Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just Calling Like She Sees It

Children don't really understand the idea of being polite; even when its hard not to be. Elisabeth is no different in that regard.

This morning I took her to Stone Drug after her doctor's appointment for a UTI to get her some medication. Walking in the door right in front of us was a punk teenager with EXTREMELY baggy pants. He was talking on the cell phone and not paying attention to anything around him. As he walked his pants started sliding down his behind and after 5-6 steps, his pants fell down to his knees! I was appalled because I didn't want to see his brick red boxers (with a nasty logo on the bum)and I certainly didn't want Elisabeth exposed to that. The guy got off of his phone and reached behind him to pull up his pants.

Without missing a beat Ellie said really loudly: "Mommy, why doesn't he wear pants that fit? He looks so silly with those pants! Mommy, you said we wear pants not to show our underwear! He's not obeying his mommy!"

It was all I could do not to start laughing! I know he heard everything she said I hope he actually thinks about it!

Can she call it like she sees it or what?

Happy Birthday Kathleen!

Yesterday was a very important day; not only was it Julia Roberts birthday but Kathleen's birthday as well! For Kath's birthday, Jake made a german chocolate cake and bought Breyer's chocolate ice cream. We were slight losers and forgot to buy birthday candles, so Kathleen became 007 for the night! We gave Kath a picture frame from Rod Works and then we carved pumpkins.

Like I mentioned in an ealier post, every kid needs an Aunt Kath. Last night she taught Ellie to gleek (then Kath put herself in time out for spitting), and also that pumpkins and people can be bulimic! Seriously though, she loves each of her nieces and nephews individually and is so good to come and babysit when needed. For us, she has been so helpful with Nathan because most people are still scared to take care of him with his wretching issues. Kath isn't afraid to be herself and I think that's important for the kids to see.

Ellinger Family Halloween Party on October 25th

Even though Grandma Ellinger wasn't able to come to the party because she had to have surgery again, Kathleen was awesome and took over the party. She is such a great aunt to the kids; every kid needs an Aunt Kath. At the party the kids made spooky shakers, read Halloween stories, played Halloween Bingo and finally decorated pumpkin cookies. Elisabeth loved being able to get dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume an extra time. One thing that is really great about the Ellinger cousins is that they are all so close in age and they all get along so great! Elisabeth always talks about Libby, Mallory, Keaton and Kierra and is excited to be able to see them. We had a fun time at the party!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Elisabeth can be such a character sometimes on purpose, and then there are those moments where she really believes what she is saying!

For example:

While on our most recent trip to Barnes & Noble we bought "The Polar Express" to read to the kids for Christmas. Jake and I have been having so much fun doing the tourist in our own backyard thing that we decided our fun Christmas adventure would be to ride Heber Creeper's Polar Express. We bought tickets on Saturday night and then yesterday morning we read the story to Elisabeth. As we were going thru the story we would ask questions to make sure that she was understanding what was going on. We read the part where the boy gets on the train to go see Santa Claus and so I asked her, "Where does Santa Clause live?"

Elisabeth got a very serious look on her face as she thought about the answer. Finally her eyes lit up and she piped up very solemly, "Jersusalem."

Um.... I'm thinking we have a little work to do of seperating the idea of Santa Clause versus Jesus. But on the other hand, I think she's actually listening to the stories that Grandma Ellinger, Jake and I have been teaching her.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UEA Weekend Part 2 (Hogle Zoo and the Mayan)

On the 17th of October, Jake and I took the kids to the Hogle Zoo. I have to admit, while I thought the zoo was fun... I've been to quite a few other zoos that are much better! For instance, in St. Louis the zoo is paid for entirely by the city and is FREE. Plus, it has a better layout and the animals were a little more perky. Then there is the San Diego Zoo, Washington DC Zoo... Utah needs to catch up with the times.

For a 3 year old the Hogle Zoo sufficed. Ellie really loved the monkeys and once again softies Mom and Dad let her walk out of the zoo with a brand new pet monkey that can attach around her back and her neck. I don't remember what she named it, but the monkey and Sparky also accompany her to bed every night. Nathan received a small stuffed giraffe and has loved playing with it.

We were so hot even though it was a nice cool day! At 3:00 we decided to leave the zoo and go to the Mayan in Jordan Landing. Since we got there to eat dinner before the main traffic of people came through, they put us at the bottom table in front of the water. Elisabeth thought it was so awesome to see the divers. I think it was a great one time experience; the food was a little pricier than it should have been. You know what though? Sometimes you just have to splurge and see something different. After all, we were having a good "tourist in your own backyard" vacation as a family. It was nice to just be able to get out together!

