been released by Dr. Blowey (the Kindney Doctor) because he feels that she does not have hypertension or high blood pressure. It is much lower and it is no longer a concern. Yea! We are so excited to check something elsee off the list. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Class...2J

I loved my class this year. I will blessed with 26 wonderful kids and 26 sets of parents that we so understanding this year...I got the kindest notes, e-mails and calls from them. This school year did not go as planned-but it reminded me that GOD is in control and he knows what is best. Each time I went back to HTS to visit, I felt so loved and enjoyed seeing the kids' smiles. I love their hugs!!! They gave me a large gift basket and each of them had put something special in it for Teacher Appreciation Day. It was a surprise to me, since I visited the following week. I was there so that I could see them in their First Communion attire and celebrate with them. Mrs. Hemke got to hold Ella while I was in pictures...I know she enjoyed it as much as Ella. :)
Did I mention how awesome my co-teachers and sub(s) were...I was able to relax and enjoy Ella knowing my class was in good hands. SO BLESSED!!

We have LOVED being home-being comfy and cozy!

Ella loves Carter so much, she watches him so closely. Ryan will love me putting these pics of him sleeping on the blog! :)