Friday, August 28, 2009

"Operation" Ellinger

I'm suddenly feeling like our life is a never ending game of operation (you know - the milton bradley game where you try to get the parts off the board without the game buzzing at you?) With Nathan it was always just ONE MORE operation. Now, we think that's finally true. So recap for my family for the last 3 years:

2006 - Mom has serious internal bleeding and admitted to UVRMC. Ends up spending 3 solid months in the hospital.

2007 - Mom has biopsy of strange lump in her thigh. 3 months later the doctors realize what the lump is. Mom passed away of calciphilaxis in June. Jake and I spent the last year of mom's life caring for her at the hospital and at home. We became home health care nurses, wound nurses, took her to dozens of doctor appointments etc. It was a break in period for what was to come.

2008 - Nathan born. From January 2008 - June 2009 Nathan endures 16 operations.

March 2009 - I have jaw surgery and spend 8 weeks "sipping cider through a straw".

August 2009 - Jake has been having pain in his right groin area for quite some time but decides its really starting to bother him. He goes to a pediatrist who says there is something wrong with his hip and refers him to an orthopedist. That doctor orders an x-ray. The diagnosis?

Jake has a bone tumor aproximately 2-3 inches below the right socket of the hip that adjoins to the femur. Its about five inches wide and 3 1/2 inches long. Roughly the size of a baseball. Its probably benign, but they can't be for sure about it. One thing that is for sure is that it HAS TO COME OUT. Jake is seeing a tumor specialist in Salt Lake in a week and a half.

Poor Ellie. I told her last night that Dad's body is sick and he will have to go to the hospital to have an operation. Her reply was (in a VERY CONCERNED TONE,"Does this mean that Dad won't be able to eat either?" All she has seen with operations is that Grandma Ellinger wouldn't eat for a long time, that Nathan doesn't eat orally, and that when I had my jaw surgery I didn't eat for a long time. She's a smart little kid to put that all together.

Please pray for Jake. I think he's deservedly a little more freaked out todey than he was yesterday when he found out. But he's a guy and won't let it out too much that he's nervous about this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

IHH Heart Walk

Its that time again! Intermountain Healing Hearts is holding their annual heart walk on September 12th. The donations for this go towards helping provide care packages to families and to help support a summer camp for heart families to attend. This group means the world to us!

Last year it was great to see Kristen, Shawn, Libby, Mallory, Kathleen, and Dad attend the walk with us. This year we are aiming for a better turnout! Mom, Dan & Calli, etc. this is your invite! I'm hoping that I can get Brandon, Jessica and Stephen (my nephews and niece attending BYU) to come too!

And maybe, just maybe, Nathan will be walking a little bit just in time for the heart walk. I guess what I'm trying to say is that not only do I view this as a great opportunity to do something enjoyable and to help other's out, but its in a small way a celebration of Nathan's accomplishments in the last year. That little guy is a fighter. 16 surgeries in 18 months. And its not just him, its so many other children and adults (like Kristin)just like him! Please come and join us for this event!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Notice the New Ticker -

No, I'm not pregnant and don't plan on becoming that way any time soon! However, after 3 YEARS of braces as an ADULT, I'm finally getting them off!!!

September 3, 2009 is the BIG DAY!

I deserve a little love here because it wasn't just wearing braces for three years, I now have 14 pins and 4 metal plates in my face that I will keep with me until I die. That doesn't count the permanent retainers that I'm asking to be placed so that after all of this misery and embarrassment as an adult that my teeth will be just as I need them to be.

22 more days till I can say, "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Littlest Heroes Project

Thanks to Nevaeh's Mom, we found out about the Littlest Heroes Project. I can't figure out how to get this to link properly, but this is where you go to find out about them:

Basically they connect a photographer to a child who has a serious life long illness and Nathan's birth defects qualify him for this. We submitted an application for Nathan and were accepted! They matched us to Sara Boulter ( and she took pictures of not only Nathan, but of both kids and a good family photo of us. I am so excited to have these pictures since we haven't had a family picture since Elisabeth was a baby! The best part is that we didn't have to pay for these BEAUTIFUL pictures as this is not something that we would normally be able to afford.

What an AMAZING foundation and such a kind talented photographer!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bear Lake 2009

This weekend we went with Ben and Tammy, our good friends, to Bear Lake. We split the cost of renting a condo and played on the beach all day Saturday. We had such a good time! (I'm not sure how Ben and Tammy tolerated us, but we want to make this a yearly tradition!) Overall, I think the kids did very well playing together. Although we usually do this trip camping style, I'm a big fan of renting a condo now! Next year we're going to reserve it much earlier so that we can get a bigger condo to split (and one that doesn't have a wierd jungle theme going on with it).

The best part? The raspberry shakes! Yum, I can't get enough of those every year.

What I would do again? Not go during Raspberry Days! Ugh!!! It was so crowded this year!

Thanks Ben & Tammy for such a good time!

Besides renting a waverunner for a couple of hours and having fun with it, Jake was just content to sit and read a book for the afternoon and snooze away with Nathan. In this picture his knees and legs are white, but after a couple of hours in the sun without a reapplication of sunscreen, he looked like a lobster!

Kayden LOVED swimming in the water and playing in the dirt. This boy was in 7th heaven up there!

Tammy sat on the sand and played with Carlee for a while. That little girl is such a tomboy! Mud, mud, and mud was all it took for her to be happy the whole day!

Ellie had a great time playing in the mud too although she was just as happy to get in the water and to play. She LOVED having Tammy's kids there to play with.

Ben was the BIGGEST kid of them all. The whole day he sat and dug in the sand with the kids making huge sandcastles and then just a big whole in the ground. The kids loved it though. It was good to have Ben there to keep everyone entertained.


This is the picture of Ellie with the look that says, "I can't believe you are taking a picture of me when I'd rather be playing!"

These next 2 pictures of Ben speak volumes about him!

Ellie and Chris playing in the water. One of the things I love about Bear Lake is that the kids have room to roam in the water without us feeling like they are going to drown.

Carlee in the ZONE!

Nathan is a rather odd child sometimes which in some ways make him such an easy baby. He REFUSED to let us put him on the sand to sit and play. This boy has serious texture issues. He happily sat in the stoller ALL DAY without whining or crying. He loved watching the other kids and taking a long nap on the beach. What a silly child!

Carlee making a sand castle. Did I mention how much that girl loves the dirt?