I'm thinking that next time we hit the zoo, its going to be to San Diego. Perhaps we'll make it part of our vacation in the spring...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our UEA Weekend Part 1 (Discovery Gateway Children's Museum)

If you haven't ever been to the Children's Museum at the Gateway, it is time for you to give in and go! Jake and I originally wanted to go to Southern California with the rest of Utah and hang out at Disneyland but we got a little greedy and decided to spend our money on a backyard instead. Oh well, there's always next spring and Elisabeth didn't even know we were going to go so no huge loss there.

Jake and I decided that we really needed a mini vacation for our family though and UEA weekend was the perfect time to do it. So we took Elisabeth and Nathan to the Children's Museum on Thursday (October 16th) to hang out. It was so much fun, and crowded, with lots of building activities and Halloween crafts, and crowded, and an awesome exhibit on Intermountain Health Care's Life Flight program, and did I mention CROWDED? Elisabeth loved every minute of it. She had Jake wrapped around her little finger and together they explored the world of the Postal Worker. That's right... Ellie spent a solid hour interested in delivering the mail to the correct mail boxes. I was hoping she'd grow up to be a doctor or a nurse; but hey, being a government worker has its perks too if you don't mind dogs chasing after you!

Elisabeth was particularly interested in making her spider and also examining the human body figure that they had where kids could see the organs and put them where they are supposed to go. She loved seeing what Nathan's and her heart looked like. So there's hope she'll have a better career than her previous interest. We went to lunch at the food court and came back to spent a while playing with the balls. The coolest thing was that I met another heart mom while watching Ellie play. I had been feeding Nathan with his pump and she pointed to her little boy who was approximately 20 months (who barely looked 12 months) and said she'd had to do the same thing with him. We struck a great conversation and she told me that even though her little boy had barely learned to walk a couple of months ago, he was still making progress and trying to catch up! I love to see heart kids who are doing great! Softies as we are, we also let Elisabeth purchase "Sparky" our new stuffed dragon who we refer to as a dinosaur since Ellie's favorite book at the moment is "How Do Dinosaur's Say Good Night?". She's packed Sparky with her everywhere since we bought him.

After the Children's Museum, we took Ellie and Nathan to Barnes and Noble in Orem and let Ellie pick a couple of books that she'd like. Jake and I have such a soft spot for buying children's books and reading to the kids. We think that is one of the reasons that Elisabeth has such a great vocabulary at her young age. We browsed a little long at the bookstore and drove frantically home to watch BYU be decimated by TCU. Ah, the quest for perfection hit a major bump in the rode but we still love our BYU Cougars!

We had a great day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nathan's Sleep Study Results

Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea

What a great way to say that my child is trying to breath at night but simply can't get enough air in his lungs to do the job. It is frightening in a child like Nathan because it can lead to pulmonary hypertension (where we already know that the pulmonary valve isn't going to hold out forever).

This is an excerpt from an article that talks about children with obstructive sleep apnea.

Children with Craniofacial Syndromes

JAMES CHAN, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

JENNIFER C. EDMAN, M.D., Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio

PETER J. KOLTAI, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

"OSA is more common in children with craniofacial syndromes. Children who have syndromes with craniosynostosis, such as Apert's syndrome, Crouzon's disease, Pfeiffer's syndrome, and Saethre-Chotzen syndrome; abnormalities of the skull base; and accompanying maxillary hypoplasia may have nasopharyngeal obstruction. Children with syndromes that involve micrognathia, such as Treacher Collins syndrome, Pierre Robin syndrome, and Goldenhar's syndrome, become obstructed at the hypopharyngeal level. In children with trisomy 21, a narrow upper airway combined with macroglossia and hypotonic musculature predisposes them to OSA.

The surgical management of craniofacial syndromes and OSA in children frequently requires more than standard adenotonsillectomy. Tracheotomy often is necessary. In children with midfacial hypoplasia, craniofacial advancement may be indicated. Glossopexy, mandibular distraction or advancement, or tongue suspension should be considered in patients with micrognathia.30"

Basically, because of Nathan's craniofacial abnormalities, he was at a serious increase risk of having apnea. This is in part of his micrognathia and cleft hard & soft palates. Since his jaw has already been advanced and his tonsils and adenoids are actually not that big (as well as an excellent defense against germs) we have opted not to have him operated on again. We've also decided that we don't want his tongue stitched down to his lip to keep it from blocking his airway. We had also discussed using a dental appliance to help with the apnea, however, Dr. Yamashiro (the orthodontist) feels that this is only particularly helpful to those with mild to moderate apnea. This would also be very difficult to keep in Nathan's mouth. With Nathan's specific needs, Dr. Daftery, Dr. Park, and I have decided that the BiPap would be the first measure we'd take in correcting this problem.

This is not a CPap Machine! Here is the difference:

What is a CPAP Machine?

"Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, also known as CPAP is a method of take positive pressure and applying it inside the throat in order to keep it from collapsing while you are sleeping. The mask is hooked up to this machine and it is worn over the nose and is connected to a CPAP pump. This pump then applies pressure to the throat through the mask in order to keep your throat from collapsing. While many people tend to stop using their mask within the first year, finding a mask that fits and feels comfortable can provide a solution to this problem. Usually these masks are made out of silicon and it then makes a seal over your nose. New gel filled masks are also available, and many people find them more comfortable

What is a BIPAP Machine?

The BIPAP machine is also a breathing machine designed to help patients breath easier. Not only does this machine help to push some air into the lungs, but it also helps to get more oxygen into the lungs by holding them open. This machine is adjustable and can sense the amount of pressure to use when exhaling and inhaling. The mask that goes along with this machine goes simply over the face, usually the mouth and nose, and creates a seal so the air pressure goes into your body.

When to Use These Masks

If you happen to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, then more than likely you’ll want to use the CPAP machine, since it is great for people who deal with mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Most people who use these machines regularly see great improvement and it can be adjusted in such a way to make sure that normal breathing is restored while you are sleeping. However, a person who has severe problems with emphysema should never use a CPAP machine.

Many doctors actually use BIPAP machines for patients who are not totally able to breath on their own. This helps to get more oxygen in their blood. Of course BIPAP machines are also used to treat sleep apnea. This is usually a treatment for those who have more severe apnea problems or for those who have a hard time dealing with the CPAP machines. The machines also help to prevent snoring as well.

The Difference Between the Two

So, what is the real difference between CPAP ventilation masks and BIPAP ventilation masks? Well, the difference is actually quite simple. The CPAP machines apply continuous pressure to the airways and have only one level of pressure. However, the BIPAP machines have two different pressures. Higher amounts of pressure are applied when the patient is breathing in, while lower pressure is used when they are breathing out. Both machines do well for treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea; however, the BIPAP machines are better for severe obstructive sleep apnea and also are effective in treating central sleep apnea as well.

So, as you can see, both types of machines can be extremely useful for treating sleep apnea. Many suffers of sleep apnea actually end up preferring the BIPAP machines, and it is easy to see why. Instead of dealing with that constant pressure that CPAP machines use, the pressure of the BIPAP machines vary, while you are inhaling and exhaling.

Jason R Davidson owns and operates - CPAP Visit the site for more product reviews and information on how to get the best from your CPAP equipment check.

Nathan is trying to actually breathe on his own, but he isn't able to get enough air intake that a CPAP would not work for him. That's why he is using a BiPap machine instead.

This is Nathan with his BiPap machine. He actually did really well not trying to pull it off of his face. Poor kid is supposed to wear this every night indefinitely (with his helmet). He doesn't really like it, but once he's asleep its not that bad. Now if only the alarm would stop sounding every 5 minutes.....

Our newest member of our household: The BiPap Machine. Some people get pets; we could the latest and greatest home health care machines!

Cardiology Rockstar!!!

Nathan went to see Dr. Cowley on October 10th in the University Parkway office (which I might add is so much better than driving up to Primary Children's and sitting in a crowded waiting room!). All of the tests were done (including the x-ray where Nathan was sitting up on a seat and being squished in by a machine to get an upright picture of his chest). He didn't like that one bit! Dr. Cowley admitted he was a little disappointed by Nathan's weight gain since after Nathan's heart surgery he should have picked up the pounds faster; but after a thorough exam Nathan passed with flying colors! There is not a noticable murmer and no valve leakage or reguritation.

You know what I was super impressed with about Dr. Cowley? When he walked into the exam room, the first thing he asked was how Nathan's feedings were going and if it had helped at all when he made the phone call to the Dr.Book in the GI clinic to get Nathan help faster. Dr. Cowley made me feel like he was doing everything possible in his power to help Nathan and that I was just as important of a member on Nathan's health care team as he was. Not many of Nathan's doctors are like that.

So as of right now, Nathan is a Cardiology Rockstar! That isn't to say that his pulmonary valve might give soon, but its working its best at the moment. What more at this point could we ask for?

And this is what its all about....

On Friday, October 10th, my brother Brian and his family were sealed together in the Manti temple. This day has been a long time coming; but the wait was well worth it. Both Brian and Cari have been working especially hard this year to be able to go to the temple together. Jake was asked to be Brian's escort and he was super excited that he was asked! It was so neat to be able to see both of them take out their endowments (going thru a live session) and then to be sealed together. Out of a coincidence, they were sealed in the same room that Jake and I were married in. Brian and Cari were invited into the sealing room first to have a discussion with the sealer. When the rest of us were invited into the room, Brian motioned for me to go sit next to him. He told me that I was taking Mom's place that day. What an amazing experience to watch the ceremony. Before the ordinance was performed, the sealer talked about "others who had gone before that were present to witness also this ordinance". I knew both my parents and grandparents and Beth were there to witness. There was such a powerful spirit in the room and sitting there I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the church was indeed true. When Brock, Kayla, and Brice walked in the room they didn't really know what to expect and were a little timid. I have en grained the picture of Brian's family all kneeling together at the alter making a covenant with our Heavenly Father in my mind. There was such a feeling of peace and serenity in the room and every member of the family looked happier than I had ever seen them before.

I wished that my whole family could have been there together. Due to finances, Heidi wasn't able to come and Anne already had a prior speaking engagement in Atlanta. It was wonderful being there with Brian and Bill's families.

I know this sounds sappy, but this saying sums the whole day up:

We begin and end with family.

I'm patiently waiting for the day to see my parents again and I know its possible because they participated in the same ordinance many years ago in the Switzerland temple.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Double Tagged

I was tagged by Hollie.

Tag #1

Here are the rules: You pick the 4th picture in the 4th file on your computer.

This is a picture of Nathan taken 3 days after his open heart surgery at Primary Children's last June. Yesterday was fast and testimony day and I stood up and bore my testimony. I am completely in awe that Nathan came home from that after only 6 days of being hospitalized. Heavenly Father was truly watching over him.

Tag #2

7 Random/Weird Facts About Me:

1. I used to think my mother was nuts for getting up at 5:30 a.m. (or earlier) in the morning to scrub the house. I swore up and down that I would never become her or get up that early. In the past year I can count a dozen times or so that I've pulled the same stunt! (Its just so much easier to clean when the hubby and kids are sleeping and not pestering me!)

2. I have learned to love bottling and canning in the past 3-4 years. Now Jake and I make an awesome spaghetti sauce that we bottle at the end of every summer.

3. I work for the State of Utah in the Tax Commission as a Senior Tax Auditor, have my bachelor's degree in accounting and have finished half of a Master's in Business Administration; yet I haven't actually reconciled mine and Jake's bank account in over a year!

4. I hate blood and medical terminology (I had one bad experience in high school with giving blood where the technician tripped over the iv cord that was in my arm). Now, with having Nathan, I've learned more about the medical field than I ever wanted and have actually considered going back to school to be a nurse.

5. I sucked my thumb until 4th grade. Now I applaud Nathan when he sucks his thumb (its working on not having an oral aversion and practicing sucking).

6. I feel like I know more about football than any of my sisters and sister in laws and would think that going on a date with Jake to see a BYU football game would be as good as going to Abravanel Hall to see the Utah Symphony.

7. At Thanksgiving I only like to eat homemade pies; store bought ones are never as good as what my mom used to make. This year I plan on making pumpkin, banana cream, a cherry and an apple pie by myself.

I'm tagging: Janice, Tammy, Mom, Djinni, Kathleen, Sheena & Ashley

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nathan Rolled Over!!!

I personally didn't see it happen because I was at dance with Ellie last night for a make-up class; however, Jake was with the baby downstairs cleaning the bathroom and had laid Nathan on his back with some toys around him. Apparently, while Jake was scrubbing the toilet Nathan decided that he wanted a toy that he could only get to on his tummy. So like any curious kid, he moved his body to get what he wanted and rolled over on his tummy! We're so excited for him as this is another major milestone.

Way to go Nathan!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Who Taught Ellie to Sing?

Jake and I have been working with Elisabeth to teach her how to sing "I am a child of God". Ellie has been doing great at it; the nursery leaders in our ward say that she is just so cute when she sings it in class. Ellie was also excited that the children were singing it at General Conference this last weekend.

Yesterday, I really listened to her singing it. I was amazed at her simple sweet voice; I had tears in my eyes forming until she sang these words:

I am a child of God
And He has sent me here.
Has given me an earthly home,
With parents kind OF WEIRD.

I couldn't stop laughing! Jake nor I taught her the last sentence!

So who taught Ellie to sing?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pictures of our new backyard

Since we bought mom's home after she passed away and while I was pregnant with Nathan, the backyard wasn't really our biggest priority. The yard went to pot the summer mom got sick and the summer that she passed away. The weeds were so high (as tall as me) and yellow since Jake and I opted to take care of Nathan instead of fixing the backyard. Now that things have slowed down (that term is still relatively loose) we fixed things up a bit. Here are a few pictures of what it looks like now. It was raining and the sprinklers came on when I tried to take the pictures so they aren't as good as they could be.